Pace to give students option to accept pass/fail


Katie Walsh

Pace is running on a mix of hybrid, in-person and remote courses. Many students are completing the semester through remote learning exclusively. The different learning environment and COVID-19 challenges has led to students demanding for pass/fail options for the Fall 2020.

Katie Walsh, Managing Editor

Pace is allowing students to choose a pass/fail option for their Fall 2020 courses. The decision was proposed by the New York Faculty Council and was approved by both the New York and Pleasantville council. Combined, the faculty councils consist of approximately 450 full-time faculty members. 

Students did advocate for this decision through a petition. 981 people have signed the petition as of November 18.

 Once the motion was passed by the faculty councils, the remainder of the actions are up to the Office of the Provost, in order to officially implement the decision. The announcement of the option is set to be announced on November 18.  

The option is similar to the one presented in the spring. Students will have to make the decision to either accept or decline pass/ fail by Tuesday December 15 according to an email from the Office of the Provost.

This option is available for both graduate and undergraduate courses.

   The passed motion is a result of the challenging times and hardships that are being faced by all due to the pandemic. Students in undergraduate courses who attain a letter grade of D or above will be granted the “pass” mark. Whereas, for graduate courses, students must attain a letter grade of C or above. This decision will be indicated on a transcript that this option was taken due to COVID-19. 

 Chair of the Westchester Faculty Council, David Rahni, advises students to look at the big picture when making their individualized decision regarding pass/fail.

   “Students’ nature is to think short-term, but if you’re a pre-med student and want to apply to med/law school, many of these admissions for that level of education may not have a policy to accept pass/fail as a part of that student transcript,” explained Rahni.

  Rahni stated that students should look at pre-advisement options for assistance in making this decision. Information on pre-advisement will come from the Office of the Provost. Each student’s situation is different and should look into how accepting a pass/fail option may impact their own academic standings, financial-aid/scholarship packages and future aspirations before filing the paperwork.

   Students looking to attain licensure, accreditation, and higher forms of education with their degrees may not be given the option to choose a pass/fail option. For example, students within the CHP usually attain a licensure post-graduation. Licensure required letter grades and the pass/fail would jeopardize their ability to receive that licensure. 

  Rahini stated, “ While they empathize (CHP Faculty) with students and feel their pain, in the long-run they don’t want to see their students vulnerable to not seeing licensure or employment opportunities.”

       In addition, Rahni mentioned that this decision could impact competitiveness when looking to apply to a job or advance education. As many students have endured college during the pandemic and having a transcript with grades may give one a competitive edge in years to come. 

“COVID is a calamity that has inflicted pain, suffering, uncertainty for the whole world. It’s not the first and won’t be the last… We have to be resilient, we have to endure it.. we have to think long-term..,” he explained. 

   However, the university is prioritizing flexibility as they understand the difficult times and situations students are dealing with in and out of the classroom. 

At the end of the day students are larger adults, and I have trust in their good judgement because they are much more cognitive than anyone else, which is fair to not only their current needs, but in respect to their post-graduation aspirations and quality of life,” spoke Rahni. 

Editor’s Note: This is a breaking news story that will continually be updated as details evolve.