The Student Sunrise Steering Committee recently approved a recommendation from the project team and the Office of the University Registrar to consolidate and align the number and types of grading options in use at WashU today. The goal of the change is to improve the experience for instructors and create a more equitable experience for students. The transition to Workday Student will also introduce new grading terminology.
“Because grades impact so many aspects of a student’s academic journey, like what courses they can register for and whether they are meeting financial aid requirements, it’s really important to have a consistent, equitable approach to how we offer grades,” said Trevor Bilhorn, one of the academic foundations functional leads on the Student Sunrise project team. “Having this aligned approach to grading will also allow for transcripts that are easier to understand by third parties, including graduate schools (other than WashU) that our students may attend.”
Grading today and going forward
Today, most undergraduate and graduate students can select from three primary grading categories when registering for courses: Credit (letter grade), Pass/Fail, and Audit. But many schools and programs use a range of grading options within these categories. Also, some schools and programs use credit/no credit and satisfactory/unsatisfactory options as an alternative to Pass/Fail.
With the transition to Workday Student, we will have a consistent set of grade options (called grading bases) and grade elements, which are the specific grade values that can be assigned. More specifically, the following changes will occur:
- Credit will be relabeled as quality graded credit and include the letter grade scale: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- and F.
- Pass/Fail will become Pass/No Pass. High Pass and Low Pass grade options will be available for schools that use it today, but Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory options will be retired.
- Credit/No Credit grades (NC, NCR) will be discontinued for all but a specific subset of courses within the MD program at the School of Medicine.
- Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade options will be discontinued.
The audit option will remain.
Students may also see a “T” or “EC” grade on their academic records for transfer or exam credits (e.g. AP, IB), respectively. Currently, WashU does not record grades for these credits, but Workday will require it to count against prerequisites or corequisites that may stop a student from registering (without an override or waiver). T and EC grades will be excluded from GPA calculations and will not affect students’ ability to register for courses.