AP&P committee denies pass/no credit for students, final decision to provost

The Office of the Provost officially announced that pass/no credit will not be offered for the spring 2021 semester.

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The Office of the Provost officially announced that pass/no credit will not be offered for the spring 2021 semester.

Jake Markland , Associate News Editor

The Academic Policies and Procedures committee voted against implementing a pass/no credit system for the spring 2021 semester Monday, making it more unlikely that students will have this option again.

This serves as a recommendation to Provost Heather Norris not to implement pass/no credit this semester. Ultimately, Norris has the final say to enact the policy, which students have had as an option throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Xanayra Marin-Lopez

As of April 20, the AP&P committee has not sent a formal recommendation to the provost, according to App State spokesperson Megan Hayes. 

“(The Academic Policies and Procedures Committee) expresses its appreciation for the efforts of the students involved with the proposal and their professional representation of the student body,” said Tanga Mohr, a member of the committee, in an email. 

The AP&P committee, which oversees areas like curriculum and graduation requirements, consists of 15 faculty and two students, both of whom SGA elects. 

Several faculty members on the committee surveyed their departments to better understand the support for a pass/no credit policy. 

Approximately 60% of the faculty in the Hayes School of Music responded to the survey, unanimously against the policy. In contrast, the Department of Anthropology received a 50% response rate, unanimously in favor of the policy. 

The University College Academic Advising and Orientation Center, which advises students who have not declared their majors, also weighed in. These departments stressed sympathy for students who have struggled throughout COVID-19 while also showing concern over the logistics of the policy. 

Among the concerns was the lateness of the decision; the policy being unfair to students who have already dropped a class this semester; conflicts that may arise with financial aid; and, like in past semesters, students using the policy when it would’ve been more advantageous for their GPAs not to use it. 

Many respondents to the College of Arts and Sciences survey echoed similar concerns and didn’t believe pass/no credit should be instated, while others emphasized the toll COVID-19 has had on students, making the argument that pass/no credit should be implemented again. The CAS received a 30% response rate with 32.5% in favor and 67.5% opposed. 

Brayden Benkiel, one the two student members on the AP&P committee, said he is disappointed in the result of the vote. 

“You can’t normalize a pandemic,” Benkiel said. “I sincerely hope the provost recognizes that and chooses to pursue a pass/no credit policy.”

SGA and faculty senate have both passed bills this semester in support of the pass/no credit option. 

Jay Gibson, the other student member, said he cannot predict the provost’s decision. However, he still believes there is a strong case for the policy that SGA can make to Norris before the final announcement. 

“Students are feeling the full force of the worst pandemic in a century right now,” Gibson said. “That’s not something you get used to after a couple semesters.” 

A post on the Facebook page App State Classifieds from a member of the SGA academic affairs committee, Aaron Carpenter, has garnered some attention. In the post, which has nearly 150 reactions and over 20 comments, Carpenter encourages students to email Provost Norris directly to voice their concerns. 

This story was updated April 20 at 10:05 p.m.

Norris has not made a final call on pass/no credit. Check back here for more information.