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COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Overview

A message from Provost Short regarding Fall 2020 Classes

The international public health crisis of COVID-19 has caused the University of Houston to make many substantial changes in the way our faculty teach, how our students learn, and how we support each other during this critical time.

This website will be an online repository for the policy changes that affect students and faculty.  Please bookmark this site for future reference as any additional updates will be posted here.

 

Interim Undergraduate Grade Policy

(updated April 10, 2020 to include all 2020 summer sessions)

Spring 2020 Undergraduate No-Risk Grade Policy Flowchart-Provost

Due to the unique and unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Houston is implementing an interim policy for undergraduate grades.

  1. The Interim Undergraduate Grade Policy applies to all undergraduate students in courses offered during Spring 2020 Sessions 1, 4, 5, and 6 as well as the 2020 Summer Sessions. The policy will be reviewed for continuation through future terms if necessary.

  2. All undergraduate courses for the applicable sessions will be graded according to their current grading scheme.

    a. If the current grading scheme is Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U):

    i. Grades of Unsatisfactory (U) will automatically convert to No Credit Reported COVID-19 (NCR).

    ii. Grades of Satisfactory (S) are awarded course credit while no course credit will be awarded for a grade of No Credit Reported COVID-19 (NCR).

    b. If the current grading scheme is Letter Grade:

    i. Students have the option to choose either a Letter Grade or a Satisfactory/No Credit Reported COVID-19 (S/NCR) grading scheme on a course-by-course basis.

    ii. Under the Satisfactory/No Credit Reported COVID-19 (S/NCR) grading scheme, grades of D- and higher are considered Satisfactory (S) and are awarded course credit. No course credit will be awarded for a grade of No Credit Reported COVID-19 (NCR).

    iii. Details regarding the process through which students choose their grading options will be communicated by the Office of the University Registrar by April 27, 2020.

  3. The deadline for students to choose their grading option is 5:00 pm on May 18, 2020.

  4. Satisfactory (S) and No Credit Reported COVID-19 (NCR) grades are not factored into term or cumulative GPA.

  5. Students are encouraged to contact their academic advisor to discuss questions regarding the impact of their grade option choice on academic matters. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid should be consulted to discuss the impact of their grade option choice on financial aid matters.

  6. The deadline for completing course requirements associated with Incomplete grades due in spring 2020 is extended to August 10, 2020. Students should contact their instructors to discuss plans for completing course requirements by that date. The incomplete deadline extension will be reviewed for continuation through future terms if necessary.

  7. Grades received as the result of academic honesty sanctions will be handled consistent with the University of Houston Undergraduate Academic Honesty Policy

  8. The Interim Undergraduate Grade Policy also applies to all undergraduate students in courses offered during Summer 2020 Sessions 1, 2 , 3 and 4. The policy will be reviewed for continuation through future terms if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which terms are covered under the Interim Undergraduate Grade Policy?

The policy has been extended and now covers the following terms:

  • spring 2020 (sessions 1, 4, 5, and 6)
  • summer 2020 (all sessions)

How do students select their grade option for Spring and Summer 2020 courses?

Please review step-by-step guidance provided by the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) issued April 27, 2020 https://uh.edu/about/offices/enrollment-services/registrar/interim-grading-policy/. If you have any questions, please contact OUR at 713-743-1010 (option 7) or uhour@uh.edu.

When is the deadline for students to choose their grading option?

The deadline to choose grading options for the spring 2020 term has passed. The form availability dates and submission deadlines to choose grading options for the summer 2020 term are listed below:

Session Form Availability Date (in myUH) Form Submission Deadline
Summer mini June 2, 2020 June 8, 2020, 5:00pm
Summer 1 August 10, 2020 August 17, 2020, 5:00pm
Summer 2 July 6, 2020 July 13, 2020, 5:00pm
Summer 3 July 27, 2020 August 3, 2020, 5:00pm
Summer 4 August 10, 2020 August 17, 2020, 5:00pm

I withdrew from one or more spring 2020 classes before the Interim Undergraduate Grade Policy was announced. Can I change my withdrawal to NCR under the policy?

Students who dropped from 3/16/2020 to the present and have a W will be offered an NCR grade option. Please send requests to select NCR in place of a withdrawal to the Office of the University Registrar at UHOUR@uh.edu.

If I withdraw from one or more spring 2020 classes, will it count against the 6 W limit?

No, withdrawals from spring 2020 courses will be excluded from the 6W count.

How do I determine whether to select a letter grade or S/NCR for each of my classes?

A number of issues should be considered when selecting your grade option. It is important to carefully read the grade policy, consult with your academic advisor and other experts as needed, and determine if/ how your earned letter grade or the S/NCR option will impact the following: particular student populations, degree progress, careers, graduate/professional school, and eligibility for programs and financial resources. Questions and answers in this FAQ will provide important contacts, policies, tools, and/or guidance for each of these factors.

How will choosing the S/NCR option affect international students?

Please send questions regarding the implications of S/NCR for international students to Jin Zhang, Director, International Students Services Office: jzhang20@Central.uh.edu.

How will choosing the S/NCR option affect students on the GI Bill?

Please send questions regarding the GI Bill and VA Certification/Eligibility to: UHGIBILL@uh.edu.

Does a grade of S fulfill degree requirements or meet prerequisites if my major or minor requires minimum letter grades in specific courses?

Some degree programs may require minimum letter grades due to accreditation, licensure, or to ensure adequate preparation for subsequent courses. Please consult with your academic advisor to discuss the implications of selecting S grades in courses for which minimum letter grade requirements exist.

Will S grades count toward meeting Latin Honors criteria?

For the purposes of Latin Honors, the credit earned from S grades will count toward the last 54 credit hours and will not be factored into GPA. In selecting grade options, consider the impact changing one, some or all course grades will have on the final GPA. A helpful grade calculator can be found at: https://www.bauer.uh.edu/UHGPACalculator/. It is important to be aware of the following GPA thresholds for Latin Honors:

3.90 to 4.0 Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors)
3.70 to 3.89 Magna Cum Laude (with high honors)
3.50 to 3.69 Cum Laude (with honors)

Additional information regarding Latin Honors criteria can be found at: http://publications.uh.edu/content.php?catoid=34&navoid=12515#Graduation_with_Honors

I repeated a course in Spring 2020 and planned to use it for Grade Exclusion of a prior course. If I choose an S grade will it still qualify?

An S grade for a course repeated in Spring 2020 will satisfy Grade Exclusion for requests eligible under the Grade Exclusion Policy. More information about the policy can be found at: https://uh.edu/provost/policies-resources/student/grade-exclusion/.

How will S/NCR affect eligibility for UHin4?

For grades of Satisfactory, course credit is awarded and counts toward the credit hour accumulation required to remain eligible for UHin4. Courses in which NCR is selected will not be given credit and will not count toward UHin4 requirements. More information regarding UHin4 requirements can be found at: https://uh.edu/provost/students/new-coogs/uhin4/index.

What is the impact of choosing S/NCR on academic standing?

Academic standing is based on GPA, and grade options should be selected carefully to maintain good academic standing, avoid being placed on academic probation, or avoid being placed on suspension. Grades of S or NCR do not impact GPA and grade points awarded for letter grades can be found at: http://publications.uh.edu/content.php?catoid=34&navoid=12493. Students are encouraged to use a grade calculator to determine the impact of letter grades earned on term and cumulative GPA. Grades of S or NCR should be considered when earned letter grades will result in probation or suspension. A helpful grade calculator can be found at: https://www.bauer.uh.edu/UHGPACalculator/. More information regarding the academic standing policy can be found at: http://publications.uh.edu/content.php?catoid=34&navoid=12452.

How will choosing the S/NCR option affect Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid? Are there any other financial aid implications?

Students who choose the S/NCR option will not have those courses counted in the qualitative (GPA) component of our satisfactory academic progress policy. Only the quantitative component (attempted hours) will be impacted for determining students’ satisfactory academic progress. Students who are already on an academic plan for financial aid purposes must maintain the requirements of that plan, which are earning a GPA of at least 2.25 for each semester on the plan and successfully completing each course attempted; therefore, any student on an academic plan, who chooses the NCR option will not be meeting the requirements of their plan and will lose financial aid eligibility.

How will S grades will affect prerequisites for medical school, nursing school, and other health professional programs?

Pre-Health students should carefully decide whether to keep the letter-grade they receive for courses based on information provided by the health professional programs in which they hope to apply. While some programs have decided to accept Pass/Satisfactory grades for pre-requisites completed during the pandemic, this policy has not been universally adopted and many are still indicating a preference for letter-grades. It is possible that applicants with letter-grades in pre-requisites courses will remain more competitive compared with those using Pass/Satisfactory. Students may strongly consider selecting Satisfactory if they receive a C or lower in the course. Students are strongly encouraged to contact our office and their major advisor with questions before making a final decision. Read the Pre Health Advising Center page for more information https://uh.edu/pre-health/covid-19-updates-phac/

My question isn't listed here, who do I contact?

Email grading@uh.edu with any further questions you might have.

Interim Graduate Grade Policies

(updated April 10, 2020 to include all 2020 summer sessions)

Due to the unique and unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Houston is implementing an interim policy for graduate grades.

  1. The Interim Graduate Grade Policy applies to all graduate students in courses offered during Spring 2020 Sessions 1, 4, 5, and 6 as well as the 2020 Summer Sessions. The policy will be reviewed for continuation through future terms if necessary.

  2. Many professional programs have complex issues associated with the proposed grading modification due to accreditation, licensure, or state-by-state regulatory organizations. Professional students in the Law Center, Colleges of Pharmacy and Nursing are exempt from this policy. Other professional programs may request exemption from the policy with permission from the Dean of the Academic College and from the Dean of the Graduate School. Professional students should check with their program for further assistance and guidance.

  3. All graduate courses for the applicable sessions will be graded according to their current grading scheme.

    a. If the current grading scheme is Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U):

    i. Grades of Unsatisfactory (U) will automatically convert to No Credit Reported COVID19 (NCR).

    ii. Grades of Satisfactory (S) are awarded course credit while no course credit will be awarded for a grade of No Credit Reported COVID-19 (NCR).

    b. If the current grading scheme is Letter Grade:

    i. Students have the option to choose either a Letter Grade or a Satisfactory/No Credit Reported COVID-19 (S/NCR) grading scheme on a course-by-course basis.

    ii. Under the Satisfactory/No Credit Reported COVID-19 (S/NCR) grading scheme, grades of C- and higher are considered Satisfactory (S) and are awarded course credit. No course credit will be awarded for a grade of No Credit Reported COVID-19 (NCR)

    iii. Details regarding the process through which students choose their grading options will be communicated by the Office of the University Registrar by April 27, 2020.

  4. The deadline for students to choose their grading option is 5:00 pm on May 18, 2020.

  5. Satisfactory (S) and No Credit Reported COVID-19 (NCR) grades are not factored into term or cumulative GPA.

  6. Students are strongly encouraged to contact their academic advisor to discuss questions regarding the impact of their grade option choice on academic matters. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid should be consulted to discuss the impact of their grade option choice on financial aid matters.

  7. The deadline for completing course requirements associated with Incomplete grades due in spring 2020 is extended to August 10, 2020. Students should contact their instructors to discuss plans for completing course requirements by that date. The incomplete deadline extension will be reviewed for continuation through future terms if necessary.

  8. Grades received as the result of academic honesty sanctions will be handled consistent with the University of Houston Graduate Academic Honesty Policy.

Probation Extension Policy

Modifications to the Promotion and/or Tenure (P&T) Process 

  • Guidelines on extension of the probationary period due the impact of COVID-19 will apply to both tenure track (TT) and promotion eligible non tenure track (NTT) faculty members.

  • With support of their department chair and/or dean, a faculty member may request an extension based on the negative impact of the current COVID-19 situation on their timely progression towards promotion and/or tenure. Such a request can be made under existing provisions in the current P&T and NTT policies for “Extension of the Probationary Period for Emergencies”.

  • Extension requests related to the negative impact of COVID-19 on their timely progression towards promotion and/or tenure may be made by a faculty member at any time during their probationary period up until March 1 of the year in which their mandatory review is scheduled.

  • For those faculty members currently scheduled for mandatory review beginning in fall 2020, the March 1, 2020 deadline for the Provost to review such requests has been extended until May 31, 2020.

  • Current policy allows up to two, one year extensions of the probationary period for birth or adoption of a child. Faculty members who have already received two previous extensions for birth or adoption of a child may request an additional extension based on the negative impact of the current COVID-19 situation on their timely progression towards promotion and/or tenure.

Interim Student Course Evaluation Policy (effective April 9, 2020)

Due to the unique and unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Houston will implement an interim policy for administering and utilizing the results of student course evaluations. The intent of the interim policy is to ensure that faculty members continue to receive useful quantitative and qualitative student feedback on the courses they have taught during this period. In addition, the interim policy is designed to account for the impact of the sudden and unforeseen transition to online instruction, while also acknowledging that standard indicators of student learning and faculty teaching performance might be skewed or un-calibrated under the current circumstances.

The interim policy is effective immediately and will be implemented as follows:

  1. The Interim Student Course Evaluation Policy applies to all faculty members teaching courses offered during the Spring 2020 semester including Sessions 1, 5, and 6, the 2020 Summer Mini Session, and the Summer 2020 semester including Sessions 1 through 4. The policy will be reviewed for possible extension through future terms if necessary.

  2. This policy applies to student course evaluations administered in all undergraduate, graduate and professional program courses taught by all instructors of record regardless of faculty title during the time period this interim policy remains in place.

  3. The following steps will be undertaken as it relates to student course evaluations under the interim policy:

    a. Online student course evaluations will continue to be administered for all classes using the processes and procedures already in place for each department and college. Student course evaluations for the spring 2020 semester will be available for students to complete online beginning April 13, 2020. Student course evaluations for future terms will be available to students following the previous calendar.

    b. Once completed, student course evaluation results will be available online for review by the individual faculty member. The faculty member will have the opportunity to review their evaluation results (both quantitative scores and qualitative comments) at the individual course and/or section level and to then make a choice on whether or not to retain the results of the evaluation or to mask a particular evaluation in the official record.

    c. Student course evaluations masked in this fashion by the faculty member shall be excluded from being part of any future faculty performance review processes, such as the Faculty Annual Performance Review (F-APR) process and the promotion and/or tenure review process.

    d. As such, if an individual faculty member chooses to mask a student course evaluation, the content of such a masked evaluation shall not be used or included as part of any future performance evaluation of the faculty member by any departmental, college or university committee, or administrator.

    e. Faculty members can find instructions on how they may mask their student course evaluations here.

    f. In order to specifically acquire student feedback on remote learning in a course, the following four additional questions will be added to all student course evaluations beginning with evaluations for courses taught during the spring 2020 semester. The four questions are as follows:

    i. The curriculum changes made to the course during the remote learning period enabled me to continue learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. (scale of 5-Strongly Agree to 1-Strongly Disagree)

    ii. The online learning tools used in this course were sufficient for me to continue learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. (scale of 5-Strongly Agree to 1-Strongly Disagree)

    iii. The assessment methods (e.g., tests, quizzes, assignments) used in this course during the COVID-19 pandemic were appropriate. (scale of 5-Strongly Agree to 1-Strongly Disagree)

    iv. Please share feedback on your course experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your comments on different aspects of the course (such as lectures, virtual sessions, online discussions, course communications, assignments and testing methods) will be appreciated. (free response)


Blackboard and online learning platforms

Faculty can receive technical support and learn best practices for Blackboard and other online learning tools at instruction.uh.edu

University Information Technology

713-743-1411 UH IT Tech Support Help Desk

Hours: Monday - Friday 8am to 8pm.

Faculty Engagement and Development

The FED has transitioned its face to face faculty development programming to both synchronous (i.e. Teams, Zoom, live streaming) and asynchronous (video recordings, pod casts, SharePoint site) remote platforms that can all be accessed through the FED home-page website. In addition, the FED already maintains and curates a wide range of on-line faculty development resources and programing on its website that remain available to faculty members at any time.  

These events and resources include: 

  • The FED Events calendar where faculty can virtually join face to face programing originally scheduled for April (e.g. Mastering the Craft of Teaching, Advancing Pedagogy, CITE Info Hours, Frontiers in Research Collaboration, DOR-led presentations, etc.), or interact with their faculty colleagues in a less formal setting during our virtual morning Faculty Bagels sessions held twice a week.  
  • The FED Resources SharePoint site provides access to a variety of on-line resources and information available to faculty members concerning remote access, on-line instructionresearch and scholarship resources, informational videos and podcasts, working and schooling from home, work-life balance and self-care, ideas on how departments or groups of individual faculty members can organize and manage virtual face to face events for faculty such as departmental meetings, “water cooler” conversations, drop-in “happy hours”, music concerts, etc.  

The FED staff remain available remotely to answer any questions that faculty members through Zoom, Teams or voice call. The FED can be contacted via email at FED@central.uh.edu. Contact information for individual FED staff members can be accessed here.  

Faculty are encouraged to use all the resources the University offers to maintain physical and emotional well-being. 

 

Virtual Office Hours

Below are several dates for Virtual Office Hours to answer any specific questions:

Office Hours for Faculty Affairs, Mark Clarke, Thursdays, 3 - 3:30 p.m.
Office Hours for Undergraduate Education, Teri Longacre, Fridays, 1-2 p.m.
Office Hours for Graduate Education, Sarah Larsen, Fridays, 10-11 a.m.