Unprecedented times call for unprecedented action, and that is exactly what Texas A&M-Kingsville has done.
The university announced today that in an effort to help students during the COVID-19 outbreak, they will be able to choose how their courses are graded for the 2020 Spring semester.
"This isn't something anyone asked for nor wanted," said university Provost Dr. Allen Rasmussen in regards to campuses being closed. "What can we do to make the best of the situation that we are in and try to help everybody there is here?"
Students will now have one of three options when it comes to how their courses will be graded.
- Letter grade
The letter grade will be graded on a classic A-F scale and this option will affect the student's grade point average.
The satisfactory option will be given to those who pass their class. In this case, the student will receive credit for the course but it will not affect their GPA.
The unsatisfactory option will be given to those who fail a class. In this case, the student will not receive credit for the class and it will not affect their GPA.
While this will be useful for some students, others such as kinesiology major Ryan Smith need grades that will boost his GPA.
"I have to have over a 2.75 GPA to get into student teaching," Smith said. "I need to keep the letter-grade system because I needed to get my GPA back up."
The decision to go this route was made by the faculty senate in collaboration with the student government. Student body vice president Lidia Morales said that the main reason behind this change is change.
"The faculty, this is their first time teaching online," she said. "For many of our students this is their first time taking online courses."
Unfortunately for some students, they have lost jobs and members of their families could also have lost their jobs. Helping their families make money, and put food on the table, has become the No. 1 priority. School becomes second.
"A lot of them lost their jobs or had to take extra shifts because they have family members that lost their jobs," Morales said.
This is not just a major change for students, but the faculty is having to adjust to a completely different kind of teaching. Rasmussen said their effort has not gone unnoticed.
"I could just bow to them," he said.
Students will have their opportunity to make their changes towards the end of the semester. That process will begin on April 20 until May 19.