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Michigan State will not offer pass/fail grading for spring 2022 semester

January 20, 2022
<p>Beaumont Tower on Aug. 23, 2019.</p>

Beaumont Tower on Aug. 23, 2019.

Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Michigan State announced Thursday night in an email from the Office of the Provost it will not offer Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory, or S/NS, for the spring 2022 semester and does not plan to offer it for future semesters. 

During the late fall 2021 semester and early spring 2022 semester, MSU Provost Teresa Woodruff asked the University Committee on Undergraduate Education, or UCUE, to advise her on the continuation of S/NS.

Due to concerns the grading scale is not aligned with MSU’s graduation requirements, masks the degree students achieve course learning outcomes disincentivizes student engagement and could reduce GPA resilience, the committee recommended it not be offered in the spring or future semesters, according to the email.

Last semester MSU students started a petition to reinstate S/NS grading for the fall 2021 semester. The petition received nearly 6,000 signatures in 48 hours, but Woodruff ultimately announced the university would not offer students a pass/fail grading option for the fall

“We learned a great deal from the natural experiment that S/NS provides, which led the Provost to request that UCUE consider adaptations to existing policies that might provide some of the benefits recognized by S/NS without encumbering its potentially harmful effects,” Associate Provost Mark Largent wrote in the email. “UCUE deliberated on her request and has recommended substantive changes to the existing Credit/No Credit (C/NC) grade recording option and the course repeat policy.”

Woodruff did accept UCUE’s recommendations to expand students’ potential use of Credit/No Credit, or C/NC, grading, and asked the Office of the Registrar to lengthen the amount of time a student can choose C/NC.

Additionally, the university has amended its course repeat policy, which would allow any undergraduate student to retake any class up to two times, regardless of the grade they earned previously, with a 20-credit cap on retake credits. The amended policy will be available to students beginning in the summer 2022 semester and will apply to all prior semesters’ courses.

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