By Brianna Williams, News Editor—

On March 27, Provost Jerold Hale, Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Yancy Freeman, and Enrollment Management informed students that UTC would offer a “Satisfactory/No Credit” grading option for students.

This grading option comes after student Victoria Anderson created a petition for a Pass/Fail system that garnered over 3,000 signatures and numerous comments from students, parents, and teachers. 

According to Hale, however, the possibility of providing a satisfactory/no credit option was a conversation happening even before the petition was brought to Academic Affairs’ attention. 

“We were on board from the very beginning wanting to do something for students here,” he said.

Knoxville’s campus is also offering a satisfactory/no credit grading option to students that is “largely the same” as UTC’s, Hale said.

Anderson created the petition in hopes that if a satisfactory/no credit option was provided, students could elect the S/NC grading option and stop courses immediately, meaning that a student would receive a satisfactory or no credit score based on their current grades.

According to Hale, there were several curricular reasons why academic affairs chose not to allow students to stop courses if they selected a satisfactory/no credit grading option.

“Imagine a student that is taking Calculus 1, for example… if a student would have gotten a grade based on what happened in two-thirds of the semester, and then tried to go into calculus 2, that student wouldn’t have had a very good chance of succeeding in Calculus 2,” Hale explained. “It had some real implications for student success moving forward.”

If chosen, the optional grading system will give a student either an “S” or “NC” for their course at the end of the semester.

An “S” is what the student will receive if they would have gotten an A, B, or C in the course. An “NC” indicates that the student would have received a D or F in the course.

The logistics of the optional grading system could affect a student’s future courses, scholarships, or graduate school applications, if elected.

“A student can meet a gen-ed requirement with a grade of D—if they get an NC, it’s like getting an F in regards to academic progress— they won’t get credit for taking the course,” Hale said.

Once students make the decision to take S/NC grading, they will be unable to change their minds later in the semester. 

“We wanted to give students enough time, we didn’t want them to opt-in quickly,” Hale said. “We wanted them to consider all of the information that was available because while this could be a really good option for some students, for other students it’s probably not a good option and we wanted them to consider the information.”

Students must decide if they want to utilize the satisfactory/no credit option on or before April 21 at 11:59 p.m.

Currently, there are 35 student requests for S/NC grading, with 21 of those requests being for all of their courses, Hale mentioned. 

If you are a student hoping to opt-in to the satisfactory/no credit grading option, you can do so via this link.

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