Penn State Students May Have The Option To Choose Pass/Fail Grading This Semester

Story posted March 17, 2020 in Centre County Report by Luke Lacher, Centre County Report

The Penn State University Faculty Senate accepted a resolution today to allow students to change their grading basis from quality grades to satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades..

Under the resolution, students would be able to choose individual classes to be graded on a pass/fail basis, as opposed to the A through F quality point system Penn State currently uses.

The resolution comes in response to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on university operations across the globe. Last week, Penn State President Eric Barron announced that all classes would take place remotely starting March 16 with a tentative plan to resume in-person classes April 6.

The non-binding resolution does not yet reflect a change in the university’s policy. It is merely a show of support from the Faculty Senate that encourages university administrators to explore the option in the near future.

Faculty senators said a great deal of discussion and planning was required before an actual policy change could be considered. This includes extensive input from academic advisors and faculty members alike.

How this policy is enforced for entrance-to-major courses and how this will impact students’ access to accreditations and financial aid are just a few of the issues that concerned faculty senators when considering the resolution. 

Right now, it is unclear when or if students will actually be able to change their grading basis.