Following a move to online course delivery and the closure of residence halls due to the spread of COVID-19, East Carolina University Acting Provost Grant Hayes and Acting Vice Provost Angela Anderson announced on March 23 in an email statement that all classes will be operating on a pass/fail basis for the Spring 2020 semester.

The announcement stated that students now have the option to make their courses into a pass/fail class. Students will have until June 30 to make the decision and further details regarding the process to do so will be announced later on after consideration, according to the announcement.

With the switch to digital instruction, the statement said that the decision was made for students who may feel a sense of “uncertainty” with the change. This decision follows in University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s footsteps, where it integrated the pass/fail option for undergraduates as of yesterday.

“Today is the first day of our moving courses to alternative delivery methods. It’s been a massive undertaking by faculty and staff over the last week to prepare for this shift, and we are grateful for their work to implement. We understand that this change may cause some uncertainty and anxiety for students as we finish the spring semester,” the statement said.

The release stated that any grade earned under a pass/fail class will not count towards a student’s GPA, and all grade related recognitions, such as Honor Roll, Dean’s list and Chancellor’s list are suspended for the semester.

Additionally, incomplete courses from fall 2019 will not convert to F’s at the end of the spring semester and will extend until Dec. 7, 2020.

The last day to withdraw from a course without penalty has also been extended to April 1, and if a student decides to withdraw from a course due to COVID-19 related issues, the dropped class will not count toward the 16 withdrawl hours each student is allowed, according to the statement.

“We are making these modifications understanding the extraordinary circumstances this global pandemic has created for us all. This semester has been like no other. We know you may face unexpected challenges. A webpage, Tips For Online Learning has been created to list resources available to you,” the statement said.

The statement said that students will be able to decide which courses they want to switch to pass/fail instead of letter grading. Students will also have the option to “mix and match” with pass/fail and letter grading between their classes.

If a student is taking five courses this semester, he or she could elect pass/fail for two courses and standard grading for three. The quality points would count for those standard grading courses,” the statement said.

As of March 23, the pass/fail option is only available for undergraduate students while the Graduate School reviews options for feasibility, according to the statement.

More information on the pass/fail option for students can be found on the ECU News Services website.

The statement concluded with a reminder for students to remain healthy and cautious while the virus is still a threat.

“Please take care of yourself and your loved ones, remember to practice social distancing, and know that faculty and staff are ready to help you finish the next six weeks strong,” the statement said.

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