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1. Why is there an Emergency Grading Policy?
The COVID-19 emergency, and the resulting closure of college buildings and transition to remote instruction, has created access and learning challenges for many Virginia Community College System (VCCS) students. To ensure that students’ academic progress is not adversely impacted this semester, the VCCS is instituting a default Pass/Withdraw/Incomplete grading scale for courses that were not scheduled to end before April 6.

2. What is the Emergency Grading Policy?
The default Emergency Grading Policy is primarily a “Pass” system. As noted in the chart below, students will receive one of four grades below (P+, P-, W, I), unless they explicitly request a letter grade for the course:

Letter Grade What does the Grade mean? How does it apply?
P+ Pass with a grade of "C" or higher Applies to college transfer, technical education, and developmental courses. A grade of P+ will not impact a student's GPA.
P- Pass with a grade of "D" Applies to college transfer, technical education, and developmental courses. A grade of P- will not impact a student's GPA.
W Withdraw A student may withdraw up until the last date of instruction for the course without academic penalty.
WC Withdraw/COVID-19 A faculty member may award a WC for a student who did not initiate the withdrawal. A W will appear on the student transcript.
I Incomplete The faculty member and student may agree to a plan to complete remaining course requirements in the summer. Exceptions to this will be made on a case-by-case basis.

3. Which courses will be graded under the Emergency Policy?
All courses, which were not completed during Spring Semester’s first 7-week session or first and second 4-week sessions, will be graded using the above scale.

4. What if I prefer the A-F grading system?
Students who wish to be graded under the standard A, B, C, D, F grading system must alert their professor. You will be asked to complete a Grade Scale Selection Survey in each course in Canvas to notify the instructor if you want to receive the default grade (P+,P-,I ,W) or would like to opt-in to receive the letter grade earned (A,B,C,D,F).

5. What does it mean that the Emergency Grading System is the default system?
The Emergency Grading System will automatically be used by instructors to report Spring 2020 grades in courses covered by this policy. Students may opt to receive a standard letter grade. You must complete the Grade Scale Selection Survey if you want to receive a letter grade for your course. Otherwise, you will get a “P+”, “P-”, “W”, or “I” for each course. Students may select to receive a letter grade in some courses and/or use the defaulted “P+”, “P-”, “W”, or “I” in others they are taking.

6. How will the instructor determine if I should get a "P+" or a "P-"?
The instructor will use the grading policy published in the course syllabus. Please review your instructor’s grading policies again as the Emergency Grading Policy may have caused instructors to modify their policies. For course grades of “C” or higher, a “P+” grade will be reported. For course grades of “D”, a “P-” grade will be reported. A “D” or “P-” means this course will not transfer, but will still be counted toward completing a Germanna degree. For course grades of “F”, the student may withdraw from the course with a grade of W. If a student with an “F” grade does not withdraw from the course, the instructor will withdraw the student. “W” grades do not count for transfer or graduation.

7. Under the Emergency Grading Policy, when is the grade of "W" used?
A “W” grade is for students who choose to withdraw from the course or who would otherwise earn an “F” grade in the course. Students may withdraw themselves or the instructor may report the withdraw grade of “W”, if the student received an “F” for the course. A grade of “W” will be reported on the student’s transcript. The W grade does not affect Grade Point Average (GPA).

8. When is the grade "I" used?
The “I” grade signifies that the student has not completed the course. The I grade will be used only in the following cases:

  • More than 60% of the course has been delivered, but the college is unable to deliver instruction in hands-on courses, such as welding and CNA, before the semester ends.
  • The student has completed more than 60% of the course with a grade of “C” or higher and the student and instructor agree that it will be possible for the student to complete the remainder of the course in the summer term. The student must request the “I” grade. Students who have not completed more than 60% of the course with a grade of “C” or higher will be withdrawn from the course and a “W” will appear on the student’s transcripts.

For condition #2 above, (1) the student must request the “I” grade and (2) the final decision about whether to award the “I” grade rests with instructor.

9. How will P/W/I grades affect GPA?
These grades will not be factored into the student’s GPA, however these may impact financial aid. If the student requests a letter grade, the earned grade (A, B, C, D, F) will be used to calculate GPA.

10. How will P/W/I grades affect Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), Academic Warning, Probation, and Suspension?
“P” grades are considered successful in our SAP policy, so they will not negatively impact a student’s status. We are awaiting further guidance regarding the treatment of unsuccessful grades such as “W” and “I” from the U.S. Department of Education. However, it is anticipated that institutions will be permitted to exclude from SAP calculations any attempted credits that were not completed due to a qualifying emergency, without requiring an appeal from the student.

11. What about grades in developmental courses?
The grading scale for developmental courses will remain the same (S/R/U).

12. Will "P+" and "P-" grades count towards degree completion and graduation requirements?
“P+” grades will be counted towards course completion and graduation requirements for required courses. “P-” grades will be counted towards course completion and graduation for required courses, except for courses where a grade of “C” or higher is required. Just as with courses where the student receives a “D”, “P-” grades ARE NOT transferable.

13. Will "P+" and "P-" grades count for courses that are prerequisites for other courses?
“P+” grades can be used to satisfy prerequisite requirements. “P-” grades can be used to satisfy prerequisite requirements, except if a grade of “C” or higher in the prerequisite course is required.

14. How will P/W/I grades transfer?
The State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) has received assurances from many public colleges and universities in Virginia that courses graded "P+" will be awarded transfer credit. It is the hope of VCCS that private and for-profit colleges and universities in Virginia and public, private, and for-profit colleges and universities in other states will accept "P+" for grades for transfer, but the decision will rest with those institutions. Students planning to transfer to those schools should check with each institution about how the "P+" grade will transfer. "W" grades will appear on the student's transcript, but will not count for course completion for transfer. "I" grades must be completed by the end of the summer term or they will become "W" grades, unless the student chooses the A, B, C, D, F grading scale, in which case the "I" grade will become a grade of "F".

Students that need to consider the impact a "P" will have on their GPA and Guaranteed Admissions for transfer and particularly into certain majors at senior colleges may want to consult Germanna's Career & Transfer Center at:

15. How will other colleges and universities know what the "P+" and "P-" grades mean?
A note will be placed on the student's transcript defining the "P+" and "P-" grades.

16. Who can assist with this Emergency Grading Policy?
We encourage students to seek advice from their faculty member and/or academic advisor to assist with this important decision.

If you plan to pursue a Health Science or selective admission program, please consult that program for advice. If you are a student using VA Education Benefits, please follow up with the Military and Veterans Service Center at 540-891-3023, prior to making your request.

Last updated: 2020-04-15 04:30 PM 2068-1550466
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