Academic Senate votes in favor of Pass/No Pass classes

Students may have the opportunity this semester to take any class they chose for a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) notation and not receive a letter grade.

On Tuesday Sept. 15, the Academic Senate voted unanimously in favor of suspending the requirements for the P/NP grading policy for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period in California.

According to the resolution proposed by the Academic Senate, if the suspension of the “P/NP provision of Administrative Procedure 4230” is approved by the Board of Trustees, most students will have until Oct. 2 to decide to take any class of their choice as P/NP. Classes in the second eight-week session have until Oct. 30.

Before this becomes a possibility for students, the resolution proposed by the Academic Senate must be voted on for approval by the Board of Trustees.

President of the Academic Senate and associate professor of biology, Darcie McClelland, explained that this is a way to help students in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We realize that a lot of students didn’t sign up to learn virtually and they are facing a lot of challenges that they didn’t anticipate because of that, so this is just a way to hopefully alleviate some of the stress off of students,” McClelland said.

Vice president of academic technology and professor of English, Peter Marcoux, said that by allowing students to take classes P/NP can be helpful to relieve pressure from them during these unusual circumstances, but it also comes with its draw backs.

“Some schools might not accept a P/NP grade to transfer. Students have to be aware that there could be implications down the road and so that’s why it’s imperative they speak with a counselor,” Marcoux said.

Even if taking any class P/NP remains an option for all students, faculty does not recommend it for everyone.

Not all schools accept classes taken with P/NP grading criteria. Therefore, McClelland says students should talk with a counselor before deciding to take a class P/NP because it can affect students admissions into other schools.

“If you are looking to go to med school or law school or competitive business or things like that you are going to need those grades for your entire undergraduate experience to be a competitive applicant,” McClelland said.

Ali Ahmadpour, full-time Professor of art history and visual culture and senator for the behavioral and social sciences, advises that students should think twice, talk with their teacher, and consult a counselor before they decide to take a class P/NP.

“I usually do not advise my students to go for that [P/NP]. If I see they have some issues and problems I can help them and I can work with them and I can tell them they can do it,” Ahmadpour said.