ice of the Registrar

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Gaudino Option Guidelines

There are TWO steps to the Gaudino Option. The first step must be completed during DROP/ADD:

Step 1) you need to designate a course with the "OPTION" at the beginning of the semester during drop/add

Step 2) you choose to "INVOKE" the option after you receive the grade in that particular course

It's important to read the overview and guidelines that follow because there are limits to how and when you can use the option and also special rules that relate to year-long courses.

Overview and Guidelines for the Gaudino Option:

  • This initiative attempts to encourage students to engage in courses of interest beyond their area of focus or“expertise”—dare yourself to enroll in challenging but intriguing courses that you would otherwise not take!
  • You can declare a G-option at the beginning of the semester for courses taken at Williams, starting as early as the spring semester of your first year and as late as the fall semester of your senior year. You can sign up for at most one G-option course per semester, and at most two in your undergraduate career.
  • You cannot invoke the G-option on a course used to satisfy divisional or other college requirements (EDI, Q, W).
  • You cannot invoke the G-option for any course that fulfills major or concentration requirements unless it is the very first course you take in that major or concentration.
  • You will have up to 30 days after grades are posted to elect to invoke the G-option for a course from the previous semester. If your course grade is above a certain floor and the instructor of the course approves, then the course grade will be changed to G on your transcript and the GPA will not be affected by the original grade. The course will count toward graduation, but the transcript will reflect that you declared the course to be an intellectual stretch.
  • Any course can be taken with the G-option unless the course description in the College Bulletin explicitly states otherwise.
  • This is a 5-year experiment that the faculty is offering to all Williams students. Use it or not as you wish; however, don’t abuse this invitation from the faculty to explore uncomfortable worlds that interest you. If this option is abused, then this initiative will go away. Enjoy it!

Declaring the Gaudino Option during Drop/Add

  • What's the difference between declare and invoke? Declaring a Gaudino option must be done at the beginning of the semester; invoking the option to change your A-E letter grade to G is done after semester grades are posted. Invoking the option at the end of the semester is only available if you declared the option for a course at the beginning of the semester.
  • You can declare a regular course at Williams as one of your two G-options any time during the drop/add period of any semester for which you are eligible to declare one.
    • Second-semester seniors are not eligible to declare the G-option.
    • If you have already declared two courses with the G-option in past semesters, you may not declare. It doesn't matter if you invoked the option in the past or not; you are limited to two courses total declared.
  • You cannot un-declare the G-option after the end of drop/add.
  • You cannot change which course is declared with the G-option after the end of drop/add.
  • Year long courses are a special case. If a student elects to declare a hyphenated course then s/he has three options once the *second* of the two courses is completed:
    • (a) take no action (and thus the two grades stay on the transcript);
    • (b) invoke the option for the first of the two courses but not the second (ie, only the second grade stays... thinking: I was uncomfortable at first, but then I conquered the discomfort);
    • (c)invoke the option for *both* courses (both grades go away). 
    • Note that a student cannot keep the first course grade and G-option the second one---that is not allowed!  Also, no matter which choice the student selects (a), (b), or (c), this only counts for *one* of his/her two allowable options in his/her college career. The implication of this:
      • First-year students cannot declare the second half of a year-long course as Gaudino since they were ineligible to declare the option for the first-half in their first semester.
      • Seniors may declare the first-half of a year long course as Gaudino and may invoke the option, but may not declare the second half as Gaudino.
      • Sophomores and Juniors who did not declare the Gaudino option on the first half of a year-long course cannot declare the Gaudino option on the second half of the course.

Invoking the G-option after Grading

  • What's the difference between declare and invoke? Declaring a Gaudino option must be done at the beginning of the semester; invoking the option to change your A-E letter grade to G is done after semester grades are posted. Invoking the option at the end of the semester is only available if you declared the option for a course at the beginning of the semester.
  • After grading is complete for the semester, the Registrar's Office will e-mail students with a declared Gaudino course. In reply, you may ask the Registrar’s Office to invoke your option and change your A-E grade to a G grade.
  • You will keep the grade you earned in that class if you don't reply to the Registrar that you wish to invoke the G-option.
  • To apply the option, your course grade has to be no lower than the lesser of: (a) your current GPA minus 0.67; or (b) the grade of B-. In addition, the registrar will ask the instructor of the course to assert that you were “intellectually present.” If either of these conditions is not met, then the grade you earned cannot be removed. “Intellectual presence” implies that you have attended and participated in all the class meetings and that you have done all the required work. Some instructors might have other requirements. You should feel free to meet with and interact with your instructor to get the most out of the experience.

 


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