"W" Grade Information
The grade of "W" is misunderstood by many students, staff, and faculty.
In reality, "W" is truly not a grade. A "W" represents the fact that a student is no longer actually in the class - they have withdrawn themselves, been withdrawn by Registration and Academic Records, or during the grading process the instructor of the class indicated that the student never attended the course. The following items all stem from this special status of a "W".
Instructors do not give and cannot enter a grade of "W" for a student. The web grading program does this. Instructors enter the indicator of a student's attendance as Never Attended. When that button is checked, the program fills in the LDA and a grade for the student. The grade filled in was determined by Minnesota State Mankato administrators. It was decided to have the program fill in a grade of "W", when the student never attended. The instructor is not giving the student a grade of "W", they are instead giving information concerning the student's attendance.
Instructors cannot use a grade change form to change a "W" to any other grade. It is also true that instructors cannot use a grade change form to change any other grade into a "W". This is because a grade of "W" has more to do with registration than it does grading. Both of the situations just described fall into the category of registration appeals. In the first case, a student would have to appeal to have the class put back onto their record before any grade could be given. In the second case, the student would have to appeal to have the course withdrawn from their record. Both of these situations would take place between the student and Registration and Academic Records, probably starting at the Registration Help Center.