App State approves enhanced pass/no credit option for fall 2020

Students can choose for either the letter grade to show on their transcript in a class, or they may opt-in the pass/no credit option this semester. The option was proposed by SGA's Academic Affairs Committee in October.

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Students can choose for either the letter grade to show on their transcript in a class, or they may opt-in the pass/no credit option this semester. The option was proposed by SGA’s Academic Affairs Committee in October.

Xanayra Marin-Lopez, Multimedia Editor

A pass/no credit option policy, similar to the spring semester’s, is under way for the fall. 

When students receive final grades on Dec. 14, they can choose for either the letter grade to show on their transcript, or they may opt-in the pass/no credit option.

On AppalNet, students will see a drop-down menu beside each of their classes, allowing them the opportunity to select “Pass/No Credit.”  Professors then determine whether the student’s work is worthy of either a “Pass” or a “No Credit” for that class. 

This grading system is a choice: students can opt in on a course-by-course basis. 

After the SGA’s Academic Affairs Committee proposed the measure in mid-October, the SGA Senate approved the policy Oct. 22. 

It was then presented for approval to the Undergraduate Academic Policies and Procedures Committee Nov. 4.

Student Body President Michael Davis said he is happy about the decision and that it was SGA’s goal to pass the policy. 

“I truly believe that this semester has been more difficult than the spring, so I know this policy will empower people to make the best choices for themselves academically,” Davis said.

Differently from spring 2019, the Dean’s and Chancellor’s list recognitions will be awarded. This semester, students who earn letter grades for at least 12 hours of coursework and meet the appropriate GPA requirements will be eligible.

A note will be added to the bottom of all students’ academic transcripts indicating that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major disruption to fall academics. 

The deadline for students to opt-in the pass/no credit grading system is Dec. 18, the Friday after final grades are posted.

Bailey Gardin, SGA Director of Academic Affairs, said that the pass/no credit option can help students as they navigate hardships such as COVID-19 campus presence, Chad Dorill’s death, racial inequality, the 2020 election and more. 

“I just felt like this semester, it was hard to be anything but a student,” Gardin said. “At the end of the day, there were a lot of personal, mental and physical health obstacles that persisted.”

UPDATE:

On Nov. 5 Mark Ginn, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, sent a campus-wide email with more details on how students can use the pass/no credit option, along with changes to withdrawal and grade forgiveness policies.

Starting on Nov. 16, students can make decisions about each of their courses via Appalnet.

Students may withdraw from any course until Dec. 18 at 11:59 p.m. The course will show as a “W” on their transcript in lieu of a grade letter. Withdrawals do not count as career drops. Students will not receive credit for the course and it will not count against their GPA. 

Decisions for each course can be changed until Dec. 18.

In the email, Ginn said that students should discuss their options with their academic advisor. He warned students of future consequences to their degree progress, career or graduate educational plans, and licensure or certification requirements. Withdrawals from courses can also come with financial aid consequences.

Classes will continue in the same manner that was planned for the rest of the semester,” Ginn wrote in the beginning of the email. “Students are strongly encouraged to work to complete all courses as strongly as possible. 

On Appalnet, grades for those classes that students choose to opt-in the policy with will be recorded differently. A “P” for “pass” will show before the letter grade a student receives. Fails will be recorded as “NC.” This makes all the possible grades P A, P A-, P B+, P B, P B-, P C+, P C, P C-, P D+, P D, P D-, and NC for courses in which students opt-in. 

Transcripts will either show P or NC.

Faculty are unable to see what students have opted into the pass/no credit for their courses until after Dec. 18 when grades are final.

The pass/no credit option only applies to those taking undergraduate courses. Undergraduate students in an Accelerated Admissions program will not be allowed to opt in.