Rutgers announces changes in academic policies due to remote instruction

<p>Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs Prabhas V. Moghe said these changes include an extension on the deadline to withdraw from courses and on the option to switch courses with letter grades to a "Pass/No Credit" system.</p>

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs Prabhas V. Moghe said these changes include an extension on the deadline to withdraw from courses and on the option to switch courses with letter grades to a "Pass/No Credit" system.


Rutgers administrators announced on Friday they will adjust academic policies as students transition to remote instruction due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, according to a University-wide email sent by Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs Prabhas V. Moghe.

Moghe said although the switch to remote instruction for the rest of the semester may be challenging, the decision was made to protect the health of the community, according to the email.

“Our goal, first and foremost, is to maintain academic continuity amid the current disruptions we are experiencing,” he said, according to the email. “We are working closely with each of your academic schools at Rutgers­­­ University­—New Brunswick, including your deans, department chairs, undergraduate and graduate program directors and faculty instructors, to minimize the impact of these disruptions on your academic progress.”

One of the new policies includes extending the deadlines to withdraw from a course or the semester, Moghe said, according to the email. The deadline to drop a class with a “W” has been extended from March 13 to April 10. Students with permission from their deans based on “extenuating circumstances” can withdraw from the semester up until April 30. 

Moghe said undergraduate students who feel their work will be affected by the switch to remote instruction also have the option to switch their grades for one or more classes from letter grading to a “Pass/No Credit” system, according to the email.

“We understand that these are unprecedented times, and have extended the deadline to make this decision to May 22, well after the semester is completed, and one week after final grades have been submitted,” he said, according to the email. “The extended timeline will allow you ample time to review, consult and then make the appropriate decision should this option be the right one for those of you severely disadvantaged by the COVID-19 disruption.”

Prior to this announcement, each individual school at the University had a "Pass/No Credit" grading system available with specific guidelines and restrictions on how and when students could switch to this system. The original policy states students are only permitted to use this grading system for electives, not toward majors, minors or other graduation requirements. 

Moghe said students should speak with their academic advisors prior to switching to this new grading system, as it could affect their academic progress, career path or financial aid standing, according to the email. 

Rutgers faculty have been developing remote instruction plans that will begin next week, Moghe said, according to the email. Although professors are required to explain their plans to students, students can find additional information on videoconferencing, learning management systems and technological help on the University’s Technology Resource webpage. 

Students can also access tutoring, academic coaching, writing assistance, study groups and workshops virtually through the Learning Centers, Moghe said, according to the email. 

Moghe said students who have issues with learning management systems or internet connection that could affect their ability to work remotely should inform professors, teaching assistants and undergraduate directors as soon as possible so these issues can be addressed, according to the email.

“We appreciate your patience as Rutgers continues to adapt to this rapidly evolving situation,” he said, according to the email. “We recognize the deep levels of concern and uncertainty this is creating for you, and we remain committed to your academic progress as well as your safety and well-being.”


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