When it comes to final exams, most students have their test prep down. But late postings and miscommunications left some eager students looking for a study guide just to get their final fall semester grades.
In past years professors were required to submit final grades before the turn of the New Year, oftentimes within three business days of the final exam. This year, however, scheduling led the University to extend the usual deadline until Jan. 4, though all professors were encouraged to submit their grades as soon as possible after finals.
Three business days turned into nearly two weeks because faculty and staff were required to take Dec. 28-30 off as part a furlough — a cost-cutting measure that closed services, offices and businesses on campus in order to save money on heating and employee wages.
Despite the additional week and a half to submit the information, a number of students had to wait even longer before finding out their final grades.
Child psychology senior Christine Wieglos spent part of her break working on graduate school applications and ran into issues getting her grades on time. Four out of her five courses did not have their grades posted by Jan. 4.
“My application was due Jan. 7,” Wieglos said, “and they required my cumulative GPA from my junior and senior year.”
Even before Jan. 4, she was surprised that the grades were being posted so late. Wieglos was finally able to see her grades on Jan. 5.
“I would’ve turned my application in earlier though, had I gotten my grades before then,” Wieglos said.
Psychology junior Angie Baggio is yet to receive her final grade for a French course.
A week after the deadline for final grades, Baggio decided to go to One Stop to find out why she still hadn’t received her final grade. Baggio had talked to other students in her class and discovered that none of them had gotten their grades either.
“No one had heard anything from anyone,” she said.
One Stop suggested she contact the Department of French and Italian.
“Their response was that they were aware of the problem, were having trouble getting in contact with the professor and hoped to have it resolved,” Baggio said. She even knew of a classmate who graduated in December and had yet to receive his diploma due to this delay.
“I just think it’s poor communication, especially if they knew about it and weren’t telling us,” Baggio said. “I never heard from anyone until I contacted the department.”
On Wednesday, Baggio was informed that her professor had experienced computer troubles over the winter break. She said it would have been nice to have known ahead of time.
Sue Van Voorhis, director of academic support resources at the Office of the Registrar, was surprised by these reports, given the analysis of grade submissions.
“We’ve actually had a higher percentage of grades turned in compared to last year by over 3 percent on the undergraduate and graduate side,” Van Voorhis said. “On the undergraduate side alone, it was 96.4 percent.”
Van Voorhis was excited about the number of course grades submitted by the due date, and expressed both concern and confusion towards these reports.
Given the statistics, she viewed these situations as examples of outlying circumstances. It is at least apparent that nearly all professors turned in their grades on time and that the holdup didn’t occur in the timeliness of submissions.
Van Voorhis explained that professors had up until midnight on Jan. 4 to post final grades, so grades could have been posted earlier if the professor chose to do so.
Even for those students who had professors who waited until the deadline, the earliest the grades could be seen was the next day, as the grades were uploaded the night of Jan. 4, explaining situations such as Wieglos’.
This spring semester, faculty have until Wednesday, May 18 to submit final grades, which is four days after the final day of exams.
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