Updated: As of April 2, the deadline for a student to choose a pass/no pass grading option for spring 2020 classes has been extended to June 5. Unit limit rules for pass/no pass classes have been suspended for the time being.

A group of PCC students have created a petition to change the letter grading system at the college to an optional Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grading system for spring semester.

In a P/NP grading system, students who earned a C minus or higher will receive a “pass”, while those who earned a D plus or below will receive a “no pass” note on their transcript in place of a traditional letter grade. Such grades do not affect GPA.

One of the advantages of changing to a P/NP grading system is that students will have less pressure, which is the main reason for the request.

“It is not reasonable to expect students to perform at their best when some are afraid for their livelihood, face increased isolation and depression, and struggle through abusive home lives,” the petition explains.

The petition also states that attendance should not affect the final grade, and requests the removal of the graduation and major requirements of P/NP grading.

The problem with the P/NP grading system is that the range for pass grading will be wider, so students may not put their best effort into their courses. Also, it does not provide clear figures on the students’ performance level. This may have an impact on their chances of admission to schools such as UCLA, a popular choice for students transferring into the UC system.

However, some universities are already planning to accommodate incoming transfer students with P/NP grades on their transcripts.

“The state has already relaxed regulations to allow students to change their grading status to each class to P/NP,” said Superintendent Erika Endrijonas. “Our transfer partners, UC and CSU, and some private institutions have indicated that this will not count against students.”

CSU campuses will accept “pass” or “credit” grades for transferable courses completed in winter, spring and summer 2020.

UC Berkeley, UC Irvine and UC Riverside are the only UC campuses so far that will be accepting Pass grades in major preparation completed in Spring 2020. However, this information is subject to change, so is important that transfer students stay connected with the University of California admission requirements updates.

According to counselor Alexander Tameka, students who applied to a private university should get in contact with the institution for information about any changes in their admission requirements.

“I strongly urge any student thinking about changing to P/NP to speak with a counselor to understand what the implications might be depending upon which college they are hoping to transfer to,” said Endrijonas.

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