Since Spring Break, we have all been taking unprecedented steps to ensure that we remain safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, RCTC’s faculty and staff have been working to transition many of you from face-to-face instruction to an online course delivery mode, but we understand such transitions may affect your performance this second half of the semester. Therefore, RCTC has approved a one-semester grading option for most courses which allows you (the student) to request a Pass/No Credit (P/NC) grade rather than the standard letter grade of A-F.
Request a Pass/No Credit (P/NC) grade
Please make sure you understand the ramifications of requesting P/NC. Speak with your academic advisor, consider your decision carefully, and read the FAQs below.
The P/NC is an alternate grading method that does not affect your GPA, and this option will apply to courses for the Spring Semester of 2020 only. This option is available to most students but may not be the best option for all students (i.e. those receiving federal veteran’s benefits, International students), and be aware some accreditation requirements within your programs may prohibit P/NC Grades. Students are required to check with their advisors to confirm eligibility for the option and to discuss unforeseen consequences that may result from switching to the Pass/No Credit option. The decision to implement the P/NC grading option was made in the hope of easing your concerns during this uncertain time.
As mentioned above, there may be consequences to taking the P/NC option, so please consider your decision carefully. Whether or not it is the right decision for you depends on many factors. We created Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to answer some of the questions we anticipate you may have; but we encourage every student weighing this decision to speak with their faculty member and/or academic advisor before moving forward with a request.
This has been a challenging semester and we know you have faced upheaval in every aspect of your lives. Please know that we are here to support you and hope you continue to take care of yourselves and one another.
Spring 2020 Pass/No Credit (P/NC) Option for Students
1. How will this process work?
With all the time and effort you have already invested in your classes before Spring Break, you should continue to work hard in all of your classes.
Your instructor will submit the letter grade you earned for the course at the end of the semester as normal.
After consultation with an advisor, you will have until May 22, 2020 to submit a Grade Change Request Form (available on the COVID19 Resource Page on May 1, 2020) to have a letter grade converted to a P/NC option..
The Registrar’s Office will receive the request and convert your letter grade to a P/NC grade according to the following scale:
- A letter grade of A-D will be converted to a Pass (P) grade
- A letter grade of F will be converted to a No Credit (NC) grade
2. Do I have to move my courses to a P/NC grading method?
No. You have the option to request as many or as few (or none) of your classes to P/NC. The default grading method will be the normal letter grade.
3. Do I have to select the P/NC grading option for each of my courses individually?
Yes. If you do not want to keep the letter grade for any of your classes, you must request the P/NC grading option for each course individually.
4. Is my decision to choose a P/NC grade for a particular course reversible?
Yes. You will need to consult with an advisor and submit a Grade Method change request with rationale for why you need to reverse your decision.
5. When can I choose to opt out of the letter grade and request a Pass/No Credit grading option?
You have until May 22, 2020 to submit your request to change letter grades to P/NC. Requests past this date will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
6. How do I select the Pass/No Credit grading option?
The details of the process are outlined in #1 above.
7. I am a student athlete. Does that influence my decision regarding the Pass/No Credit option?
Changing courses to Pass/No Credit may impact your athletic eligibility. Please contact RCTC Athletic Director Mike Lester if you have questions on this topic.
8. I am a veteran. Does that influence my decision regarding the Pass/No Credit option?
It may. Every student veteran should contact our School Certifying Official, Glen Saponari, to determine whether changing courses to Pass/No credit is the best option.
9. What constitutes a Pass grade?
A letter grades of A-D equate to Pass. Only F grades will convert to No Credit.
10. Are there any courses for which I can’t select a Pass/No Credit grading method?
Yes – Some programs with external licensures and/or are regulated by an accrediting agency are not allowed to have a P/NC option for prerequisite or program courses. Both federal government and licensing bodies may change these rules during semesters impacted by COVID-19. This is why it is so important for you to work with your advisor before making the decision to request a P/NC for a course.
11. Will courses taken Pass/No Credit count toward my graduation/major requirements?
Yes – a P grade will meet most RCTC course prerequisites and graduation requirements (some programs may not allow for a P/NC grade). If you choose an NC grade in any course required for award completion, you will need to re-enroll and successfully complete the course in a future semester. Seek guidance from your RCTC advisor or transfer institution.
12. What effect would opting for a Pass/No Credit grade have on my getting into professional and graduate school, or on transferring to a 4-year institution?
Under normal circumstances, many transfer institutions and graduate schools do not accept courses that are graded on a P/NC scale. Minnesota State Universities have waived this restriction for Spring Semester 2020 grades. Seek guidance from your RCTC advisor or transfer institution.
13. Do Pass/No Credit grades have an impact on my GPA?
Pass/No Credit grades, because they do not have grade points, do not affect the GPA of a student.
14. Will courses taken Pass/No Credit affect my ability to graduate this semester?
The P/NC grade will not affect your ability to graduate this semester, however, in order to meet the requirements for the certificate, diploma, or degree you must have a GPA of 2.0 or better.
15. Will I be able to repeat a course in which I earn a NC?
Yes, you can repeat a course regardless of its grading method. You will not receive credit twice and the best grade will be the used to calculate your GPA.
16. If I take an incomplete for any course this semester, and thus miss the deadline to request the Pass/No Credit option, is it possible to choose the Pass/No Credit grading option for that course later, when I finish it?
An Incomplete (I) grade gives you a chance to complete coursework after the semester ends, but the faculty member must approve the request for an Incomplete and develop a plan with you to complete the work by the end of Fall Semester 2020. If you do not complete the work by the deadline, the I grade will be automatically changed to an NC on your transcript. Normally, College policy only allows faculty to give students an Incomplete in limited circumstances. The College will be expanding options for faculty to use I grades in cases where a student(s) cannot finish the necessary coursework by the end of the semester as a result of COVID-19.
17. Can I opt for Pass/No Credit grading for just part of a class, but a regular letter grading for the other part?
No. The P/NC is for the final grade in the course, so it will either be a letter grade or a P/NC.
18. What if I decide I can’t finish the class. Is there still an option to withdraw from the course?
Yes – The Minnesota State system typically sets a deadline for students to withdraw that is set at the point when 80 percent of the term has been completed. The system extended that point to 90 percent of the term, which means RCTC students in full-term courses have until May 1st to decide whether to withdraw from a course. Again, consult with an advisor to assist you in making that decision.