Feb. 26 advising seminar to provide answers to grade forgiveness questions

February 17, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The next noontime advising session on Feb. 26, “Supporting Student Success Through Important Policy and Procedural Changes,” will cover Penn State's new policies regarding grade forgiveness and academic difficulty and recovery. All faculty and staff are welcome to attend.

David Smith, associate dean for advising and executive director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies, said advisers at Penn State have been asked about numerous specific scenarios related to the new grade forgiveness policy approved by the University Faculty Senate.

Officially H-2 of the Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (AAPPM), grade forgiveness allows undergraduate students to retake a class and remove a D or F grade in the calculation of their GPA. There’s a number of stipulations to H-2, such as allowing a maximum of 12 credits of grade forgiveness, restricting grade forgiveness to only current students and not those who have already earned their degree, and keeping D or F grades on transcripts even after GPA has been recalculated. Grade forgiveness also does not automatically reverse other processes related to GPA, such as academic standing or a prior decision about entrance-to-major requirements.

Presenting at the noontime webinar, scheduled for 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Feb. 26, will be Smith and Christine Masters, assistant dean for academic support and global programs in the College of Engineering.

Smith and Masters are inviting attendees to submit questions ahead of time using this link. The session can be attended in person at the University Park campus in 118 ASI Building, or through Zoom at this link.

The Administrative Council on Undergraduate Education (ACUE), charged with implementing relevant Faculty Senate policy such as grade forgiveness, recently discussed several specific questions at the Feb. 6 ACUE meeting and came to a consensus on some specific scenarios.

  • Course suffixes must match in order to qualify for grade forgiveness. For example, Math 140B cannot be used to forgive a previously earned grade in Math 140.
  • A single grade can only forgive one prior attempt. For instance, a student who earns an F in a first attempt at a three-credit course, a D in a second attempt and a B in a third attempt can only use the B to forgive one of the previous grades.

Also covered at the noontime advising seminar will be Academic Administrative Policy I-1: Academic Difficulty and Recovery. This policy changed the way a student approaches and enters into academic warning and outlines the steps for recovery and getting back into good academic standing with the University. The policy emphasizes a formal and documented outreach from the enrollment unit to the student. It also provides for students to enter into academic warning even if they have fewer than 18 credits, a change from previous rules. The overarching goal of academic warning is to ensure that proactive outreach and support is provided to students to better ensure that students are successful at Penn State.

Last Updated February 21, 2020