March 26: S/U Policy Change for Spring 2020

Dear Colleagues,

In response to COVID-19, the faculty, upon recommendation by CCAPS and approval by the JFS on March 24, 2020, have agreed to change the S/U policy for the spring semester of 2020 only. A detailed description is attached. Please read this carefully.  Students now have the option of taking all their classes S/U. A student must inform you of this decision by May 4th. You can choose to move back this date. Please consult with your students before they make this decision. There may be short and long-term ramifications as a result of this decision. For example,

  • first year nursing students must take their courses for a grade to be considered for the nursing program.
  • we do not fully understand the impact S/U courses will have on graduate schools.
  • If a student receives a D, they may want to take the D instead of a U as a U does not count towards graduation (and a D does).
  • Students on probation may want to demonstrate their progress with a grade.
  • Students with grades higher than a C, may want to take a grade rather than accept a S. 

Prior to and during the JFS meeting, many faculty expressed the need to stress consultation and advising.  Academic Advising is working with departments to draft guidelines and considerations to help you advise your students.  This information will be distributed early next week. 

This is a decision not to be made lightly. However, we felt this was an option that needed to be made available to our students in light of the pandemic and the undue stress and changes this has caused in our course delivery. Please work with your students as they make this decision. 

Thank you for all that you are doing during these unprecedented times! 


Barb May

Academic Dean

College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University