Colin Rivera, Staff Writer
With the closing of Saint Martin’s campus and classes moving online, some important policies have been changed to help students adjust to the new settings. These changes have to do with the ways that students can have their classes graded. At the end of March, Cindy Juarez, the Saint Martin’s registrar, sent out an email precisely detailing what the policies are and how to sign up for classes.
The first major change is that the final deadline to withdraw from a class has been pushed back to May 1, at 5:00 p.m. The other policy that was highlighted in the email has to do with pass/no pass grading. Any student can write a form to shift a class in their schedule from a letter grade to a pass/no pass option. The difference between not passing, and failing a class is that failing will count against your grade while the former is neutral. Using the option on a class that is a prerequisite will in most cases still allow students to take the course after it.
The registrar urges that students speak with their advisers before following through with this action, as there are downsides to it, as well. For instance, simply passing a class does not count for or against a student’s grade point average. Also, depending on the student’s major, a pass grade may not be adequate for programs with standards for accreditation. A pass may not be applicable to external programs, either.
Switching to this grading format can be beneficial to students who are having trouble satisfying their course requirements because of the transition to online learning. Extended deadlines and policies have been extended so that students could have a full month to see if their classes are meeting their needs. These policies have been implemented by many other schools in the region as part of an effort to not harm the education of students.
“If a student were to transfer courses and it just shows a pass, typically, schools wouldn’t accept a pass grade for transferring in,” said Juarez.
Since many colleges are following the same plan, ideally a student who has a pass grade in a class in the spring semester will be able to transfer that class into or out of the university.
Another thing that Juarez made clear was that the decision to change a class’ grading format is irreversible, meaning the pass or no pass grade will stay on the recorded transcript. Juarez’s last point was, “The intention behind extending that (the deadlines), is that students can have several weeks to a month of online learning to determine whether they can be successful.”
With deadlines right around the corner, add/drop forms must be sent to the office of the registrar before Friday, May 1, at 5:00 p.m. with no exceptions. The same is also true for the pass/no pass paperwork. Both forms can be found online on the university website in the office of the registrar page. Any questions can be emailed to the Saint Martin’s registrar.