Texas State Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Gene Bourgeois announced that the university would be making a temporary change to the final grade policy and allow students to request modification of final course grades to the “EP” (emergency pass) grades.
The Provost’s office stated in an email that the change will provide students with the option to request modification of final course grades to the “EP” (emergency pass) grades. The modification request may only be utilized for courses in which the student earned a passing grade. See the University Registrar’s definition of grades: https://www.registrar.txstate.edu/our-services/grades.html.
The university’s decision to allow this flexibility is in direct response to the unprecedented situation created by COVID-19. To date, there have been 38 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, 28 of the total cases remain active in the area.
According to the Provost’s office, as usual, faculty members will assign final grades to students using the criteria and performance standards outlined for the course.
“Once final spring 2020 semester grades are posted, students will have until Monday, May 25, 2020 to submit a written modification request to their professor(s) requesting an EP grade,” the email from the Provost’s office states. “Upon approval, the professor will make the grade change. To be considered, all requests must be made in writing to the professor by the stated deadline. The modification request option is limited to spring 2020 courses only. Students make requests on a course-by-course basis.”
While, this change to the final grade policy is not what Student Government President Corey Benbow proposed, it does offer an alternative to students who are faced with specific academic challenges related to the current pandemic. The Provost’s office warns of specific consequences of an EP grade on a transcript and as it relates to prerequisite course requirements.
“The Students are encouraged to consider the consequences of an EP grade, including those for prerequisite course requirements, GPA calculations, GPA minimums for certain programs, academic standing, admission to other programs or universities, financial aid, veteran’s benefits, scholarships, and other academic matters. Students should contact their academic advisor or academic program coordinator for specific questions,” the Provost’s email stated. “Graduate students are strongly encouraged to consult with their graduate advisor about the impacts of an EP grade before seeking a modification request.”
According to the email, faculty members are encouraged to be flexible but have the authority to make their own decisions on these requests. Decisions by faculty members are due by Friday, May 29, 2020. Faculty will use the Change of Grade Web Application for making grade changes to EP: https://tim.txstate.edu/changeofgrade/.
“Students may appeal a faculty member’s decision using the procedures outlined for the department, school, or college in which the course is taught,” the Provost’s email states. “The appeal process is applicable for all grades, including those under review by this temporary change to the final grades policy.”
The announcement from Bourgeois follows the university’s decision to extend spring break March 19 and continue classes for the spring semester remotely.
“I realize this has not been an easy transition and thank you for your patience and understanding as we assess options and make decisions in the best interest of the university community,” Bourgeois stated in the email.