As COVID-19 brings physical interactions to a halt, the Pierce College Academic Senate met on a Zoom conference call with faculty raising concerns about grading and UC and CSU requirements, on April 6.
Senate President Barbara Anderson addressed how students are able to now withdraw from courses by only using excused withdrawals and informs how the deadline for students to request a pass and no pass grading scale has been extended.
“For some students, that’s a good option because originally it was only available for courses in the catalog but the state chancellors and CSUs have approved even major prep and golden four can be pass/no pass,” Anderson said.
Anderson adds how students need to be mindful of eliminating a letter grade and opting for the pass and no pass scale because the UC’s still haven’t released information about their new requirements or if they will have any.
As for the CSU’s, Transfer Center Director Sunday Salter explained how the CSU Chancellor’s Office will allow students to transfer with 48 units as long as they complete the rest by the end of summer. However, this change is only for Fall 2020 transfer students.
Prior to COVID-19, students needed to complete all their units and the “golden four” by their spring semester but in light of COVID-19, the CSU’s made an accommodating decision to allow students to complete their requirements by summer.
“We want to send a message to Pierce students that we are still here for you if you want to stay and complete your courses with us,” Salter said. Adding how the CSU’s are also allowing students to defer their enrollment to the Spring 2021 term.
Salter said how the UC’s are only temporarily removing the cap pass and no pass classes which means students will not be penalized for opting for credit or no credit prerequisite courses.
The difference between CSU’s and UC’s is that each UC campus will release their own new change or requirement in response to COVID-19. Salter said she is still waiting for UCLA’s requirements since most Pierce students want to transfer to UCLA.
Kinesiology professor Sabrina Prieur raised a concern about if students opt for the pass no pass, it could hurt their chances for a school that doesn’t accept pass or no pass, unlike UCs and CSUs.
“In the best interest of the students, a letter grade would be better unless they end up with a poor letter grade, and not to go with the pass no pass option because we don’t know what all universities will accept,” Prieur said.
As a response to this concern, Sunday Salter agreed and explained how a letter grade would be a better option for those unsure of the university’s requirements.
“When they have multiple options in front of them, we always have to go with the most restrictive and encourage students to go with a letter grade when we are unsure of the answer,” Salter said.