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Grading Options to Support Your Academic Success During COVID-19

The following guidance relates specifically to the courses you are currently enrolled in for the Spring 2020 academic term. These options do not apply to courses that ended prior to spring break. Before making a decision regarding any of these options, please consult with your faculty and academic advisors to discuss how a different grading option may impact your course completion rate, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), and transfer. If you are a military student called for active duty, please contact your instructors and advisor prior to making any changes.




Pass/No-Credit (P/NC):

What Is It?

Most classes at Hennepin Technical College are graded with a letter grade of A, B, C, D, or F. For the Spring 2020 term, the college is giving students the option to choose between letter grades or Pass (P)/No Credit (NC) grades, which means you can have until June 5, 2020 to choose your grade option.

How Does It Work?

Faculty in A-F graded courses assign grades on an A-F scale, but if you choose the Pass/No Credit option, your A-F grade will be converted to a corresponding “Pass” or “No Credit” grade after you decide to make this change. When you receive a P grade, this means that you have achieved enough of the essential learning outcomes of the course to have passed the course by earning an A, B, or C. You can make the decision to convert your grade to a P/NC on a course-by-course basis. This process will be completed by submitting your request to your eServices accounts (instructions to come). If you earn a D grade in a course, you will need to determine if you would rather earn a No Credit grade for that course. All F letter grades will also be converted to No Credit grades.

Potential Benefits:

1. With all of the time and effort you have invested in your courses already (as of April 6, we are already 2/3 of the way through the semester!), this grading option will provide a low-risk way for you to finish the course and continue to make progress toward your ultimate goal of graduation or transfer.

2. P and NC grades are not included in the calculation of your grade point average (GPA). Thus, if challenging personal circumstances or the unexpected learning environment of remote learning make it

harder this semester to get as high a grade as you would otherwise, this will protect your cumulative GPA.

3. NC grades do reduce a student’s completion rate (# of credits earned vs. attempt). The federal government is expanding options for institutions to omit NC grades from the completion rate during terms impacted by COVID-19 (at least for some students).

Potential Drawbacks:

1. Although a P/NC grade can’t hurt your GPA, it also can’t help your GPA. If students determine their GPA will increase by sticking with the A-F grading method, they should do so.

2. Transfer institutions and graduate schools may not accept courses that were graded on a P/NC scale. Please meet with your advisor to determine how a P/NC grade would impact your transfer plan. Minnesota State is currently in conversation with our transfer partners to determine how a P/NC grade may be accepted. We will update you with more information as we receive it.

3. PSEO students must consult their high school counselors or advisors to determine how a Pass/No Credit grade may impact their high school transcript.

4. Some students may not be eligible for P/NC grading. These may include veterans on GI benefits, some international students, and students in some programs with external licensure.

The good thing is – You don’t have to decide right now. You will have until June 5, 2020, to decide and submit if you wish to opt for P/NC grading. By this time, you will know how well you did in the course, and by then we will know more about what the implications are for transfer, graduate schools, veterans, Nursing students, etc.





Incomplete (I) Grade:

What Is It?

A temporary grade based on a written agreement between a student and faculty member. This grade may be assigned if a student is doing satisfactory work, has met a majority of course requirements, and is unable to complete the work of a course due to illness or other extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control. An “I” grade automatically becomes an “F” grade at the end of the next semester (not including the summer session) if requirements have not been satisfactorily met. The faculty member has the option of setting an earlier completion date.

How Does It Work?

Incomplete grades are to be initiated by the student by contacting the faculty member. If an agreement is reached, the instructor gives students an I grade at the end of the course, and then changes the grade to an A-F or P/NC grade when the work is later completed. There is a time limit for completing the work; if a student does not complete the work by the end of the fall semester or the agreed upon date between the college faculty and student, the I grade is automatically changed to an F on your transcript. Hennepin Technical College is allowing an extra semester for incompletes to be resolved. Students

receiving an incomplete for spring semester will have until spring of 2021 to resolve. Normally, College policy only allows faculty to give students an Incomplete in limited circumstances. The College is expanding options for faculty to use I grades in cases where a student cannot finish the necessary coursework by the end of the semester as a result of COVID-19.

Potential Benefits:

1. Personal circumstances related to COVID-19 could prevent an individual student from completing their work. The use of Incomplete grades could give an individual more time to complete the course.

Potential Drawbacks:

1. Our research shows that historically, the vast majority of students who receive Incompletes end up never completing the late work, and they end up getting an F. Therefore, for most students, the best option will be to continue the course through the end of the semester with a P/NC grade method instead of opting for an Incomplete.




Extension of Deadline to Withdraw:

What Is It?

The Minnesota State system typically sets a deadline for students to withdraw that is set at the point when 80 percent of the term has been completed. The system had extended that point to 90 percent of the term, which means Hennepin Technical College full-term courses will have until May 4 to decide whether to withdraw.

How Does It Work?

Students in full-term courses can withdraw (and get a grade of W) at any point between now and May 4. If you are in a shorter-term course, please contact your advisor to determine what the new withdraw deadline is.

Potential Benefits:

1. Compared with the earlier withdrawal deadline, this will give students time to determine whether their new learning environment and personal circumstances provide an environment in which they can academically succeed in the current term.

Potential Drawbacks:

1. A withdrawal (W) grade acts like an NC grade in that there is no negative impact upon GPA but both negatively affect one’s completion rate and Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluation. Students must have a cumulative (overall) 2.0 GPA and 66.67% completion rate at Hennepin Technical College to be in good academic standing. Please contact a college counselor to learn how a decision to withdraw may affect your satisfactory academic progress.



In Progress Grading Option:

What is it? 

In progress(IP) grading option can be used for students who were “actively” participating as of March 13 but are unable to finish by May 20 OR students who had an extenuating circumstance before March 13 that was communicated to the instructor and are unable to finish by May 15.

How does it work?

  1. No impact on GPA, but does impact SAP Quantitative Measurement (which we are not using to calculate SAP for Spring 2020 ONLY)
  2. No impact on completion rate
  3. Student receives an A-F grade when finished with the work
  4. Students will not re-register/re-pay for the that class
  5. Students have until December 18, 2020 to complete coursework
  6. An IP grade will turn into an NC (No Credit) grade if the faculty member has not entered a grade prior to the deadline. If specific programs are not allowed to give NC grades, an F grade will be assigned.  Faculty will be able to enter the earned grade prior to the deadline.
  7. An IP grade may be assigned when an entire course cannot be completed due to a hands-on skill demonstration being required, or due to lack of access to clinical sites.