The Pass/Fail grading system, introduced in the spring semester after the University shifted to remote learning, will continue into this semester.
Lynn Reynolds, Monmouth’s Registrar, reported that the majority of the grades that were requested to be switched to a pass last semester were C grades ranging from C- through C+ with 775 pass requests. There were 26 pass requests for grades A- and above, 471 requests for grades B- through B+, and 323 requests for grades D- through D+.
Due to online learning, students have had to face new obstacles. Eleanor Novek, Professor of Communication, said, “Right now some students are having a lot of difficulties managing the stresses in their lives, while others are feeling inconvenienced but not really struggling. Faculty are trying to support and care for our students through these strange times, and the Pass/Fail option is one avenue available to help with that.”
Novek continued, “It is too soon for me to say whether that particular option is affecting performance.”
Student athletes have found that the Pass/Fail system is a reliable option to ensure they are eligible to play, since they are required to meet academic requirements to participate in competition.
Thomas Bieber, Associate Athletics Director for Academic Support Athletics said, “The pass/fail grading option is a great safety net for our student-athletes who struggle with online course delivery. In terms of athletic eligibility, the pass/fail option may save someone from falling below the minimum GPA requirements for either the University or the NCAA that would render a student-athlete ineligible to travel or compete with their team.
He continued, “The pass/fail option also does not hurt a student-athlete’s progress towards their degree, as the same amount of credits are earned in a pass/fail scenario compared to an actual letter grade. Each student-athlete must complete a certain percentage of a degree at the end of each year to remain eligible to travel and compete. However, if a certain course has a minimum letter grade requirement, such as a C- or higher, then that course cannot count towards their percentage towards degree even if it is pass/failed.”
Giavonna White, a junior psychology student, agrees that the Pass/Fail system was a reliable option. She said, “I liked the Pass/Fail system because it did not damage my GPA, which was my main concern throughout taking online courses, and the ability to keep some of my grades.”
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University