Updates were made to this policy on April 1st, 2020.  They are italicized and highlighted in blue below.

March 26, 2020


To:                     VCCS Presidents
From:                Sharon Morrissey, Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic & Workforce Programs
Subject:            COVID-19 Guidance Message 14: Spring Semester 2020 Grading Policy

The COVID-19 emergency, and the resulting closure of college campuses and transition to online instruction, has created access and learning challenges for many VCCS students. To ensure that students’ academic progress is not adversely impacted this semester, Chancellor DuBois is instituting a default Pass/Withdraw/Incomplete grading scale for Spring Semester, with the option to allow students to request their earned letter grades. This grading policy supports students’ progress toward degree requirements and is compliant with federal and state financial aid guidelines.

Policy Guidance:
  1. Courses that have already ended, such as first session 8-week courses, will follow the standard grading scale.
  2. All courses that have not reached the course end date by April 6, 2020, will use the following grading scale:
P+ (plus)
Pass with a grade of “C” or higher
Applies to college transfer, technical education, and developmental courses. A grade of P+ will not impact a student’s GPA.
P- (minus)
Pass with a grade of “D”
Applies to college transfer, technical education, and developmental courses. A grade of P- will not impact a student’s GPA.


A student may withdraw up until the last day of instruction without penalty. See VCCS Policy 5.6.0 and COVID-19 Guidance Message 11.

A faculty member may award a WC for a student who did not initiate the withdrawal. 
Colleges have local flexibility to waive the requirement that students must complete 60% of course competencies and attendance requirements in order to receive a grade of Incomplete. Colleges may allow students up to two semesters to complete the requirements for the course.
  1. Each college must develop internal business processes to allow a student to request his/her earned letter grade/s (A, B, C, D, F). Requests must be submitted by not later than the last day of class instruction (prior to administering the final exam or project for the course). A student may submit only one grade request per course, and the request is not revocable. The college must maintain documentation of a student’s request for earned letter grades.
  2. Presidents are responsible for developing internal business processes, communicating this information to students, and ensuring adherence to this policy guidance. Presidents have flexibility to approve limited exceptions to address local situations that are not addressed by this policy guidance.
Policy Implementation:
  • To the extent possible, System Office IT staff will add the P+ and P- options to all course grading scales for spring semester 2020. For Spring Semester 2020 courses, the grading options in SIS will be A, B, C, D, F, W, WC, I, P+, or P-.
  • A grade of P+ or P- will not impact a student’s GPA, Satisfactory Academic Progress, or Degree Audit processes.
  • A transcript notation for Spring 2020 will document the grade definitions for P+ and P-. For college transfer courses, the P+ grade indicates that the student has completed the course with a grade of C or higher.
  • Awarding a grade of W may impact some students who are receiving benefits, i.e., post 9-11 GI Bill benefits. Colleges should recommend that these students consult with an advisor to discuss opting into the standard grading scale in order to maintain their benefits.
  • This grading policy applies to uncompleted dual enrollment courses. Dual enrollment instructors should report grades as required to the high school. College grades of should be reported following this policy guidance.
  • This grading policy guidance is effective only for Spring Semester 2020.