Course Passing Rate

Questioner: Pali Sen

Posted to: Mark Workman, Provost & Vice President Academic Affairs

Currently the passing rate for a course is calculated based on the number of students who get a C or above out of the total number of students remaining in the class after the add/drop date.  The calculation includes the students who have withdrawn from the class within the University approved withdrawal deadlines.  Is this practice justified?  Students who withdraw appear to be unprepared and why should they be therefore counted at the end of the class?  Can a department opt out from the withdrawal option for its classes?


Written Response from Jeff Coker, Dean for the Office of Undergraduate Studies:

Coker, Jeffrey W

Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 8:48 AM

To: Bush, Melissa; Sen, Pali

Cc: Workman, Mark; Jaffee, Marianne; Kuehner, Megan

Subject: FA Question from Dr. Sen

Good morning,

I am writing on behalf of Provost Workman in response to Dr. Pali Sen’s question from the October 6 Faculty Association meeting.  Please include this response in your Q&A section of the Faculty Association website.


Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.



Jeff Coker

Dean, Undergraduate Studies


Normal withdrawals are not counted as part of the pass rate for a particular course.  However, a withdrawal that has an impact on a student’s GPA–“WF” or “FA” (punitive F)-is included in calculation of course pass rate.  The reasoning is that an instructor who records a grade of WF for a student has indicated, at the time of late withdrawal that the student indeed was failing the course.
As such, this should be counted as part of overall course performance.  As grading policy is established by the university, departments may not opt out.  Also, please note that pass rates are calculated as “D” or above” rather than C or higher.

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