A Message from the Provost: Spring 2020 FAQs

Good morning, CityHawks! 

I am writing today to wish you a good week ahead and to encourage you to look back over the past month and see how much you have accomplished. We are living through an unprecedented time filled with challenges, but we are persevering. As each of us moves through this time, I hope we remember we are not on this journey alone. As a CityHawk, you have a helpful group of faculty, advisors, and other supportive employees who are willing to assist you and locate any resources you may need. Please reach out to any of us so we can support you. 

We have been working hard to ensure our students have increased options around finishing the spring semester and maintaining momentum toward graduation and the completion of your educational pursuits at CCD. Ideally, you will finish your semester and earn the letter grade you were working for in all your classes. If you feel the need to step away from your studies this semester, I hope you will review the options below and speak with an advisor to see what makes the most sense for you before you finalize your decision. 

Option 1: Letter Grading or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading 

With all that is happening in the world right now, and given the transition of our face-to-face and hybrid classes to remote delivery in mid-March, we know there may be students who are not earning the letter grade they were working for this term. From the last day of classes until May 26, 2020, students will be able to request their letter grade of A, B or C be changed to S (Satisfactory), and their letter grade of D or F be changed to U (Unsatisfactory). S and U grades are not calculated in a your GPA, and the Colorado Department of Higher Education has issued guidance to public colleges and universities across the state that for Spring 2020 a grade of Satisfactory shall be allowed in consideration of student acceptance and transfer. This includes for the state’s many Statewide Transfer Articulation Agreements, or Degrees with Designation (DWD), as they are sometimes called.  

However, S and U grades are not always the best option. Some highly selective programs, programs with outside accrediting bodies or industry-credentialing bodies may not allow for S and U grades. This is true for several of our career and technical programs, particularly in the health fields. For these and other reasons, it is important for you to speak with your advisor to discuss your program and educational goals to determine if an S or U grade for a class makes sense.  

This option is provided to encourage you to continue pushing forward, doing your best under these circumstances, knowing that at the end you have some flexibility in how your grade will be reflected on your CCD transcript. S and U grades will be further explained on transcripts, referring to COVID-19.    

Option 2: Incomplete Grade Contract 

Another option is to request a temporary grade of Incomplete from your faculty member. If the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic create a situation in which you are no longer able to complete the coursework this term, I encourage you to speak with your faculty member to see if an Incomplete Grade Contract may be an option. We have adjusted Incomplete grade requirements so that a student who has completed at least 60% of the course content with a grade of C or higher is eligible to receive an Incomplete. In this instance, your faculty member and you complete a contract stating what work still needs to be completed, you set a date by which that work will be submitted (the sooner the better, but no later than spring 2021), that you understand the final grade you will receive if the work is not completed by the stated deadline, and you sign and submit the form.    

This option is provided to help those who simply cannot complete the spring term because of COVID-19 or other emergency reasons. An Incomplete allows additional time to complete coursework once an emergency has resolved and is a good option for students wanting to maintain forward progress without needing to retake a course. 

Option 3: Withdraw Date Extended to End of Term 

In order to take sufficient time to evaluate all the course completion options above (letter grading, S/U grading, Incomplete contracts), we have extended the last day to withdraw from a course to the last day of the course itself. For a regular 15-week course, the last day to withdraw from a course is now May 11, 2020. We hope that this extension will reduce the number of students who need to withdraw from one or more classes this semester. While a Withdraw may be the only and best option in certain circumstances, we hope to reduce the number of students needing to repeat a course due to a W grade. If a letter grade, S/U grade, or an Incomplete grade contract might work for you, we encourage you to choose any of those options over withdrawing, so that you can maintain forward progress toward your certificate or degree.   

Other Questions 

We know there are additional questions out there and we are working to provide answers to these. Please visit our frequently asked questions (FAQ) document at CCD.edu/spring2020FAQ to find answers to your questions. We are regularly updating our FAQ with new questions we hear from you, so please check it often.   

In these times, I am grateful you have chosen CCD as your educational partner, as well as for the staff and faculty in our community who are working hard to ensure learning continues and that you have the resources necessary to continue to succeed. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and please reach out to us to let us know how we can best support you on your journey.  

Kind regards, 

Ruthanne K. Orihuela 
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs 
Community College of Denver