Virginia community colleges moving to pass/fail grading for rest of semester

Health care classes, among other programs, offered at BRCC would be included in the G3 program,...
Health care classes, among other programs, offered at BRCC would be included in the G3 program, according to the college. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 27, 2020 at 12:47 PM EDT
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All colleges within the Virginia Community Colleges system, including Blue Ridge Community College, are moving to a pass/fail grading system as they continue to provide classes solely through online means for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester.

According to a statement by Virginia’s Community Colleges Chancellor Glenn DuBois, the system is instituting a "pass/no-pass policy" that allows individual students to ask their professors for their letter grades if they so choose.

DuBois said he made the decision after speaking with the presidents of all the community colleges in Virginia and hearing from faculty members and students.

He said the move would help students avoid being disadvantaged on their transcripts due to global pandemic out of their control, as some students face new challenges in having courses moved online and others may face the coronavirus itself or face its effect on a family member or eve an instructore.

DuBois said the new policy allows more flexibility to handle all of those situations.

They've also extended the date by which students can withdraw from courses to the end of the semester as well.

"We have come to understand that these grades will not disadvantage any student seeking to transfer to a public university in Virginia and we know that it will not hamper one’s progress in their community college pursuit, or affect one’s financial aid eligibility," DuBois said.

The new policy only applies to spring 2020 courses that have not finished by April 6 — It doesn't apply to spring courses that are already done or any future semester courses.

Each of the 23 colleges in the system can choose exactly how they implement the policy, so students are recommended to direct any questions to their college, starting with their instructors.

The Virginia Community Colleges system previously called off all May commencement ceremonies as well, in response to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that recommend people avoid gatherings of 50 people or more for the next 8 weeks.

The school system is reminding people to be mindful of their health and stay updated on the latest information from the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC as the response to COVID-19 evolves.