ASU Board of Trustees Approves "Pass/Not Pass" Policy!

News Date
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- By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU.

On April 20, the Alabama State University Board of Trustees (BOT) held a video-meeting of its full board members and voted to enact a new "pass/not pass" grading option for ASU students only for the Spring 2020 semester.


President Quinton T. Ross Jr. said that after much deliberation by the campus stakeholders, including officials in the office of Academic Affairs, ASU's academic deans, the Faculty Senate, and the office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, the “pass/not pass” policy was developed and presented to the Board of Trustees for their consideration. The Board’s favorable vote allows students the choice to have their Spring 2020 grades classified as "pass/not pass."

"I want to thank the ASU Board of Trustees and our faculty and staff for their vision, commitment and patience as we move forward in a difficult time to continue providing quality instruction to our students," Ross said. "ASU is not alone in offering this option to its students, as other institutions of higher education across the nation are offering similar grading options during this unsettling time.”


ASU's interim assistant provost for Academic Affairs, Dr. Tanjula Petty, explained that the “pass/not pass” option was developed for the benefit of the students. 

"Having the 'pass/not pass' option at this unprecedented time will provide flexibility to students within an ever-shifting set of circumstances, which are beyond their control," Petty said. "Faculty and instructors will continue to assign letter grades at the end of the Spring 2020 academic semester and students will be able to view their letter grades in the online Hornets Web before requesting to convert their letter grades to the new ‘pass/not pass’ choice," Petty explained.

Petty said the "pass/not pass" option minimizes the risk of students having their GPA's lowered because of challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly academic transitions they have undergone while learning online.


Petty emphasized that the University strongly recommends that students speak to their academic advisers to discuss the intended and/or unintended consequences of choosing the ‘pass/not pass’ grade option before making a decision.

Students who select the "pass/not pass" grade option should know that receiving a "pass" grade will not count towards their numerical grade point averages (for purposes of scholarships and otherwise); however, all courses with a "pass" grade will satisfy the curricular, major, continuation, semester hours and graduation requirements.

"We strongly encourage all students to consult with their ASU academic advisers first because once they make a decision, ASU will not be able to reverse the action," Petty stated. 


Students who do not choose the new "pass/not pass" option simply do not have to do anything, and they will continue to receive a letter grade just as they have before.

"It's the student's choice. We have done this because the success of our students is paramount to us at Alabama State University," Ross said. "This new option is a choice we offer to our undergraduate students so they may best complete their courses and move forward towards their ASU degrees." 

Student’s may access the “pass/not pass” form by visiting and clicking on the “Students” icon. The form and the "pass/not pass" policy will be posted on the website by 5 p.m. on April 21.

Graduating seniors must submit their forms by April 24.  All other ASU students must submit their forms between April 27 and May 15, 2020.