In an email to the student body on Thursday, April 16, Dean of the College Jill Dolan clarified the University’s positions on transcript notation, P/D/F, adjusting final exams, and University-affiliated summer opportunities.
According to the email, the Committee on Examinations and Standing approved the following statement for the spring 2020 term, which will be included on every student’s transcript:
“The Covid-19 pandemic required all classes to transition to remote instruction for the second half of the spring 2020 semester. Grading patterns reflect this disruption, as some instructors moved to a Pass/D/Fail only basis for assessment, and students were permitted to elect the Pass/D/Fail option in all other undergraduate courses.”
Dolan also reassured students worried about the impact of the semester on their graduate and professional school applications, adding that every program to which they apply will “be aware of this semester’s circumstances and will review your application accordingly.”
On the subject of final exams, Dolan stated that the administration has “encouraged instructors to rethink their final assessment practices for this unusual term.”
While some courses “might continue to have timed final examinations on Blackboard or Canvas as scheduled,” others might opt for “take-home” exams. For the latter, Dolan explained the administration has “urged instructors to set time-limits” such that students will know their expectations for how long this work ought to take.
Dolan also stated the administration has “suggested that faculty reweight the proportions by which each assignment will be assessed,” keeping in mind the ways in which courses were uniquely conducted this semester.
The letter urged students to make use of advice on managing final exams from the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, as well as suggestions specific to online exams that have been posted on their website.
With regard to summer opportunities, Dolan announced that all summer on-campus programs have now been cancelled through August 15, 2020 and that all summer on-campus research has also been cancelled.
“Undergraduate students’ independent work research must now focus on remote options,” Dolan wrote.
“Funding administered through the Office of the Dean of the College will be allocated to projects that don’t require travel,“ Dolan continued. These projects may be undertaken by students “in the vicinity of their primary residence.”
Additionally, for this summer only, students may apply to receive credit for pre-approved online courses offered by other institutions.
University-sponsored domestic in-person internships in the home country of the student can be undertaken only if the internship site complies with local and national health and safety guidelines, according to the email.
Remote internships are permitted by the University “where possible, according to individual program guidelines.” This permission does not extend to the International Internship Program, since, as reported previously by The Daily Princetonian, “the equity and integrity of these internships cannot be guaranteed across the board.”
“For those of you who are rising seniors, we encourage you to contact your advisor for guidance about how you might conduct your thesis research remotely,” Dolan added.
The email also reiterated approaching University-wide deadlines: May 4 is the deadline for submission of senior theses, May 15 is the deadline for submission of junior independent work, and May 12 (or Dean’s Date) is the deadline for all other written work, as well as for declaring P/D/F for any class and for dropping a class.
“We’ve left it up to each department whether students will receive a grade prior to the May 12 deadline that they can then decide to cover,” Dolan noted.
Regarding the fall semester, Dolan wrote that students will select fall term classes as previously scheduled. Citing the “on-going health emergency,” she stated that the administration does not yet “know exactly how instruction will be offered in the fall.”
Dolan stated the University “remains hopeful that we’ll be able to teach on campus” in the fall, but they are committed to “delivering our undergraduate curriculum in a way that protects the health and safety” of students, faculty, and community members.
In the final portion of the email, Dolan listed a number of self-care resources available for students and urged students to “pay attention to health and well-being.” The resources include Counseling and Psychological Services, Dillon Gym, which has moved fitness classes online, and the Office of Wintersession and Campus Engagement.
This story is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.