Pass/Not Pass

April 20, 2020

ASU Board Enacts "Pass/Not Pass" Option For Spring Semester 

- This option is only being used for ASU undergraduate students for the Spring 2020 semester -

- The new policy gives ASU students a choice; they may also opt to receive regular letter-grades just as before the pandemic -

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.”

ABOUT THE PASS/NOT PASS CHOICE

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 GPAs lowered because of challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly academic transitions they have undergone while learning online.

ASU ADVISES STUDENTS TO CONSULT WITH ACADEMIC ADVISERS BEFORE CHOOSING

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. 

ASU'S PRESIDENT SAYS IT'S THE STUDENT'S CHOICE

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 www.alasu.edu/passnotpass and clicking on the “Students” icon. The form will be posted by 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. 


Pass/ Not Pass Information

Alabama State University Board of Trustees has adopted a Pass/Not Pass grading option for undergraduate courses impacted by the transition to virtual instruction.

This decision was made after consultation with several stakeholder groups, including the Office of Academic Affairs, the Council of Academic Deans, and the Faculty Senate.

Details on the Pass/Not Pass (P/NP) grading option:

  • The P/NP option applies to undergraduate courses offered throughout Spring 2020. 
  • Courses taken for P/NP grades during Spring 2020 will count towards curricular, major, academic progress, and graduation requirements.
  • Grades of P and NP will not be factored into a student's grade point average.
  • Faculty will grade students as usual during the semester, and submit the letter grade (A, B, C, D, F, or I) to the Office of Records and Registration following the standard submission process.
  • Students can select the courses which they choose to receive a P/NP designation.  If a student desires to keep the letter grade, there is nothing that needs to be done.
  • This can be applied to any or all courses changed to virtual instruction. Graduating seniors must submit between April 21-April 24, 2020.  All other ASU students must submit between April 27 or when grades are posted and submitted by May 15, 2020, by submitting the Pass No Pass form located on this webpage.  If no form is submitted, the letter grade will be recorded for the course.
  • This policy does not apply to graduate level courses/programs.
  • This policy excludes courses with requirements of licensing bodies.
  • This policy excludes courses with requirements of programmatic accreditors.
  • There may be other courses excluded as deemed necessary by the university. 

 


Pass/ Not Pass Procedure

  1. All student grades (according to the current grading system) will be posted in Hornets Web at the culmination of the Spring 2020 semester. 
  2. Graduating seniors must submit between April 21-April 24, 2020All other ASU students must submit between April 27 or when grades are posted and submitted by May 15, 2020, by submitting the Pass No Pass form located on this webpage.
  3. Students are advised to receive consultation from their advisor and office of financial aid before designating the Pass/Not Pass option.
  4. Students will have the option to keep the letter grade earned or select the Pass/Not Pass option in approved courses. 
  5. Students must submit the form via the https://www.alasu.edu/student webpage.
  6. The Pass/Not Pass Option Form results will be routed for review to the Academic or Program Advisor. 
  7. Students are responsible for selecting the Pass/Not Pass options by the deadline. 
  8. Students can maintain the letter grades earned without selecting the pass/ not pass option.
  9. Students are responsible for monitoring their myasu email accounts for communication related to Pass/Not Pass approval. 

Pass/ Not Pass Course Exclusion

 

 

Pass/Not Pass FAQs

What changes were made in the grading for Spring 2020 semester courses?

Due to the challenges brought about due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the Spring 2020 semester, students will have the option of selecting a Pass/Not Pass grading method instead of the standard letter grade method, with certain exceptions. The letter grade method remains the default grading method if a student does not select the Pass/Not Pass grading option.

I receive VA benefits, will selecting Pass/Not Pass have an impact on my funding?

Please contact the VA office prior to making a decision about Pass/Not Pass. Please consult with Mr. B. K. Haynes at bkhaynes@alasu.edu or Ms. Karen Roberson at knroberson@alasu.edu.

I receive Federal Financial Aid, will selecting Pass/Not Pass have an impact on my funding?

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid to consult with an advisor prior to making a decision about Pass/Not Pass. finaid@alasu.edu

I am a graduate student enrolled in a graduate program, am I eligible for the Pass/Not Pass Option?

No. The Pass/Not Pass Option is only for Undergraduate students. 

Do I have to select the Pass/Not Pass grading method for each of my courses individually?

Yes, if students elect not to maintain the assigned grade, Pass/Not Pass is done on a course by course basis.

Can I change my mind if I make the decision to choose a Pass/Not Pass grading option for a particular course?

No. If a student selects the option for a Pass/Not Pass grading method for a course, that decision is not reversible and is deemed final by the institution. We encourage students to thoroughly assess the impact of opting for a Pass/Not Pass option prior to making their decision, because the decision cannot be changed or altered.

When can I choose to opt out of the letter grade method and select a Pass/Not Pass grading method?

Students can opt out of the default letter grade method and select the Pass/Not Pass method as follows.

Graduating seniors must submit between April 21-April 24, 2020. 

All other ASU students must submit between April 27 or when grades are posted and submitted by May 15, 2020, by submitting the Pass No Pass form located on this webpage.  If no form is submitted, the letter grade will be recorded for the course.

I am a student athlete. What do I have to do to opt for Pass/Not Pass grading?

Please contact Kevicia BrownAssistant Athletic Director for Academic Services before you submit your request at kbrown@alasu.edu 

I am an international student. What do I have to do to opt for Pass/Not Pass grading?

Please check with your academic advisor.

I am an international student with an F or J visa. Can I change the grading method to Pass/Not Pass?

International students with an F or J visa are able to change the grading method of their courses (where available), but must remain enrolled full‐time and continue with remote teaching until the end of the semester. International students should consult with Dr. Linwood Whitten (lwhitten@alasu.edu ) for advising, because rules may vary.

Will courses taken Pass/Not Pass count towards my Curriculum requirements?

Yes. In Spring 2020, any course taken Pass/Not Pass in which a P is assigned will satisfy the relevant curriculum requirement, if eligible.

Will courses taken Pass/Not Pass count towards my major or minor?

Yes. In Spring 2020, any course taken P/NP in which a P is assigned will count towards completion of that course in satisfying a requirement for a major or minor, if eligible.

If I take a class as pass/not pass, how does that impact my grade point average (GPA)?

A class taken as Pass/Not Pass does not impact your GPA. The course credits earned from the P/NP class, assuming you receive a P grade, will count for the purpose of meeting your degree credit requirements.

What if I change my mind after I select the Pass/Not Pass option?

We encourage students to thoroughly assess the impact of opting for a Pass/Not Pass option prior to making their decision, because the decision is irreversible.

How will this show up on my transcript?

 

You will see either a P for Pass or an NP for Not Pass. Neither grade affects your GPA. 

What if I am doing well in a course, should I select the Pass/Not Pass option?

This is a personal decision based on how you think your performance will be affected moving forward. If you are doing well in a course, then receiving a letter grade can improve your GPA overall. Please consult with your academic advisor.

What if I am doing well in course, and I want to keep my letter grade?

You do not have to do anything. 

Will I still be able to register for summer courses with a P/NP grade?

Yes, you can register for the Summer 2020 (online courses) or the Fall 2020.  Please consult with your academic advisor for course recommendations.

Will courses taken Pass/Not Pass affect my ability to graduate this semester?

In order to meet the requirements for the baccalaureate degree at ASU you must have a GPA of 2.00 or better. So, if you need a letter grade in order to improve your GPA in order to graduate, you may want to maintain your letter grades. Please consult with your academic advisor.

I want to go to graduate/law/medical school. Will taking a Pass/Not Pass in a major class affect this decision?

If your future plans involve graduate school, please consult with your academic advisor before making this decision. We encourage students to thoroughly assess the impact of opting for a Pass/Not Pass option prior to making their decision, because the decision is irreversible.

What should I do if I am already on academic probation?

If you are already on academic probation, then electing the Pass/Not Pass option in one or more courses might have the effect of not improving your GPA sufficiently. If you are doing well in your course(s) then letter grades will give you the opportunity to improve your GPA and possibly come off probation. For the Spring 2020 semester only, if you choose the P/NP option and receive all Ps, or a combination of Ps and letter grades with C or above, then ASU will automatically extend your probation for the subsequent semester.

What if I am a SAP student who needs to make academic progress for the semester?

If you are currently a SAP student who is served by the ACES office, then electing the Pass/Not Pass option in one or more courses might have the effect of not improving your GPA sufficiently. If you are doing well in your course(s) then letter grades will give you the opportunity to improve your GPA to meet the SAP probation requirements.  Additionally, electing Pass/Not Pass will affect your completion rate. For more information on how Pass/Not Pass will affect your financial aid SAP status, please contact Dr. Ronda Westry at rwestry@alasu.edu or (334) 229-5304.

How will my instructor know that I have made a Pass/Not Pass decision?

Instructors will not know what you have decided. Faculty and instructor will enter final grades in HornetsWeb for all students. For students who are opting for the Pass/Not Pass grading option, please submit the Pass/Not Pass form as instructed. We encourage students to contact their academic advisor and thoroughly assess the impact of opting for a Pass/Not Pass option prior to making their decision, because the decision is irreversible.

If I withdrew from a course earlier in the semester, can I be reinstated to the course and opt for a Pass/Not Pass grading method?

No. ASU will uphold all academic integrity standards.  Due to rules surrounding our accreditation standards, we are unable to approve requests to retroactively change prior decisions.

How do I select the Pass/Not Pass grading method?

If you want to select the Pass/Not Pass grading method for one or more of your courses, you can elect to do this directly by using the Pass/Not Pass Petition Form. The form must be submitted from the student myasu.alasu.edu email account. Please follow the directions for submission.   

What constitutes a Pass grade (i.e. what would end up being a Pass if I opt for the Pass/Not Pass grading method for a particular course)?

The general rule for undergraduate courses, as provided in the Undergraduate Catalog is that a “D” and "F" will be Not Pass (NP). Grades of "A" "B" or "C" can be equitable to a Pass (P).  Please check with your advisor.

Are there any courses for which I can’t select a Pass/Not Pass grading method?

The courses that are excluded and that may not be taken as a P/NP will be provided. These decisions are made by the deans, and might occur, among other reasons, due to:

This policy excludes graduate level courses/programs. 

This policy excludes courses with requirements of licensing bodies.

This policy excludes courses with requirements of programmatic accreditors

I have an outstanding balance on my student account. Will I be able to make the Pass/Not Pass selection?

Yes

Can I withdraw from a course now?

No. The last day for course withdrawal for the Spring 2020 semester was February 28, 2020.

Does withdrawing from a course or courses result in a refund?

No. There will be no refunds given to students based on a withdrawal from any number of courses (including full withdrawal from the semester.)

What effect would a withdrawal have on my financial aid?

A withdrawal will have the same effect on a student’s financial aid as before this change to all the student to select the Pass/Not Pass grading method. However, there may be some important changes coming from the federal government in financial aid rules.

What should I do if I have experienced hardships with the lack of technical equipment (laptop, computer, iPad, Smart devices, or Internet Services?

Students should communicate with their instructors about their extenuating circumstances surrounding their inability to complete the missing assignment(s) and work out a way to complete the work in the allowable time period if permitted.

What should I do if I have additional questions?

Students should email pnp2020@alasu.edu.

If my letter grade is a D or F, and I select NP (Not Pass), will I have to retake the course?

Yes you will have to retake the courses as NP does not fulfill the program requirements of the curriculum.  Please contact your advisor about retaking the course(s).