Spring 2021 Academic Policy Changes: New Drop Deadline and COVID Grades

This massmail: https://massmail.illinois.edu/massmail/918565528.html was sent recently to describe changes to spring semester academic policies.

Here are the TWO big changes for Spring 2021:

1. Drop deadline is the LAST DAY OF THAT CLASS (not finals) for your classes. This is March 19 for first 8-week classes and May 5 for full-semester and 2nd 8-week classes. If you drop a class by this deadline, it is erased from your official transcript (no W).

NOTE: if dropping a class means you would go below full-time status, you need permission from LAS to do that. If you are an international student with a student visa, and you are not in your first or last (last=graduating) semester as a UIUC student, then you cannot be a part-time student unless you have a valid medical reason or you give up your visa/immigration status for now.

NOTE: If you have financial aid, you need to check with the Financial Aid office to see whether you lose (or must repay) some or all of your aid if you go below full-time status (12 credits).

NOTE: The deadline to sign up for grade replacement, if eligible and you are retaking a class, is also the new extended drop deadline.

NOTE: March 26 is the deadline to add a second 8-week class, no extensions.

2. Instead of Credit/No Credit, there is a sign-up for COVID grades after final grades come out:

          • Covid Pass = grades of D- and higher 
          • Covid No Pass = grades of F *that were not a result of a sanction for academic integrity violation*

NOTE: Students who receive an F in a class as a result of an academic integrity sanction will keep the F grade and it will be included in the GPA calculation. So–don’t cheat, plagiarize, or help another student to do so.

NOTE: Sign-up for COVID grades will happen May 22-27 only.

NOTE: Covid Pass grades will count for major, minor, and general education requirements.

Advisor Comments:

This COVID Pass thing looks like an amazing offer–you can pass any class with just a D- grade!! However, keep in mind:

      • you may need mastery of the class in order to succeed in later classes
      • future employers and graduate schools may interpret a COVID pass as being a C or D grade, so that students who keep A, B, and even C grades may be more competitive candidates than you if you choose a COVID grade
      • COVID pass has no effect on GPA, so grades you earn in earlier and later semesters will have a larger impact on your GPA–especially grades that are not good.
      • professional schools (medical/health/law) may not accept courses required/considered for admission which have a COVID pass grade (check with Pre-Law advising or with Career Center for pre-health advising)
      • Finally, Credit/No Credit is GONE this semester. The only choices are the regular course grade or a COVID pass/no pass.


This website will be updated soon with more details and an FAQ:


(Note: as of this writing, it shows Spring 2020 but not Spring 2021.)



Kanna Podcast: Enrichment Opportunities for ENGL Department Students

Click the image above to check out the latest Kanna Podcast episode where Anna Ivy and Keshia Atkins discuss enrichment opportunities in research available for English department students!

See links below to find out more about the opportunities discussed in the episode:

Illinois Office of Undergraduate Research | University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Honors & Research | English at Illinois

Re:Search—the Undergraduate Literary Criticism Journal at the University of Illinois | English at Illinois

End-of-Break Round Up

kevin T. Early Memorial scholarship for first-year poets

The Creative Writing Program would like to announce the 2020-2021 academic year’s Kevin T. Early Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is made possible from an endowment by William and Donna Early in memory of their son, a poet, Kevin T. Early. It awards $2000 to a student with freshman standing at UIUC for the 2020-2021 school year. The deadline for application is January 28, 2021.

For consideration, students must submit 5 poems via email to John Dudek, the Associate Director of Creative Writing at: jdudek4@illinois.edu. The complete manuscript should not exceed 5 pages (so 1 poem to a page). Submissions should be attached to the email as .docx (Word) files.

The subject line of the email should read: “EARLY PRIZE SUBMISSION: Last name.” The body of the email should include your name, address, phone number, e-mail, UIN, and the titles of your poems. Your name is not to appear on the entry file itself. 

Secondary education minor application due by Feb 1

The Spring application for Secondary Education Minor will close February 1st. If you are a Sophomore who has completed all the pre-reqs for applying and have above a 2.5 in all GPAs, you should apply at this time.

The application can be found  here: https://education.illinois.edu/programs/information-for/ui-students-applying-to-the-minor

For questions and concerns, please set up a meeting with Amanda Heinsman, Academic Advisor to Secondary Education Minors, using this link Appointments for Secondary Education Advising – Online scheduling (oncehub.com). Also, Amanda will be happy to help with application essays if you would like someone to look over them.

Apply for NCSA’s SPIN Internships by Feb 15!

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has a history of nurturing innovative concepts, and some of the best ideas have come from highly motivated, creative undergraduate students. The Students Pushing INnovation (SPIN) internship program was launched to provide University of Illinois undergraduates with the opportunity to participate in hands-on research and contribute to interdisciplinary projects covering focused research areas in Culture and Society, Earth and Environment, Bioinformatics and Health Sciences, Material and Manufacturing, Data and Computational Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, and Digital Agriculture. The SPIN program is now accepting applicants for the Summer 2021 session. To apply, please visit our website, spin.ncsa.illinois.edu, and click on the “Mentors” tab to learn about the summer projects, and then click on the “Apply” tab. The applications are due February 15, 2021.

SPIN Summer 2021 session information:

  • Program dates: June 7 – July 30, 2021
  • Work 20 hours/week for 8 weeks
  • SPIN interns earn $12.50 per hour and are paid as Undergraduate Hourly employees
  • Any UIUC undergraduate student in good academic standing
  • No restriction on year of study or major
  • International students are eligible

COVID-19 note: NCSA adheres to the remote-work protocol mandated by the University of Illinois until the restrictions are lifted. SPIN interns will be allowed to work remotely this summer if NCSA continues following the remote-work protocol due to the pandemic. Otherwise, the SPIN program will be considering case-by-case applicant circumstances, and interns may be allowed to work remotely.

Upcoming HPRC Events

Sign up for one or more of the following zoom events through Handshake; for more info and links to each event see https://humanitiesprc.web.illinois.edu/.

Jan 21 at 4 pm – Senior Series: Where and How to Start that Job Search. Get some tips for getting started, knowing where to look for job openings, making use of campus resources (including virtual career fair). We’ll have a brief presentation, followed by Q&A.

Jan 26 at 4 pm – 6 pm – Focus Group: Seniors. Meet up with us and fellow students to ask questions, compare notes, get advice (no presentation — just friendly chat!)

Jan 27 at 4 pm- 6 pm– How to Maximize LinkedIn and Handshake. Get tips for curating your profile, making connections, and using these platforms to get hired.

Illinois Business Council Virtual Info Night
Business Council is a professional organization on campus, welcoming to students in ALL majors, that focuses on developing well-rounded individuals to explore their passions in any given career.  They will be holding a virtual information night is on Monday, January 25, 2021, at 7:30 pm.  See https://illinoisbusinesscouncil.com/contact/ for more information and a zoom link. 
ILC Spring 2021 Training Opportunities-

Online Blended Inclusion i-Program
In a blended format (online self-paced learning and facilitated discussion via Zoom), participants will investigate concepts such as equity, equality, diversity, inclusion, and privilege. To learn more about this i-Program, go to http://leadership.illinois.edu/i-programs.
Participants must fully complete the self-paced module at least five (5) days prior to participating in the Zoom discussion session.
• Registration Opens- January 25th
• Registration Closes- February 19th
• Compass Modules Due- February 22nd at 11:59pm
• Zoom Session (mandatory)- February 27th from 10am-12pm

Online Blended Ignite i-Program
In a blended format (online self-paced learning and facilitated discussion via Zoom), participants will investigate concepts such as systems thinking, coalition building, and approaches to leading change initiatives. To learn more about this i-Program, go to http://leadership.illinois.edu/i-programs.
Participants must fully complete the self-paced module at least five (5) days prior to participating in the Zoom discussion session.
• Registration Opens- February 19th
• Registration Closes- March 11th
• Compass Modules Due- March 14th at 11:59pm
• Zoom Session (mandatory)- March 19th from 10am-12pm

Online Integrity i-Program
In a self-paced format, participants will investigate their personal values and the intersection of ethics and integrity through online activities. To learn more about this i-Program, go to http://leadership.illinois.edu/i-programs.
Students will complete guided activities, watch videos, and respond to case studies. This module takes about 5 hours to complete.
• Registration Opens- March 19th
• Registration Closes- April 21st
• Compass Modules Due- April 24th at 11:59pm

ILC Workshop Wednesday Series
The ILC offers a workshop series on Wednesdays throughout the semester open to all Illinois students. Students can participate in any of the workshops whenever the workshop is being offered. These workshops are being facilitated in real time and are being offered online only. The link to the Zoom meeting will be shared to those who registered prior to the workshop. See https://leadership.illinois.edu/workshops for details. 

We CU Community Engaged Scholars Program

The We CU Community Engaged Scholars program empowers students to make a positive impact in the community while building their resume/CV and enriching their university experience. We CU honors students for their community-based work and provides them with training, connection to like minded peers, access to service opportunities with partner organizations, and support from We CU program leaders. Scholars will complete all projects individually or as part of a course or group and track their service hours and activities online.

Learn more during an information session at 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 28Register for the info session even if you can’t attend so that you will receive a link to the recording and instructions for joining the program.

Looking for an interesting US Minority Culture Gen Ed? 

Check out CWL  204: US Border Literatures and Cultures with Eric Calderwood!  Exploration of the cultures, experiences, and conditions of people living on and around the borders of the United States. In particular, this semester the course will consider the ways literary and cultural production can help us understand the emergence—and the emergency—of climate change. Through the study of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and film, we will investigate the historical development, present crises, and possible futures of a warming world. Authors might include: Jesmyn Ward, Ben Lerner, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Craig Santos Perez, and Amitav Ghosh.