Discontinuing pass/fail grading for summer semester serves as best choice


Gracie Watt / Hilltop Views

St. Edward’s plans to continue remote instruction during the summer semester. Additionally, they plan to switch back to the traditional grading policy.

Due to all of the academic changes that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, many have wondered how the ordeal will affect classes during the summer semester. 

The university recently sent out an email saying that summer courses will continue to be taught via online instruction. 

“All course work during the Summer 2020 semester will continue to be delivered via remote instruction,” Vice President for Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator Dr. Lisa Kirkpatrick and Provost Dr. Andrew Prall state in the email. “Deans and faculty members are working tirelessly to provide you with the best online experience possible.” 

The email also states that the pass/fail grading policy offered during the spring semester will not continue through the summer semester. 

“At this time, there are no plans to extend the temporarily expanded ‘Pass/No Pass’ policy into the summer semester. However, the deans, faculty, and provost will continue to monitor progress in remote instruction courses and update academic policies as necessary.” 

While I understand the desire for a pass/fail option to continue due to all the stress and adjustment we’ve been experiencing during this pandemic, I also understand the need to transition back to a traditional grading system. Once the summer semester begins, most students will have figured out a way of going about online classes that works for them. 

While having a pass/fail option would be helpful to some students, it is also important for students to understand how to accommodate online instruction methods without this option. Having online instruction for summer classes will most likely be difficult for some, but I don’t believe that it’s anything that can’t be adjusted to without the pass/fail option. Students who are still having trouble with online classes during the summer have the option to discuss it with their advisors and professors in order to see what other options are available. 

The pass/fail option obviously can’t continue on forever, and learning to accommodate an online teaching method with a traditional grading system is important. While it may be difficult for some to continue to work with the online format, it will help prepare students in the event of something like this happening again.