Message from the Dean: Update on CR/NCR for A&S undergraduate students

March 16, 2020 by A&S News

Dear Arts & Science Undergraduate Students,

I have heard from many of you today requesting further clarity on our announcement, which stated:

  • The deadline to select Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR) for a course offered this term has been extended; students will be allowed to see their grades before selecting CR/NCR. This applies to both S and Y courses and includes courses for which this normally does not apply (e.g. First Year Foundations Seminars, Research Opportunities Program, etc.).
  • Each student can select an unlimited number of courses for CR/NCR.

Following this announcement, we received many questions, suggestions, and concerns from students as well as a formal letter from the Arts and Science Students’ Union (ASSU). 

Today we have had the opportunity to consult meaningfully with our students and academic partners, including the Colleges and the Rotman School of Management (which jointly offers the Rotman Commerce program). Based on this consultation, we have decided that Arts & Science will permit students to use all courses (S or Y) completed in the 2020 Winter Term with a final status of “CR” towards program requirements. This decision aligns with measures taken during the 2015 CUPE 3902 labour disruption.  

Please recognize that there are important implications for students to consider (e.g., how the course will be used towards program entry assessment and for graduate school applications or other subsequent study). These important implications regarding CR/NCR along with other updates will be provided on the COVID19 – Student FAQs; please review these FAQs and seek academic guidance as needed from the following offices prior to selecting CR/NCR:

I ask for your patience as we update our COVID19 – Student FAQs in real time as the situation evolves.  It’s also important to know that our technical systems, including ACORN, are not ready for us to make all CR/NCR changes announced today. We will update you when the required technical modifications have been implemented so you can avail yourself of these options. 

I know that this decision to implement further changes to CR/NCR is not supported by all students, and I certainly understand that some students will be disappointed with this decision. To those students, please know that I recognize your concerns and I ask for your understanding during this unprecedented situation. 

In addition to suggestions about CR/NCR, students have also made thoughtful suggestions regarding how instructors should proceed with their courses. Your instructors are not only the best experts in the content of your courses, but also in their delivery. Accordingly, they are also the best experts to make decisions about how to modify your courses to assure that the key learning outcomes are met. We therefore respect and support their freedom to make decisions that maintain academic integrity and fairly assess student learning in accord with University and Faculty marking practices and policies (see B:1:1.3). 

Last, I want to re-iterate part of my communication to you yesterday: that I understand that this is a very difficult time for many of you. If you are feeling distressed, please use the resources available to you on the U of T directory of health and community contacts, including 24/7 counselling services. In an emergency, call 911.

Take care, and I’ll be in touch with further information when it arises. 

Best Regards,

Melanie A. Woodin
Dean, Faculty of Arts & Science
Professor, Department of Cell & Systems Biology
University of Toronto