Simmons Covid-19 Information

Since the coronavirus outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation, our faculty & staff are working under SMU's reduced operations policy. We remain committed to serving you, however, so during this reduced operations period, please contact us via e-mail or phone. You can find all contact numbers on your departments’ homepages and page footers. More information about SMU’s response to COVID-19 is available on SMU's Blog.

Simmons Telehealth Counseling Services

It’s important for all of us in the Simmons community to take care of ourselves during this time, so the School is offering special support resources through its M.S. in Counseling program.   Faculty, staff, and community members can receive free telehealth counseling services via zoom at the Center for Family Counseling by calling 214-768-6789.  Faculty and staff can also use SMU’s Employee Assistance Program for support.  Students can reach-out to SMU’s Counseling Services for assistance in locating virtual or community-based counseling services.  Crisis services for students are available 24/7 by calling 214-768-2277 and selecting the ‘speaking with a crisis counselor option’ for assistance. Additional assistance with referrals or other services for students can be obtained by calling 214-768-2277 and selecting the option to speak with a clinical case manager.   

SMU's Temporary Grading Policy

Graduate Courses

Simmons Graduate Grade Change Policy provides students in graduate-level courses in the Departments of Teaching and Learning; Educational Policy and Leadership; and in the Graduate Liberal Studies and Dispute Resolution programs an option for grades of Satisfactory (“S”), Satisfactory Minus (“S-”) and No Credit (“NC”); and students in graduate courses in the Counseling program and PhD program an option for grades of Satisfactory Star (“S*”), Satisfactory Minus (“S-”) and No Credit (“NC”).  The Master in Sports Management and Health Management programs will follow the Cox Grading Policy for these two joint programs.

 

·  A student in the Departments of Teaching and Learning; Educational Policy and Leadership; and in the Dispute Resolution and Graduate Liberal Studies programs may choose to receive a grade of Satisfactory, Satisfactory Minus, or No Credit according to the definitions that follow for each graduate-level course completed during the Spring 2020 semester or any term for which the Provost approves the use of this policy.

·  Faculty will report letter grades as usual according to the grading system used for each course and as described in the course syllabus.

·  A student may choose to keep the letter grade for each course. There are many reasons why an individual student may wish to keep a letter grade in order to earn a specific GPA or meet other requirements, and students should consult with an advisor if they have any questions. If the student does not specifically choose the alternative grading scheme for a course by the deadline, the letter grade reported by the faculty member will stand.

·  The grades of “S”, S*, “S-” and “NC” have no impact on GPA.

·  The options under this policy do not count toward the maximum number of courses taken under the separate SMU Pass/Fail policy.

·  A student may make this selection course-by-course after the letter grade is posted in my.SMU at the end of the term. The selection must be made by the following deadlines: graduating students must declare this option no later than 5:00 p.m. (CDT) Tuesday, May 19, 2020Other graduate students must declare this option no later than 5:00 p.m. (CDT) Monday, May 25, 2020. The University will post degrees in May. Late declarations will not be accepted or considered.

 

    • Satisfactory (“S”)
      • For graduate-level courses in the Departments of Teaching and Learning; Educational Policy and Leadership; and Graduate Liberal Studies in which the student earns a grade of C or better.
      • This grade conveys credit for the course but does not carry grade points, and therefore does not affect the GPA.
      • This will satisfy program and degree requirements.
    • Credit by Policy (“S-“)
      • For graduate-level courses in the Departments of Teaching and Learning; Educational Policy and Leadership; and Graduate Liberal Studies in which the student earns a grade of C-, D+, D or D-.
      • This grade conveys credit for the course but does not carry grade points, and therefore does not affect the GPA.
      • This will not satisfy program and degree requirements. Students will be required to retake the course and achieve a passing grade.  Students should consult with their advisors in their respective degree programs for questions about specific details regarding what constitutes degree requirements for a passing grade for any courses that need to be re-taken.
      • For graduate-level courses in which the student earns a grade of F.
      • This grade does not convey credit and does not impact GPA.
      • This will not satisfy program and degree requirements. Students will be required to retake the course and achieve a passing grade. Students should consult with their advisors in their respective degree programs for questions about specific details regarding what constitutes degree requirements for a passing grade for any courses that need to be re-taken.

 

 

Outline of Student Choices for Grading Options

 

Graduate students in the Departments of Teaching and Learning; Educational Policy and Leadership; and in the Graduate Liberal Studies and Dispute Resolution programs will have the following choices.

 

Grade Reported by Faculty

Option for Graduate courses

Satisfies prerequisite, major/minor or general education

A, A-B B+, B, B-, C+, C

“S” or keep letter grade

Yes

C-, D+, D, D-

“S-” or keep letter grade

No

F

“NC” or keep letter grade

No

 

Because there are different degree requirements in different programs, the Counseling program degrees and PhD program courses will follow the grading option table below:

 

Grade Reported by Faculty

Option for Graduate courses

Satisfies prerequisite, major/minor or general education

A, A-, B+, B, B-

“S*” or keep letter grade

Yes

C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-

“S-” or keep letter grade

No

F

“NC” or keep letter grade

No

 

 

Course Drops

 

The last date to drop a course has been extended to April 24, 2020. Courses dropped between March 16 through April 24, 2020 will not show on a student’s transcript, will not earn credit and will not impact the GPA. Some students including (but not limited to) those with financial aid, veterans’ benefits or athletic scholarships must consult with an appropriate advisor before dropping a course.

 

Incompletes

 

SMU will adopt a special policy for Incomplete grade status in Spring 2020 courses.

  • As per normal practice, faculty may assign a grade of Incomplete and stipulate in my.SMU the deadline by which a student must resolve the incomplete and the grade to be assigned if that does not happen.
  • The grade of “I” will remain until a student clears the incomplete with the faculty member or until the student graduates, whichever comes first. 
  • At the point of graduation, any grade of “I” for a course taken in Spring 2020 will convert to “NC” for no credit. “NC” does not impact the GPA nor does it satisfy graduation, pre-requisite, major/minor or general education requirements because it does not convey credit for the course.
  • Students cannot change a grade of “I” to a grade of “S,” “S-,” or “NC” during the window listed above after grades are posted.
  • Once the replacement grade is posted the student will have 48 hours to change the grade to a grade of “S,” “S-,” or “NC.”

 

Transcript Notation

In addition to this grading option, a notation will appear on all transcripts for the Spring 2020 term highlighting the unusual educational circumstances due to a global health crisis.

The operational implementation of this temporary policy is a work-in-progress. We ask for patience and understanding as the Registrar’s Office develops the most efficient method to allow students to make this selection. Instructions will be available by April 30, 2020.

 

Undergraduate Courses

The purpose of this policy is to provide a grading option for students in consideration of the change in teaching modality as well as other unusual personal and educational circumstances due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Spring 2020.

In providing this, we seek a temporary grading policy that is simple to understand, minimizes extra work for faculty, encourages students to finish their courses, and provides flexibility for individual students’ circumstances.

This policy comes after consultation with faculty, Deans, and records administration and, after seeking their input, was endorsed by both the Faculty and Student Senates.

This policy applies only to undergraduate-level coursework attempted in the Spring 2020 academic term by all undergraduate students. The Provost may, upon consultation with the Deans and the Faculty Senate, renew this policy for subsequent terms that are affected by circumstances related to COVID-19.  In particular, the Provost will seek an endorsement of an extension through a vote by the Faculty Senate.

For graduate coursework, the individual schools and college will determine and communicate their policies in the coming days.

Undergraduate Course Grading Option (Spring 2020)

Students may declare this option any time after a grade is posted following a final exam until the appropriate deadline. In order to maintain the timely conferral of degrees and availability of final transcripts, graduating seniors must declare this option no later than 5:00 p.m. (CDT) Tuesday, May 19, 2020.  Other undergraduate students must declare this option no later than 5:00 p.m. (CDT) Monday, May 25, 2020. The University will post degrees in May.

This policy provides students in undergraduate-level courses an option for grades of Satisfactory (“S”), Satisfactory Minus (“S-”) and No Credit (“NC”).

  • A student may choose to receive a grade of Satisfactory (“S”) Satisfactory Minus (“S-”) or No Credit (“NC”) according to the definitions that follow for each undergraduate-level course completed during the Spring 2020 semester or any term for which the Provost approves the use of this policy.
  • Faculty will report letter grades as normal according to the grading system used for each course and described in the course syllabus.
  • A student may choose to keep the letter grade for each course. There are many reasons why an individual student may wish to keep a letter grade in order to earn a specific GPA or meet other requirements, and students should consult with an advisor if they have any questions. If the student does not specifically choose the alternative grading scheme for a course by the deadline, the letter grade reported by the faculty member will stand.
  • A student may make this selection course-by-course after the letter grade is posted in my.SMU at the end of the term. The selection must be made by the deadlines noted above. Late declarations will not be accepted or considered.
  • Explanation of optional marks:
    • Satisfactory (“S”)
      • For undergraduate-level courses in which the student earns a grade of C- or better.
      • This grade conveys credit for the course but does not carry grade points, and therefore, does not affect the GPA.
      • This will satisfy prerequisite, major/minor and general education requirements.
    • Satisfactory Minus (“S-”)
      • For undergraduate-level courses in which the student earns a grade of D+, D or D-.
      • This grade conveys credit for the course but does not carry grade points, and therefore, does not affect the GPA.
      • This grade will satisfy general education requirements. Depending on the course and program, it may satisfy prerequisite or major/minor requirements. Students should consult with the department or their academic advisor.
    • No Credit (“NC”)
      • For undergraduate-level courses in which the student earns a grade of F.
      • This grade does not convey credit and does not impact GPA.
      • This will not satisfy pre-requisite, major/minor and general education requirements.
      • For required courses, the student must retake a course for which a grade of “NC” is recorded.
  • The grades of “S”, “S-” and “NC” have no impact on GPA
  • The options under this policy do not count toward the maximum number of courses taken under the separate SMU Pass/Fail policy.
  • Graduate-level courses are graded according to the policy for courses in the respective graduate school or program. Undergraduate students enrolled in graduate-level courses should consult with the department for the applicable graduate course grading policy.

Outline of Student Choices for Grading Options

Grade Reported by Faculty Option for UG Courses SatisfiesGeneral Education Satisfies Prerequisites and Major/Minor Requirements
A, A- “S” or keep letter grade Yes Yes
B+, B, B- “S” or keep letter grade Yes Yes
C+, C, C- “S” or keep letter grade Yes Yes
D+, D, D- “S-” or keep letter grade Yes* Departmental policies may vary – consult dept/advisor
F “NC” or keep letter grade No No

* For the Second Language Requirement (SLR) consult with the department or your advisor.

Honor Code Violations

The grading option of “S”, “S-”, “NC” is not allowed for a course in which the student was found in violation of the Honor Code by the University Honor Council or by Faculty Disposition. The faculty assigned grade for the course stands.

Repeated Courses for Grade Replacement

When the Spring 2020 course is a repeat for grade replacement, the grades of “S” and “S-” will cause the original grade to be removed from the GPA, and the attempt is counted against the limit of 6. The grades of “NC” and “W” (withdrawal) are considered an incomplete second attempt, and the original grade remains in the GPA. The incomplete attempt is not counted as one of the 6. Both the original and the repeated grade will appear on the student’s transcript.

Course Drops

The last date to drop a course has been extended to April 24, 2020. Courses dropped between March 16 through April 24, 2020 will not show on a student’s transcript, will not earn credit and will not impact the GPA. Some students including (but not limited to) those with financial aid, veterans’ benefits or athletic scholarships must consult with an appropriate advisor before dropping a course.

Incompletes

SMU will adopt a special policy for Incomplete grade status in Spring 2020 courses.

  • As per normal practice, faculty may assign a grade of Incomplete and stipulate in my.SMU the deadline by which a student must resolve the incomplete and the grade to be assigned if that does not happen.
  • The grade of “I” will remain until a student clears the incomplete with the faculty member or until the student graduates, whichever comes first. 
  • At the point of graduation, any grade of “I” for a course taken in Spring 2020 will convert to “NC” for no credit. “NC” does not impact the GPA nor does it satisfy graduation, pre-requisite, major/minor or general education requirements because it does not convey credit for the course.
  • Students cannot change a grade of “I” to a grade of “S,” “S-,” or “NC” during the window listed above after grades are posted.
  • Once the replacement grade is posted the student will have 48 hours to change the grade to a grade of “S,” “S-,” or “NC.”

Transcript Notation

In addition to this grading option, a notation will appear on all transcripts for the Spring 2020 term highlighting the unusual educational circumstances due to a global health crisis.

The operational implementation of this temporary policy is a work-in-progress. We ask for patience and understanding as the Registrar’s Office develops the most efficient method to allow students to make this selection. Instructions will be available by April 30, 2020.