Grading Policy and Other Updates

President: April 14, 2020, 3:00 pm

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Dear Brockport Community:

I’m writing to update you regarding important temporary policy changes and other impacts of COVID-19.

So much has been achieved in such a short time, in transitioning more than 1,500 courses to alternate delivery formats. I’ve been impressed by the creativity and flexibility exhibited by our faculty and our students. I am confident that, even during this disrupted semester, we are doing everything we can to be a Great College at Which to Learn.

The College also recognizes the limitations that this style of instruction may present in situations where it was not an active choice for either student or faculty member. The Provost has convened an important time-limited taskforce to review our policies and procedures in the wake of so much disruption to our normal practices. I’m writing to share the results of the first wave of this work.

The College has made temporary adjustments to two policies in recognition of the incredible and unforeseen challenges we’ve experienced this semester.

COVID-19 Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading Policy

SUNY Brockport will allow students to opt for alternative grading for the duration of the pandemic. This temporary policy change applies to all students, regardless of their class status or level. Students can choose to this option for any or all courses they are registered for, except for courses that ended at midterm of the Spring 2020 semester.

Also as part of this policy, we’ve approved an extension to students’ ability to withdraw from a course. Students will be able to withdraw from a course until April 24, 2020, without permission of department chair, and until May 6, 2020, with permission of department chair.

The credit received in courses graded on the S/U option counts toward graduation requirements, but has no effect on the grade point average. This is because the credit is non-indexable (that is, it carries no quality points). S/U grades may be used for any course including those that apply towards the General Education program, a major, a minor, certification or professional areas with some limitations. Students who wish to request this option should do so via this link: Request S/U Grading Option

COVID-19 Probation/Dismissal/Incomplete Policy

Additionally, no undergraduate student who started Spring 2020 will be academically dismissed. Their academic status will be probation if their grade-point average is 2.0 or below after completing 12 indexable hours. For returning undergraduate students, their academic status (good standing, probation 1 or 2) will carry over to Fall 2020 regardless of their Spring 2020 GPA.

Graduate student policies and procedures are not affected by this policy alteration. In the case of graduate students, case-by-case exceptions may be made as appropriate.

The task force will continue to work on other policy issues for the rest of the semester, including in relation to the following issues:

For Students:

  • Possible recommendations for transcript notations for Spring 2020 

For Faculty:

  • DSI policy recommendations related to classroom observations
  • IAS policy recommendations related to Spring term online coursework
  • Tenure clock pausing recommendations

Student Refunds/Credit for Spring Semester

The College has been working with SUNY to determine a credit/refunding schedule specific to certain Spring 2020 student charges most impacted by COVID-19; those charges include room, meal plan, and some fees (Athletic, Transportation, SERC and BSG). Eligible charges and related credit percentages were determined after careful consideration of the student’s ability to utilize the services provided by each fee.

Credit percentages will be assessed to the SPRING 2020 student account as follows: 

*Room:                                                                              50%

*Meal Plan:                                                                       Up to 50% (depending on actual Dining Dollar usage)

Athletic Fee:                                                                    50%

Transportation:                                                               50%

Student Event Recreation Center (SERC):                50%

Brockport Student Government (BSG):                    40%

*Certain scholarships and waivers, particularly those specific to room/meal charges, may impact the dollar amount credited to a student’s account.

Student accounts will automatically be credited for Spring 2020. Students do not need to take any action for this to occur. Any credit resulting from the COVID-19-related charge adjustments will first be applied to any outstanding Spring 2020 or prior term account balance. If there is credit remaining after all outstanding balances are paid, a refund will be generated. COVID-19-related credits applied to Spring 2020 accounts will not impact 2019/2020 financial aid packages.

Students have the option of having their credits put towards their Fall term. A more in-depth letter outlining these options has been sent electronically to all students, and will also be sent to their home or permanent addresses.

Face Coverings

As you are likely aware, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging all individuals to wear a face covering while out in public and in a situation where social distancing is not possible. Our Theatre Costume Shop has been making masks for Rochester first responders as well as some campus groups, and our Town-Gown Committee is collaborating with United Way to distribute face coverings.

SUNY Brockport will be providing face coverings for essential workforce who can’t maintain proper social distancing protocols throughout their shifts. Individuals should contact their supervisors to obtain one. Supervisors should contact Julie Caswell, our Director of Environmental Health and Safety, should they need an additional supply of facemasks. The Office of Residential Life/Learning Communities is working to provide facemasks to the few students who remain on campus.

We will also supply additional face coverings in areas of campus that are more heavily trafficked and will ask students to wear them when social distancing is not possible.

You can also make your own face covering if you wish, and College Communications has produced this short video to help you:

Thank you for your cooperation. Your willingness to wear face coverings will enhance efforts to combat COVID-19.

As a community, we are committed to the health and safety of all members. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance that all US residents and citizens should wear “cloth face coverings” outside to curb the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in unintended fears and concerns about racial profiling in communities of color. The nation has seen a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and, most recently, Black/African American males across the country who are wearing face coverings have experienced racial profiling and have been treated with suspicion when they observe CDC face covering/masks guidelines.

At Brockport, we believe that all members of our community should be treated fairly—free from racial profiling and discrimination. More specifically, individuals wearing face coverings or masks should be not racially targeted or made to feel unwelcomed.

As members of our community, we have a personal obligation to flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, each member also has a responsibility not to engage in discriminatory behavior that will put our community at risk and prolong an already stressful experience. Please join us in not only flattening the curve, but also in ensuring an environment where all are welcome and respected.

These remain challenging times. I appreciate all that you are doing to keep yourself, your family, and our community safe.

Stay well,

President Macpherson

Last Updated 7/1/20

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