Extension granted until April 9
By Atiba Nelson, Staff Reporter
On March 23, Douglas College entered the list of organizations providing relief to individuals during the COVID-19 crisis by extending the winter semester withdrawal deadline to April 9, 2020.
“We encourage students to try and complete their courses for the winter semester, and continue to keep in touch with their instructors,” read the press release on Douglas’ website.
Normally, Douglas College students are eligible to withdraw from courses or from Douglas during the interval between the last day of the second week of classes and last day of the ninth week of classes. Students adhering to the timeline established by the “Course and Status Changes” policy (formerly the “Withdrawal” policy) would receive a W on the transcript.
Although the 25-day extension of the previous deadline of March 15, 2020 provides mild support to students, withdrawal does have some consequences.
“Students can withdraw from winter 2020 courses with a W notation on their permanent record through their myAccount,” states the footnote on the winter 2020 “Dates and Deadline” webpage.
There is no messaging on the webpage on whether an explanation about COVID-19 will accompany the student’s withdrawal notation.
The only description or note for a “W” on a Douglas College transcript according to the Douglas College Grading Policy is “Withdrawal before the official deadline.”
The policy does note that an assigned “W” grade will not be calculated in a student’s GPA.
Douglas joins Simon Fraser University in extending the withdrawal deadline until the end of the semester for students. However, Dr. Jonathan Driver, Vice President Academic and Provost pro tem for SFU also amended the institution’s grading practices for providing some flexibility to students studying during the COVID-19 crisis.
“For the spring 2020 term, after final grades are submitted, students will be allowed to either accept their final course grade or opt for a “P” grade (“pass”), provided they had earned a D grade or higher. “P” grades count for credit and count towards both program requirements and the total credits required for a degree,” stated an email on the SFU “updates” website and sent to all registered SFU students.
A grade of “P” would also fulfil the minimum grade required in a prerequisite course.
Douglas has a similar grade on its grading system. A grade of AEG, which is noted as Aegrotat, can be awarded to students upon approval of the Dean and Registrar when a student is unable to complete the course due to extenuating circumstances.