Frequently Asked Questions
Summer 2020 FAQs:
Shift to online teaching: Frequently Asked Questions
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Kansas State University summer school courses across all of our campuses will be administered online. In recognition of this unprecedented time, we have developed a revised summer 2020 tuition and fee structure for undergraduate and graduate courses. Click here for additional information.
Spring 2020 FAQs:
Final Examinations: (added 04/20/20)
1. Will there still be a prep/dead-week expectation applied to the spring 2020 semester?
Yes. The change to remote learning options for spring 2020 courses has not changed the policy that indicates no examination (unit or final) may be scheduled seven calendar days prior to the first scheduled day of semester examinations.
2. Are final examinations still scheduled?
Yes. The university will maintain the same general policies around finals week and the final exam schedule will remain the same for any courses using traditional final exams.
3. What if a student has more than two finals scheduled on the same day?
Students’ rights and expectations remain the same. If a student has more than two finals scheduled on the same day, the student may request from the instructor of the highest-level class (by course number) that the final be changed. Students should not be asked to take final exams or turn in final projects during dead week.
4. Are there resources or recommendations on how to administer final exams or projects?
Yes. The Keep Teaching website offers a variety of resources for alternative assessments and best practices.
Asynchronous assessment options are preferable to traditional final exams. Understand that the in-person final exam you have traditionally given may not translate well to the remote environment.
Alternative means for assessing students’ learning are encouraged. Examples could include open-book exams, summary papers and final assignments. You may assign these assessments during dead week, but they should be due during the scheduled final exam time for the course.
5. I want to give a timed, synchronous final - is that allowed?
Yes. If you want to give a timed, synchronous final, then it must be held during the finals week time slot. In addition, you must be flexible to accommodate students who might have scheduling complications, live in different time zones, or have technical issues that would prevent them from taking the exam during that specific time. The use of Canvas to administer these exams is encouraged because it accounts for time zone variations for students.
Grading & Academic Integrity: (updated 04/24/20)
1. Are grades still due as originally scheduled?
Yes. Grades will be due as originally scheduled and should be submitted and approved in KSIS by Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. CST.
2. What do I do if I suspect there has been an academic integrity violation in my class? - (added 04/24/20)
The Honor and Integrity System is still working to hold students accountable for academic integrity violations. If you suspect there has been a violation, please complete the Violation Report Form found on www.ksu.edu/honor or you may email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options.
3. What options do I have to sanction students this semester? - (added 04/24/20)
As with any semester, you may sanction a student up to an XF. This includes a warning, a grade sanction for the assignment/quiz, a grade sanction for the entire course, the Development and Integrity Class, or an XF (or a combination of these sanctions). Please note that a student who is found responsible for an Honor and Integrity violation during the spring 2020 semester will not be able to choose the A/Pass/Fail option for the course of a violation.
'A'/Pass/Fail Grading Basis: (added 3/31/20)
The following FAQ’s below address ALL K-State students at all levels including but not limited to: Undergraduate, Graduate, DVM, etc….
You are encouraged to check the FAQ's regularly as updates will be provided by Administration as questions or needs for clarification arises. Updates will be designated next to the question with the following -(updated 04/XX/20)
ELIGIBILITY AND DEFINITIONS:
1. Who does the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis apply to?
The 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis is available to ALL K-State students at all campus locations.
2. How will Spring 2020 classes be graded?
All K-State Faculty members will continue to record the appropriate letter grades. All students will have the option to either earn the recorded letter grade or to select the A/Pass/Fail option.
For any student that has filled out the 'A'/Pass/Fail Opt-in form for the Spring 2020 term the A/Pass/Fail grading will be applied after the grade deadline of May 19, 2020.
For Undergraduate students, students earning a grade of 'A' in a course will have an 'A' recorded on the transcript for that course; a grade of 'B', 'C', or 'D' will be recorded as 'P' - pass; a grade of 'F' will be recorded as fail.
For Graduate students, students earning a grade of 'A' in a course will have an 'A' recorded on the transcript for that course; a grade of 'B' or 'C' will be recorded as 'P' - pass; a grade of 'D' or 'F' will be recorded as a fail.
3. The University usually does not allow undergraduate first-semester students to take classes on an 'A'/Pass/Fail basis. Does that rule still apply? -(updated 04/09/20)
No. The 'A'/Pass/fail option will be available for all undergraduate students for the Spring 2020 semester.
4. The University does not allow students who are on academic probation to take classes on an 'A'/Pass/fail basis. Does that rule still apply?
No. The 'A'/Pass/fail option is available regardless of the current academic standing for the Spring 2020 semester.
5. How will a student know which of their Spring 2020 classes can be changed to 'A'/Pass/Fail? -(updated 4/1/20)
A student is able to select the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis for any class offered via the standard grading basis for the Spring 2020 semester. Any course graded as Credit/No-Credit cannot be converted to the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis.
1. Will these courses count against any limits on 'A'/Pass/Fail classes?
No. Classes for which the student has selected the 'A'/Pass/Fail option for the Spring 2020 semester will not count toward any university limits on 'A'/Pass/Fail classes.
2. Can a required course in a student’s program be taken for the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis?
Yes. This requirement has been relaxed for the Spring 2020 term in an effort to allow all K-State students to make progress toward their degrees. As a result, undergraduate and graduate students will be able to use the 'P' grade for required courses as satisfying university requirements for future registration and progression in their degree programs.
3. Does this opportunity have any effect on classes that are already set up to be graded as 'A'/Pass/Fail (e.g., internships, practica, etc.)?
No. These changes to the rules and limits associated with 'A'/Pass/Fail options do not apply to classes that are set up to be graded as 'A'/Pass/Fail.
4. Will the application of the 'P' grade for a course/courses count against a student’s overall program or graduation requirements that may exist?
No. Classes for which a student has selected the pass/fail option will not count against them. This is only applicable to Spring 2020 courses. In other words, if a student opts-in to the 'A'/Pass/Fail option and is awarded a grade of “P” for one or more courses in the Spring 2020 those courses will not adversely affect a student’s overall program or graduation requirements.
5: Will these courses count toward a student’s degree requirements?
Yes. If a student has selected the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis option, the course(s) will count toward all appropriate degree requirements as if the student had taken it on a graded basis. This also applies to major/minor requirements. All degree audits will be updated to reflect the change in pass/fail rules for the Spring 2020 semester.
6. If a student chooses to opt-in for 'A'/Pass/Fail will they be able to register for courses in future semesters that have a grade requirement?
Yes. Like several other grading requirements in our policies, this requirement has been relaxed for the Spring 2020 term in an effort to allow all K-State students to make progress toward their degrees. As a result, undergraduate and graduate students will be able to use the 'P' grade as satisfying pre-requisite requirements for future registration and progression in their degree programs.
7. For those students’ that opt-in to the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading option in Spring 2020, will their original grades be available to faculty and staff that need this information?
The Office of the Registrar does have on file the original grade submitted prior to the posting of the 'A'/Pass/Fail grade option. These grades are limited in who will have the ability to access the original grade based on the FERPA rules around “legitimate educational need/interest”. Specific access to the Spring 2020 grades will be provided, if applicable, to appropriate K-State personnel based on educational needs and intended use. This access is granted by the University Registrar in consultation with the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs Administration.
8. If a student opts-in to the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading option in Spring 2020, can an instructor share the original grade with another instructor in a course that has a grade requirement?
No. The university has determined that the A/Pass/Fail grading basis for Spring 2020 courses only will be allowed to satisfy a pre-requisite requirement for future registration and progression in degree requirements. As a result, it would be a violation of FERPA for one instructor to share with another student’s original grade. As mentioned in the question above, if there is a legitimate educational need/interest that information will be made available to appropriate personnel based on educational need and intended use.
9. How will this change affect honors? -(updated 4/1/20)
Any course for which a student receives a 'P' - pass during the Spring 2020 semester will not be factored into the GPA calculations for honors. Grades of 'A' and 'F' are calculated into the GPA accordingly.
- The current policy for scholastic graduation hours for graduation will remain.
Bachelor degree candidates who will have completed a minimum of 60 undergraduate hours at Kansas State University with at least 42 credit hours in graded undergraduate courses at Kansas State University are considered for graduation with honors.
10. How will this change affect academic dismissal?
The processes and guidelines around the GPA requirements for academic dismissal will still run as normal after the end of the Spring 2020 term. As always, the review and applicability of exceptions to a student’s overall academic standing will be handled by the student’s primary academic college and can be overridden if deemed necessary.
11. There are various requirements in the degree audit (DARS) where a grade of 'B' or 'C' is required and/or where grades of 'P' (pass) will not apply. Will DARS be modified to accept/apply 'P' (pass) grades earned in Spring 2020? -(added 04/20/20)
Yes, DARS will allow 'P' (pass) grades earned Spring 2020 to satisfy degree requirements that may normally exclude 'P' (pass) grades or require a grade of 'B' or 'C'.
DEADLINES AND PROCESSES:
1. Is there a deadline for students to select the 'A'/Pass/Fail options for their Spring 2020 classes? - (updated 04/14/20)
Yes. The deadline for students to submit the completed 'A'/Pass/Fail Opt-in Form is Friday, May 8th at 5:00 pm CST, to the Office of the Registrar at email@example.com - In an effort to assist Academic Advisors/Faculty Advisors, etc... that may receive an influx of inquiries or forms on the day of the student deadline, the Office of the Registrar will accept forms through Wednesday, May 13th at Noon CST.
1a. My course has already ended or ends prior to May 15, 2020 (the end of the semester). Do the 'A/Pass/Fail forms have to be submitted on the day the course ended? -(updated 4/3/20)
No. The deadline for students to submit the completed 'A'/Pass/Fail Opt-in Form is Friday, May 8th at 5:00 pm CST, to the Office of the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org, regardless of the course end date.
2. If a student 'A'/Pass/Fail grading for a class during the Spring 2020 semester, will they be able to repeat the course for a letter grade in a future semester?
Yes. As long as the student meets all other requirements for repeating a course, they will be able to repeat a course in a future term for which they select the A/Pass/Fail grading option during the Spring 2020 semester.
3. If the student did not opt-in for the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading by the May 8, 2020 deadline can they appeal? -(updated 4/3/20)
No. The 'A'/Pass/Fail option is only available for Spring 2020 courses from January 21, 2020, through May 8, 2020, at 5 pm CST (Non-Standard Term courses attached to Spring 2020 but outside out these dates may also be considered). After this deadline, there will not be an appeal option to retroactively apply the 'A'/Pass/Fail to any Spring 2020 course.
4. If a student receives a high final grade in a course that they have designated for 'A'/Pass/Fail, may they later ask to go back to the original grade instead of the grade of 'P'? -(added 5/20/20)
Yes. However, this option will require you to submit an appeal to the Office of the Registrar via the 'A'/Pass/Fail Appeal Form. This form will require a college review and signature via your primary major/program Dean's Office along with a written rationale and proof of the extenuating circumstances for switching the grade back.
The intent for the appeal option is to assist students that may have an extenuating circumstance or a situation change (i.e. change of major, etc...) where the original grade would be needed.
5. Are these changes to the 'A'/Pass/Fail rules permanent?
No. These changes are for the Spring 2020 semester only due to the impact of COVID-19.
6. Will this option apply for students who participated in Study Abroad programs during the Spring 2020 semester?
Yes. Students who participated in Study Abroad programs will be able to select KSU courses only to be posted to their student record as 'A'/Pass/Fail.
7. Will eligibility for students graduating in Spring 2020 be impacted?
No. Like the relaxation of other university grading requirements in our policies, a student’s progress toward a degree should not be adversely impacted. This does not change that overall GPA requirements must be met in order to earn the degree, but instead that we have relaxed the applicability of the “Pass” grade being allowed to count towards overall degree progression.
8. Will digital signatures (typed names suffice on the 'A'/Pass/Fail Opt-in form? -(added 4/2/20)
Yes. For student signatures we encourage you to work with students that do not have the ability to print out the form, sign it and re-scan back to you. Instead, you may accept the form electronically via the students' official K-State email address and referencing or attaching that to the form in question.
Advisor/Major Professor and Program Director signatures will also be accepted in a similar fashion as the expectation is the form will be sent through official K-State email addresses which is our tracking for the approval chain.
9. Why do students need to talk with and obtain a signature from an academic advisor/major professor, etc... to apply the 'A'/Pass/Fail option? -(added 4/3/20)
We want students to engage with their academic advisor/major professor as they are the best resource right now in providing guidance and recommendations on the effects of applying the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis. Ultimately, this is still the students choice and decision to move forward with this option, however, academic advisors/major professors are the best option for advising students on the issue and impacts to be considered around a students future degree completion goals, as well as provide students with alternative points to consider.
The 'A'/Pass/Fail Opt-in Form indicates to the student that By signing the form you have explained to the student the implications of choosing the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis.
10. Students that are graduating in spring 2020 - can they submit this appeal after their degree has been conferred? -(added 6/1/20)
No. Once a student's degree has been conferred changes to grades cannot be made based on the Non-Permissible Changes to the Academic Record after Degree Posting guidelines. Based on these guidelines, any graduating student for spring 2020 considering the 'A'/Pass/Fail Appeal to remove the A/Pass/Fail grading basis must have the completed form to their academic college prior to the deadline of Monday, June 8, 2020. This will ensure the college has time to review and submit to the Office of the Registrar.
PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS, LICENSURE, ETC...
1. What if students require letter grades for professional programs, employment or graduate studies?
Because the original letter grades will be recorded, it is possible for a student to request an official letter attesting to the original grades. This letter is only available for the application of an inquiry from a professional program, licensure, graduate studies or an employer, should that be necessary.
Requests of this nature are handled by the Office of the Registrar and are not provided as a substitution to the official academic transcript. We will ensure that those who require evidence of the students’ academic achievements in the Spring of 2020 will be able to have that information verified if required.
2. What is a student being told about choosing the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis and the effects for getting into a graduate school program (i.e. Master's or higher)?
Students have been guided to speak with their advisor and/or the College or program they are considering. While we are making accommodations internally at K-State, we are unable to predict how the 'A'/Pass/Fail will be interpreted by outside entities. Some courses may need to be taken for a letter grade to satisfy licensure or other external requirements.
3. How does this affect students considering applying to Law School or Medical School? Can they choose the 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis for their classes?
Yes. A student can still choose this option, however, we are encouraging all students to speak with their academic adviser and/or the pre-professional advising resources prior to making this choice.
AAMC: Association of
Examples of Professional Programs that have addressed pass/fail grading:
The concern that professional schools might look askance at a “pass” grade from undergraduates might prove to be overblown. A Yale spokeswoman said the university’s professional schools would not hold pass/fail grades against applicants, whether the choice to forgo letter grades was theirs or the institution’s. And the medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, said it would accept pass/fail marks “without prejudice” for classes taken during the pandemic.
“It has always been our practice to consider grades in the context of numerous other aspects of the application, and an international crisis certainly provides a unique and compelling perspective,” said Dr. David Wofsy, the medical school’s associate dean for admissions, in an email.
Law schools are fully aware of and understand that many undergraduate schools are going to some version of a pass/fail grading system for Spring 2020. In fact, many law schools are making the same decision for their current students. Law schools will be understanding of the situation and will not penalize any applicant for having Pass/Fail grades. LSAC will place a letter in the CAS report of every applicant enrolled during Spring 2020, to remind law schools going forward that the semester was one in which many schools changed their grading systems in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
IMPACT ON SPECIAL POPULATIONS:
1. International Students. Will changing classes to 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis for the Spring 2020 impact visa status?
As long as a student remains enrolled as a full-time student, changing enrollments to 'A'/Pass/Fail grading basis for the Spring 2020 semester will not impact status. However, if the student has a sponsor that pays tuition, they may want to check with them prior to ensure there are no restrictions with third-party payments that would prevent the A/Pass/Fail option.
2. How does choosing the A/Pass/Fail option affect future financial aid eligibility?
If a student is receiving financial aid, they will want to discuss the possible impacts of the decisions listed with the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Differing types of financial assistance are likely to have differing Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) eligibility requirements.
Generally, choosing the 'A'/Pass/Fail grade option is likely to impact only the grade point average calculation (GPA). Under the A/Pass/Fail option for a given course, a letter grade of 'A' or 'F' will contribute to the overall GPA calculation. However, earning a 'P' - pass under the 'A'/Pass/Fail option for a given course will have NO impact on the GPA calculation.
Consequently, we urge students to contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at finaid@k-state well in advance of electing this grading option.
3: NCAA Student-Athlete: How does choosing the A/Pass/Fail option affect eligibility?
It could depend on students' individual NCAA eligibility requirements. Student-Athletes are strongly encouraged to contact their academic sport counselor with any questions prior to making any changes to their grading option.
4. Veteran Benefit Student: How does this impact GI-Bill benefits?
Often, Veterans’ Educational Benefits such as tuition/fees paid and/or housing allowance benefits will not be affected should a student elect to move from a letter grade evaluation to an A/Pass/Fail evaluation, since eligibility for VA benefits is premised, primarily, upon the successful completion of the course. VA educational benefit recipients should, however, keep in mind that once a student has successfully completed a course – even if the final grade is a “Pass” – the VA WILL NOT pay for the student to repeat the course unless a higher grade for the class is required for the completion of the student’s program of study.
Because each kind of aid has different rules and regulations, we recommend that students receiving aid, you check with the veteran benefits office at email@example.com.
5. Who do I contact I have further questions about the changes to A/Pass/Fail options for the Spring 2020 semester?
Please contact your Dean’s Office or University Administration for questions.
UNIVERSITY & PROGRAM ACCREDITATION:
1. How does the relaxing of rules/policies around 'A'/Pass/Fail at K-State affect overall Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation?
HLC is aware of the challenges brought on by the coronavirus outbreak and offers the following guidance for members, addressing a few common questions, particularly following the U.S. Department of Education's issuance of its March 5, 2020 memorandum Guidance for Interruptions of Study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), and its March 17, 2020 memorandum Information for Accrediting Agencies Regarding Temporary Flexibilities Provided to Coronavirus Impacted Institutions or Accrediting Agencies.
The most common questions at this time are in regard to reducing the length of the academic year, assignment of incomplete or pass/fail grades, waiving graduation requirements, offering distance education and accelerated classes. HLC recognizes all these considerations as potential solutions an institution might contemplate as it navigates the unique circumstances of maintaining academic integrity during a public health emergency. Temporary alterations to policies and procedures permit institutions to document decisions that allow them to retrace their steps when the crisis has passed while allowing their students to move forward.
2. What if my program accrediting body has not provided guidance related to how we should handle the relaxing of rules/policies around 'A'/Pass/Fail at K-State?
The majority of the program-specific accrediting bodies are aware of the need for programs and institutions to temporarily modify delivery methods in order to safeguard their communities during this health crisis caused by COVID-19. Although they may have not addressed specifics yet to the institutional changes being made and recommended at the worldwide level, we would encourage you to work with your specific accrediting agencies to advise on the policy decisions being made by K-State.