If, for reasons beyond the student’s control, a student is prevented from completing a course within the prescribed time, the grade in that course may be deferred with the concurrence of the instructor as described in University Policy 48-40. These requests may be made due to illness (their own or a family member’s), injury, death in the family, traumatic life events, natural disasters, or similar circumstances. For non-emergency situations, students must contact you before the beginning of the final exam period to make this request.
It is up to your discretion as the instructor to grant a request. There are positive and negative reasons for granting a DF. Positive reasons for the student is time to cope with the situation that prompted the DF and to finish the course without losing money or academic credit. However, the student must complete the work independently without the support of a cohort or much attention from the instructor. A negative effect for the instructor is a carry-over of grading responsibilities once the student turns in his or her delayed assignments.
It is important to work with the student and to establish a communication plan and a clear schedule for completion. When a deferred grade is granted, it is best practice to have a written agreement with the student regarding remaining work to be completed and the timeline for turning in the work. A deferred grade that is not changed to a letter grade by the instructor before the end of the 10 weeks following the grade reporting deadline will automatically become an F. If you provide an opportunity for a student to complete missing work after the semester, their performance must be recorded as a deferred grade. Please do not enter an actual grade that you plan on changing later when the student turns in their work. Once an actual grade is posted, it should only be appropriately updated in LionPATH to correct a mistake made in its calculation, not to account for additional work. Deferred grades should be for unusual circumstances; they should not be common practice for students who are simply under-performing or not attending throughout the semester.