Abby Epstein – News Editor
Last semester’s pass/ fail option has officially been extended into the fall semester, allowing students to decide whether they want a letter grade or not.
According to Deborah Weiss, a professor in the communication disorders department, the policy is for graduate students and undergraduate students.
“What it does is it extends the pass/fail deadline-that had passed already-to Dec. 15 which is the last day of finals. It enables students with the consultation of their adviser to request a pass fail for elective courses, LEP courses and major and minor course under certain circumstances,” she said.
There will be a list of major and minor classes posted by each department chair that will tell students what classes they will not be allowed to take as a pass/fail option.
“The reason is a lot of departments have certain grade requirements for their courses or grade requirements for certain prerequisite courses, so that is why it has been left in the hands of the department for only their majors and minors,” said Weiss.
Dec. 15 is the last day of finals and for students to decide if they want to use the pass/fail option. Weiss said this date was chosen because many students should have a general understanding of what their final grade will be in a class.
“This semester, we thought by putting this in place pretty early on letting students know ahead of time the cutoff date and that we could hopefully avoid students that they have not been informed early enough,” said Weiss.
Some students believe the pass/fail policy is a good option to have available, with the different circumstances that many students are dealing with both on and off campus.
“I think the pass/fail is a good temporary option with COVID going on especially for new students because new students could have trouble adjusting from going to high school to going to college and figuring their time management,” said interdisciplinary studies major Juliet Hryniszyn, a senior.
Speical education major Laura Jones, a frehman also sees the benefits to pass/fail and would use the policy is she was not doing good in her classes.
“I think it is a good thing to be put in place if it’s not a grade you want see on your report card [transcript] like a D or something and you would not have to worry about that,” said Jones.
There are benefits to deciding to make a class a pass/fail, but along with that comes some limitations.
“Some of the benefits are that if a student it not doing well in a course it will be reflected for some students it may be more positive, to let’s say, see a P then opposed to seeing a D,” said Weiss. “This is all about student perception and what students are planning to do with their transcripts in the future.”
Weiss said one of the limitations if a student is looking to go to grad school that some graduate schools may not be as happy to see a “P” on a transcript instead of a letter grade.
“So, it really depends on what the student’s future plans are, and what the students whole perception is on what a respectable threshold is,” said Weiss.
Hryniszyn said she personally would not take the pass/fail option, Even with having online classes, she is still doing well. She also understands why some students may choose to take the option.
“I would understand completely because I was struggling in classes and if I didn’t have the capability of doing online classes and teaching myself, then I would consider taking the option if I was struggling in a class,” said Hryniszyn.
The final decision on the pass/fail option comes down to the students and what they think would give them the best outcome depending on their future.
“So, it’s a highly personal decision but one that we really encourage to talk over very thoroughly with their advisors,” said Weiss. “With the advisors knowing the program, knowing or being able to discuss the student’s future plans can really talk these things through with the student and make that decision.”