The FAQs below provide information for students who are interested in learning more about the alternate grading model available for the fall 2020 term.

The University Senate has voted to allow alternate grading options for students in the fall 2020 term as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 on student wellness. All students will now have the option of choosing how their passing grades are officially recorded for fall term courses.


About the alternate grading option

How does the alternate grading option work? 
For the fall 2020 term you may select either a standard letter grade or an alternate grade (P — Pass or CP — Conditional Pass) for each of your courses with passing grades. P and CP grades are excluded from GPA calculations.

Selections can be made using the ‘Request Grade Options’ screen in your Connect@MtA account.

You will not be able to select your preferred grading option until a final grade is recorded for the course. Normally, faculty submit final grades before the University closes for the holidays on Dec. 22.

You are only required to submit a selection if you would like to change the way your grade will automatically appear on your transcript:

  • All D grades (D-, D, D+) will be automatically recorded as CP on your transcript unless you request a standard letter grade. A CP represents a non-continuing pass; the course does not fulfill prerequisite requirements.
  • All letter grades of C- or above will be automatically recorded with a standard letter grade unless you request an alternate grade of P. A P is equivalent to a grade of C- or above and indicates the course fulfills prerequisite requirements.
  • Grades of F cannot be changed. No credit is earned, and the failed grade will impact GPA calculations.

What is the deadline to select your preferred grading model?
The deadline to select grading options is Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. You will have until the end of the day — 11:59 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time (AST) — to make your selection.

At any time before the 11:59 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time (AST) deadline on Jan. 11, you will be able to alter your choices. After this date, your decision is irrevocable.

Can I choose different grading options for each of my courses?
Yes. You will be able to make selections on a course-by-course basis for those courses with passing grades (grades of D- or higher). Grades of F cannot be changed.


Understanding grades in the alternate grading model

What does P (Pass) mean?
A pass means you earned credit for a course and achieved a grade that meets prerequisite requirements. Courses with notations of P are excluded from your GPA.

What does CP (Conditional Pass) mean?
A conditional pass means you earned credit for the course, but it may not be used to fulfill pre-requisite requirements. Courses with notations of CP are excluded from your GPA.

How do grades of P, CP, and F in the alternate grading model correspond to those in the letter-grade model?

  • P (Pass) —  a P is equivalent to a grade of C- or above and indicates the course can be used to fulfill prerequisite requirements.
  • CP (Conditional Pass) —  a CP grade is a D range grade: D-, D, D+. This is a non-continuing pass, which means the course does not fulfill prerequisite requirements.
  • F (Fail) —  a grade of F is the same in both models. No credit is earned, and the failed grade will impact GPA calculations

How does choosing the alternate grading model option affect pre-requisite courses?
A grade of P in a course means the course can be used as a pre-requisite.   A grade of CP means the course cannot be used as a pre-requisite.

Can a CP (Conditional Pass) grade be used to fulfill program requirements?
Yes. While a CP cannot be used to fulfill prerequisite requirements, it does indicate you have passed a course and earned the credits, so it can be used to satisfy degree and program requirements.

I am repeating a course to improve a poor/failing grade. How could an alternate grade of P or CP affect me?
All attempts at a course, including the grade earned, remain on your transcript. In the event that a course is repeated and graded using the alternate model, the grade of P or CP will be excluded from Cumulative Grade Point Average calculations. The failed attempt(s) that it replaces will also be excluded from the Cumulative Grade Point Average calculations (or the Session Grade Point Average if the course is repeated within the same academic session).

You will still earn credit for the course (graded P or CP) assuming you have not already received credit for it.


GPA

How does choosing an alternate grade of P or CP in a course or courses affect my GPA?
P and CP grades are excluded from the calculation of GPA.  A grade of F will impact the GPA calculation and indicates that no credit was received.

If grades of P or CP don’t affect my Grade Point Average (GPA), how is my GPA calculated?
Please refer to academic calendar regulation 10.9 for specific details about how GPAs are calculated.

Courses graded P or CP are excluded from the grade point average. Only courses with a standard letter grade, including failed grades of F, will factor into calculations.

There are three GPA calculations on your transcript:

  • Cumulative GPA (CGPA): The weighted average for all courses taken throughout your degree
  • Session GPA (SGPA): The weighted average for all courses taken in a single academic year (spring/summer term, fall term, and winter term).
  • Term GPA (TGPA): The weighted average for all courses taken in a single academic term.

A grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points obtained on all courses (credit hours x grade points) by the total number of credit hours attempted.

Grade points are the grade point average equivalents of the letter grades assigned to courses (see academic calendar regulation 10.9.3 for a full listing). For example, the grade point equivalent of an A+ is 4.3. The total grade points obtained on a three credit course with a grade of A+ would be 12.9 (4.3 x 3 = 12.9.)

For example, suppose a student earned the following grades in the Fall 2020 term:

  • POLS 1001 (3cr): A- (GPA equivalent 3.7)
  • PSYC 1001 (3cr): CP (Excluded from GPA)
  • ENGL 1201 (3cr): P (Excluded from GPA)
  • PHYS 1051 (3cr): F (GPA equivalent 0.0)
  • HIST 1611 (3cr): B+ (GPA equivalent 3.3)

To calculate the Term GPA:

  • Determine the total grade points earned in the term:
    • (3 x 3.7) + (3 x 0) + (3 x 3.3) = 21
     
  • Divide the total grade points by the total credits attempted:
    • 21 grade points ÷ 9 attempted credits (POLS 1001, PHYS 1051, HIST 1611)
     
  • Term GPA = 2.3

Letter grade vs alternate grade model

Why would I select the letter-grade model?
Maintain the standard letter-grade model if you achieved desired results in a course or if you would prefer a grade that accurately reflects your work in the course. You may also wish to select standard letter grades if you will be applying to educational programs following graduation and you are uncertain how another institution will assess alternate grades.

Why would I select the alternate grading model?
An alternate grading option provides you with flexibility to maintain a desirable GPA if you are not satisfied with your course results.

Is there someone who can assist me in making this decision?
You can reach academic advising services by e-mail to advisor@mta.ca. Academic advisors can help you understand academic regulations and provide information and guidance as you make academic decisions.


Graduating students

Are there any aspects of this selection that I should keep in mind if I am trying to graduate in May 2021?
As long as you achieve a P or CP in a course, the credits will count toward your degree.

How could choosing an alternate grading model option affect my ability to apply/be accepted into graduate and professional programs?
While several other universities in Canada have adopted some form of compassionate grading for the fall 2020 term, many others have not. Adoption of P or CP grades may affect your eligibility for admission to professional or post-graduate programs. If you are thinking of a specific program after graduation, you should connect with that institution to discuss the impact of these grades. Your transcript will include a brief note that the P/CP grades were adopted due to COVID-19.

I am applying to graduate school or a professional program. Can I obtain an official transcript before Jan. 11?
Official transcripts that report fall term course results will not be issued until after Jan. 11. We will issue transcripts as soon as possible after all fall term grading selections have been officially recorded on transcripts.

The Registrar’s Office is obligated to release official records and your transcript will not be official until the selection process for alternate grades is complete. For this reason, we cannot consider exceptions.

If you are required to submit a transcript sooner, we recommend using the unofficial transcript available to you in your Connect account.


Scholarships

How will scholarship renewals be handled?
In order to maintain a renewable scholarship, the following conditions will apply:

  1. You must remain enrolled in 30 credits of courses for the fall and winter terms combined.
  2. You must complete at least 21 credits with standard letter grades over the fall and winter terms.
  3. Your GPA for scholarship purposes will be calculated based on your best 21 credits for courses with standard letter grades.

All existing GPA requirements to determine eligibility for both the University General Scholarship and renewal of our Entrance Scholarships remain the same.

Most of our scholarships have a GPA requirement of 3.7. Some specific scholarships are different and we will not change the minimum GPA requirement for these named scholarships.

I am registered with the Meighen Centre. How will my scholarship renewal be handled?
Students with scholarship accommodations provided by the Meighen Centre should email accessibility@mta.ca with any questions.


How to select the alternate grading model

The deadline to make a selection is Jan. 11. What time that day will the selection period end?
You will have until the end of the day —  11:59 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time (AST) — to make your selection.

Can I change my mind after I make a selection?
You will be able to alter your choices at any time before the 11:59 p.m. AST deadline on Jan. 11. After this date, your decision is irrevocable.

Do I have to make a selection for each course?
No. You are only required to submit a selection if you would like to change the way your grade will automatically appear on your transcript:

  • All D grades (D-, D, D+) will be automatically recorded as CP on your transcript unless you request a standard letter grade.
  • All letter grades of C- or above will be automatically recorded with a standard letter grade unless you request an alternate grade of P.
  • Grades of F cannot be changed.

Where do I make my selections?
Selections can be made using the ‘Request Grade Options’ screen in your Connect@MtA account.

Instructions are provided at the top of the page. Please note, you will not be able to select your preferred grading option until a final grade is recorded for the course.

The selection screen lists your courses with a drop-down menu where you can make a selection for each course with a passing grade:

Grading option graphic

How can I confirm if my selection was recorded properly?
You will receive an acknowledgement e-mail to your Mount Allison e-mail accounting confirming your selections. You may also log back into Connect and view your selections on the ‘Request Grade Options’ screen. Please review and confirm your selections prior to the Jan. 11 deadline. No further changes are permitted after midnight that day. Your selection will not be officially recorded on your transcript until after the Jan. 11 deadline.