Oct 29, 2020  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

COVID-19 Impacts and Responses


A global pandemic struck during the 2019-2020 period. This massive outbreak necessitated extraordinary steps to be taken worldwide. This included stay-at-home orders, bans on public gathering, and a shutdown of many industries in an effort to blunt the impact of a respiratory illness that was incurable and spread by incidental contact.

Institutions of higher education were not immune to these changes. Universities, colleges and schools globally and locally ceased providing face-to-face teaching and learning and moved to strictly remote teaching through online applications. These changes in the middle of the Spring 2020 semester created a myriad of challenges and significant anxiety across the MSU Denver community. In response to these elements, special rules were designed to ensure continued university operation. Those rules have been captured here for future reference.

 

Table of Contents:

Pass/Fail Grading Option
Special Rules for Certificates for Spring 2020
Change in Withdrawal Deadline
International Baccalaureate from Spring 2020
State and Federal Resources Relating to COVID-19

 

Special Rules for Spring 2020 Grades

In light of the global pandemic that struck the United States during the Spring 2020 semester, Metropolitan State University of Denver and other institutions of higher education across the country created special rules related to grading and notations for the Spring 2020 semester only. Colleges and universities moving all courses online in an attempt to lessen the impacts of the Novel Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) created anxiety for students. In an effort to lessen that impact, MSU Denver and others passed special rules that allowed students a one-time opportunity to convert letter grades to a Pass/Fail notation up to one week after grades posted at the end of the Spring 2020 semester. This rule only applied to coursework attempted during that semester.

During the Spring 2020 semester, professors at MSU Denver graded normally at the end of the term using the ABCDF grade mode. Then, depending on the student's program and the grade received, the ABCDF grade could have been translated into the Pass/Fail mode and receive a P (Pass) or F (No credit/Fail) notation on the student's transcript. For undergraduate students, the P notation covered every grade from an A to a C-, with the F reserved for D and F grades. For graduate students, the P notation covered every grade from an A to a B-. The F notation covered all CDF grades for graduate students.

Rules limiting the use of P/F notations for the Spring 2020 semester were relaxed as well. P notations elected during the Spring 2020 semester do not count toward the maximum allowed in a degree/program/school/college. Also, P notations for this term awarded at other institutions of higher education will be accepted on transfer credit, but students and academic advisers should take care to ensure that the P will still satisfy all school/college/program requirements. This relaxation of rules allows for, but does not require, any relaxation in school/college/program requirements.

The special rules detailed in this note are applicable for Spring 2020 grades only. The notation on this special rule will appear in all iterations of the MSU Denver graduate and undergraduate catalogs through the 2023-2024 editions and may be referenced by future students who attended any institution of higher education during the Spring 2020 semester or any semester that commenced during the period from January 1, 2020, through May 15, 2020.

Additional information on these special rules and circumstances can be found in the letter from the MSU Denver Provost's Office on March 26, 2020, which follows this notice.

Provost Letter

MSU Denver President's Letter Announcing Pass/Fail Option

Special Rules for Certificates for Spring 2020

During the Spring 2020 semester, Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory notations for a course will be acceptable in certificate programs. This is to recognize the unique nature of the Spring 2020 semester and the rush to all online course delivery by universities around the world. The anxieties created by the global pandemic created a number of special rules to ease student concerns. With the widespread use of "P" and "S" or "SP" notations, the university suspended the requirements for letter grades in each course in a certificate program for the Spring 2020 semester only.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Curriculum and Policy Development office in Academic Affairs.

Change in Withdrawal Deadline

In light of the global pandemic that struck the United States during the Spring 2020 semester, Metropolitan State University of Denver has moved the withdrawal date for full-semester classes from Friday, April 3,2020 to Friday, May 15, 2020.

Students can work with their faculty or advisors to determine if withdrawal from a course is the best option for them.

The definition for a withdrawal can be found here

Students may also view other relevant dates and deadlines within the Academic Calendar

International Baccalaureate from Spring 2020

The pandemic necessitated the canceling of all International Baccalaureate (IB) testing in the United States for Spring 2020. Previously, the university accepted any IB test score of 4 or higher for university credit.

In the absence of testing, the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) prepared scores for students graduating in Spring 2020 based on evaluations of students performed earlier in the IB program predicted grading, third party evaluation and historical trends. The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) directed institutions of higher education to treat these assigned scores the same as exam test scores.

The CDHE exercised its ability to make this decision based on state law that requires the awarding of transferable credit (GT Pathways) for an IB exam score of 4 or above. Additionally, state law (§23-1-113.2(2), C.R.S.) requires an award of at least 24 college credit hours for successful completion of an IB diploma (with individual content exam scores of 4 and above).

The process of awarding a score, according to IBO:  

  • At a subject level, students will be awarded a grade on the normal IB 1-7 scale
  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the Extended Essay and the Career-Related Programme
  • Reflective Project will be awarded a grade on the normal IB A-E scale
  • The DP core will be awarded on the normal IB 0-3 scale
  • A total points score will be awarded for the Diploma, out of 45 as normal

If the student scored a 4 or higher in the IBO evaluation that will be reflected on the transcript and we will be awarding the student credit as usual. Transcripts from IBO with the score should have been available as of July 5, 2020.

CDHE Guidance

IBO Guidance

State and Federal Resources Relating to COVID-19

State of Colorado COVID-19 Website

Governor Declaration of State of Emergency

Federal Government COVID-19 Website

Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Colorado (ENGLISH)

Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Colorado (SPANISH)

Presidential COVID-19 Emergency Declaration

 

Page Created July 2020