April 10 Message RE: Change in HMC Grading Policy for Spring 2020

Dear HMC Community,

In recognition of the extraordinary circumstances currently facing our community of students and faculty, the Department Chairs Committee and Faculty Executive Committee have unanimously endorsed the following modification of grading policies for the spring term 2020.  These measures work to identify a middle ground, recognizing that for some students letter grades may help assure a return to good academic standing or serve scholarship or graduate school objectives.  For others, and for some faculty, P/NC assessments are appropriate measures given the constraints of time and resources that are imposed by, among other things, family care, differing time zones, access to broadband, and the ability to find a quiet space to work. The grading policy outlined here is in effect only for Spring 2020 unless extended.

  • Any faculty member, in consultation with his or her chair and/or the Core Curriculum Director may make the decision to convert an entire class to P/NC grading if there are inadequate opportunities to generate letter grade assessments of work.
  • Any student, in any course, may request via email a P/NC grading format from a faculty member up until May 26.  To facilitate student decision-making around the P/NC option, students will be able to see their final grades in the portal from May 22, the day after all faculty must submit all semester and half semester course grades to the Registrar.  A letter grade of C-, as is specified by the current catalogue, will be the minimum passing grade for HMC students. If a student requests P/NC grading, the instructor will honor it.

The grading calendar will be as follows:

  • April 20: HMC’s portal opens for grade entry
  • May 21: grades initially due
  • May 22: grades visible
  • May 26: final date for students to notify faculty that they wish a P/NC option
  • May 28: deadline for faculty to change any grades to P/NC (or equivalent) on the portal

Note: Grading policies travel with students within the Claremont Colleges.  HMC faculty will need to provide grades according to grading policies issued by our consortial partners. Details regarding grade policies enacted by the other undergraduate Colleges will be provided by May 1.

Faculty are encouraged to be in close communication with their students about the grading scheme they intend to use for their course (letter grade vs. P/NC), and to remind students that they are welcome to request a P/NC grade instead of a letter grade in courses where letter grades will be the default.   Faculty will also undertake to provide students with ongoing information about their performance through the remainder of the term so that students will be well-informed should they wish to make a decision to take a P/NC option in advance of May 26.

Lisa Sullivan
Dean of the Faculty

Tom Donnelly
Chair of the Faculty