| by Carlos Vélez

Schools Abroad

Dear Study Abroad Students,

Last Friday, Middlebury faculty voted to implement a Credit/No-Credit grading system at the undergraduate College for the current spring semester. This was done in recognition of the impact of the pandemic on our students and faculty. In consultation with the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Registrar, we have decided that the optional Credit/No-Credit grading will also apply to all students attending the Middlebury Schools Abroad as well as to Middlebury students participating in externally-sponsored programs. The Pass/D/Fail option in place will no longer be available.

We are very conscious of the fact that since U.S. colleges and universities moved to remote learning in early March, students have been subjected to a frequently changing landscape of rules and expectations with regard to their education. In the past few weeks, Middlebury and other colleges and universities have modified their grading systems to account for the difficulties encountered by students as well as faculty in adapting to this new reality. We know that many other schools have moved in the direction of accepting grading outcomes other than traditional letter grades, including Pass/D/Fail, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, and Credit/No-Credit for courses taken during the spring of 2020.

We appreciate the fact that changes may at times increase the level of anxiety students are already experiencing in the pandemic era. We hope that this particular change will do the opposite. In a Pass/D/Fail system such as the one we announced for the Schools Abroad in my letter of March 17, a passing (P) grade has no impact on a student’s overall GPA. That is not true for F and D grades, which would be counted in the GPA calculation. In other words, a Pass/D/Fail system can have either no impact or a negative impact on a student’s GPA, whereas in a Credit/No-Credit system, neither option affects a student’s GPA.

Middlebury students attending our Schools Abroad or enrolled in externally sponsored programs will be treated exactly the same as students attending the undergraduate College.

The majority of students from other colleges and universities attending the Schools Abroad also will be able to take advantage of the Credit/No-Credit system in exactly the same way. We believe that the majority of your institutions will accept the Credit/No Credit option. We have reached out to most of your home institutions to confirm this. However, we advise you to reach out to them directly to determine any restrictions they may have (for example, the maximum number of non-standard grades allowed). Please let us know if your school informs you that Credit/No-Credit is unacceptable. The Office of the Registrar at Middlebury College is available to communicate directly with the registrar at your home institution should they have any questions or need clarification.

I would also like to inform you that, to be more consistent with the College’s approach, we have set the deadline for invoking the Credit/No-Credit option to be the last day of class of your study abroad program. We have also extended the deadline for revoking the Credit/No-Credit option to the last day of the exam period of your study abroad program. These dates will differ by program. The opportunity to revoke your grading option was not available to students enrolled in externally sponsored programs prior to this extension, but these students will now have this option.

Students enrolled in the Schools Abroad should communicate by email any decision to invoke or revoke their decision to the director of their School Abroad. Students studying on externally sponsored programs should communicate any decision to invoke or revoke their decision to Stacey Thebodo at sthebodo@middlebury.edu.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to be in touch with the Office of International Programs at internationalprograms@middlebury.edu.

Best wishes,

Carlos Vélez
Dean of International Programs