The Emergency Academic Committee (EAC) implemented a new midterm grading system in response to COVID-19. Starting this semester, students will receive a midterm grade in each class which will give them an indication of their progress.

College Registrar Ericka Peterson explained midterm grades and how they will work this year.

“The Emergency Academic Committee (EAC) implemented mid-semester grading for fall 2020. Mid-semester grades will not be factored into the GPA, nor will they be reflected on the academic transcript,” Peterson said. “The mid-semester grade is a measure of academic progress at the mid point of the semester.”

Students have a range of opinions about midterm grades. Gape Lepak ’23 said that it feels like high school all over again.

“I didn’t think much of it then, and I certainly don’t think much of it now. There are more important things to worry about anyway,” Lepak said.

Some students, like David Howard ’21, expressed more feelings of stress about the process.

“With the adjusted schedule for this semester, I was surprised by how quickly midterms came up. I think it’s hard to judge where everything stands with grading,” Howard said.

Grace Lanasa ’21 is another student who feels overwhelmed. “Without fall break it feels like we’re running a marathon that I am not trained for,” Lanasa said. “I’ve personally noticed that my classes have been more demanding. I get why midterm grades were introduced but my professors aren’t easing up on work load, and I don’t know how I am expected to cope.”

However, there are also students who feel more prepared to face the new midterm grading system. Katelyn Lannom ’22 is one example.

“I honestly am a fan of midterm grades this semester,” Lannom said. “In the past, some of my professors wouldn’t have anything in the grades on Moodle until the very end of the semester, so it was hard to gauge how I was doing in the course. It feels like a nice halfway checkpoint so I have more concrete feedback.”

According to Peterson, for midterm grading to continue, a proposal would need to be presented to the Curriculum Committee for review and endorsement. There is currently no plan to continue midterm grading after this semester.


lindah2@stolaf.edu