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Spring 2020 COVID-19 FAQ's Regarding Temporary Changes to Grading Policies

On April 15, 2020, the faculty of Bethel College approved the following changes for the Spring 2020 semester only:

  • Students may choose CR/NC grading for any or all courses taken during the 2020 Spring semester.
    • This policy change applies to courses taken to fulfill requirements for general education.
    • This policy change applies to courses taken to fulfill requirements for a student’s major field of study, minor or certificate.
    • Students intending to major in nursing may choose CR/NC grading in the 2020 Spring semester, but will need to retake any nursing prerequisite coursework to ensure eligibility for nursing admissions and licensure.
    • The choice to switch to CR/NC must be made by 5:00 P.M. on Friday, May 22.
    • The choice to switch to CR/NC will be irrevocable; once it is made, it cannot be changed.
    • The credit hours chosen for CR/NC in 2020 Spring semester will not apply to the provision of the current policy limiting to ten credits the total number of credits a student may take for CR/NC over the course of their academic career. In other words, a student could conceivably accumulate a total number of CR/NC credits of ten plus the total number of credits taken in the 2020 Spring semester.
    • This policy change applies only to the 2020 Spring semester.
    • This policy does not affect the requirement that a grade equivalent to C- must be earned in order to be awarded the designation of “Credit.” (CR on the transcript)
    • This policy change applies only to students. Faculty members may not choose, on behalf of students, to grade all students in a course as CR/NC. In fact, faculty members must be prepared to submit letter grades for every student in a course, since students will be able to choose the CR/NC option after receiving their final grades up to 5:00 P.M. on Friday, May 22.
  • All courses taken as CR/NC or P/F (Pass/Fail) from other regionally accredited institutions for the 2020 Spring semester and transferred into Bethel College will be accepted according to the preceding provisions of this policy change.

Credit/No Credit or Traditional Letter Grading... what is best?


You will be able to select from two options for each of your courses beginning on May 11, 2020 at 9 a.m. until May 22, 2020 at 5 p.m. You may keep a traditional letter grade OR elect a Credit/No Credit grading type (CR or NC will show on your transcript). If you do not want to change your current grading option, you do not have to take any action.

  1. Wait to make your decision until final grades are posted. Decide then.
  2. Talk to your instructor about how you are doing in the class. Could you be doing better than you think?
  3. Consider the future impacts of choosing CR/NC. Talk to your advisor about having courses graded CR instead of a letter grade if you go to graduate school or seek professional licensing. Nursing students need to stay with letter grading.

If you earn a “C-“ or higher, you will get a CR on your transcript. A grade of “D+” and lower will receive a NC on your transcript. If you think you can earn a C- or higher, you may want to not make any changes and stay with letter grading.

If you choose CR/NC, the grade will not be calculated into your grade point average. Only letter graded classes make up the points for GPA.

Academic standing is determined by letter graded classes only.

For Spring 2020 semester only, you are allowed to pick and choose which courses to take as CR/NC to protect your GPA.

If your current academic performance in a class is significantly below your current GPA or you are at risk of not passing the course, you are strongly encouraged to discuss your options with your academic advisor.

No. You will have to retake the course for a letter grade.

Yes, it will but only for courses taken in the Spring 2020 semester. This is a one-time deal.

Yes, it will but only for courses taken in the Spring 2020 semester. This is a one-time deal.

This is definitely something to discuss with your major academic advisor. These changes may be explained in graduate school applications and to future employers as part of the extraordinary circumstances of the Spring 2020 semester COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. Students around the world are facing similar circumstances.

If you have been doing well on exams, quizzes and other graded assignments and are adapting to online learning, you may not want to make any changes. If any of these areas are not going well for you, email your academic advisor to help you make your decision.

This can vary from student to student. Contact Clark Oswald, Financial Aid Director for advice.

Courses that are transcripted as A, B, C, D (including plus or minus) or Credit will count toward the 24 hours needed for continued athletic eligibility. Courses transcripted as F or No Credit (actual grade was a D+, D, D- or F) will not count toward the required hours for eligibility. Contact Lisa Scott, Faculty Athletic Rep for NAIA with questions about eligibility.

On Monday, May 11, 2020 you will receive in your email a link to a Google form online that you can fill out and indicate if you want any classes changed to CR/NC and which classes by listing the course number and title; example:  IDS300 Convocation. You may only fill out this form from your Bethel email and it can only be submitted one time.

No changes can be made once you have turned in your grading type change to the Registrar’s Office. As stated in the policy voted by faculty, “the choice to switch to CR/NC is irrevocable; once it is made, it cannot be changed.” This is a very serious decision so make your choice carefully.

No. Only you, the student, can make this change.

You do have the opportunity to withdraw from a class until April 26, 2020 as stated in prior emails. This will result in a WP (withdraw passing) or a WF (withdraw failing) on your transcript. These grades have no impact on GPA. There is no tuition refund for withdrawing from a class.

Please remember that everyone’s situation is unique, and that the best option for one student might not be ideal for the next. We strongly encourage you to reach out to your advisors and mentors before making a final decision. We are here to support you.

If you have questions, please email your Academic Advisor.

Other contacts:

Amber Celestin, Director of Student Success and Retention

Registrar Marcia Miller

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.