Senate passes Pass/No Pass Grading Option

The senate passed a distance learning grading option extension and hiring recommendations during their last meeting of the semester


Graphic by Monica Inouye/SAC.Media.

The Mt. SAC Academic Senate met Thursday for their bimonthly meeting via Zoom to pass an item that would extend the Pass/No Pass grading system to the spring 2021 semester to accommodate students throughout distance learning.

The Pass/No Pass grading option would only apply to courses previously approved for the grading option through curriculum and would allow until two days after faculty submits grades for students to select an appropriate option. This would also automatically grant a No Pass to students who earn an “F” so it will not reflect on their transcripts. Additionally, the item would extend the deadline for students to withdraw from a class to the day before the last day of instruction for short-term classes and the Sunday before exams for full-term classes.

“It’s important to our students that we remain consistent during this time,” art history professor Mary McGuire said.

The Pass/No Pass grading option would not apply to most transfer courses which require letter grades that were not previously approved by the Course Outline of Record. Certain programs like nursing are exempt from this ruling because they have outside accrediting bodies.

The Senate also passed faculty recruitment and hiring recommendations suggested by the Racial Justice Action Task Force.

“We need an audit of the hiring process from start to finish,” the chair of the task force and psychology professor Chara Powell said. “This is specific to equity in hiring, and we need to implement implicit bias training and support diverse hiring in committee.”

Various members of the Academics Senate expressed their support for the task force and praised the work done by Professor Powell.

Lastly, the Senate also approved recommendations for camera use during online synchronous classes. The first recommendation stated that faculty cannot assign a grade for whether students keep cameras on during a synchronous class, with exceptions to certain courses. The second recommendation stated that faculty are to give students notice to clearly identify situations in which video will be required. The third recommendation stated that Mt. SAC will seek legal requirements to request consent for recording Zoom sessions and create an appropriate process.

The Academic Senate will meet again after the holiday break.