Valley allows students to change how they are graded due to COVID-19.
By Cassandra Nava, Staff Writer
Due to the sudden shift to online classes, Valley College now allows students to opt out of receiving letter grades, offering the option of pass/no pass courses.
For students who are concerned about maintaining grades amid the COVID-19 crisis, Valley College continues to offer support. Students are allowed to petition to change any class to be pass/no pass, forgoing a letter grade. In order to make this change, the student must submit the Pass/No Pass Grade Petition document by May 10 to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, students are urged to talk to their counselor before submitting a petition.
A letter sent to students from the Los Angeles Community College District on April 7 stated, “To lessen your anxiety and support your completion of your spring courses, the state Chancellor’s Office has provided relief in an executive order that waives timelines and other restrictions related to students’ abilities to request Pass/No Pass (P/NP) as a grading option.”
There is no limit on how many courses can be changed to pass/no pass this semester. If a student is retaking a class to replace their non-passing grade, they are allowed to petition for a pass/no pass grade for the course. However, only a passing grade will be able to replace the previous grade. It is important for students to understand that a pass/no pass grade cannot be converted back to a letter grade, according to the district website.
“I think this puts less stress on someone who takes a lot of classes or just wants to earn a community college degree and graduate,” said Valley student Kenny Rivera.
Due to COVID-19, UCLA and CSUN are accepting transfer students who have a passing grade on their transcript for next fall. However, UCs and CSUs require the student’s courses for their specific major to be taken with a letter grade, according to a message from California Community Colleges Executive Vice Chancellor Marty Alvarado. This means that a student may have to retake the course in order to be accepted. It also has the potential to lower GPA since there is no grade shown, which can affect the student’s ability to transfer.
“Some students and faculty believe that normal grading practices during these times are deeply unfair to those struggling with housing, food, health, family duties, a safe study space, access to the internet or classes several time zones away,” stated a Los Angeles Times article.