Updated FAQs, April 9
Note: These UMaine/UMM FAQs are subject to change at any time. Please check the FAQ site for full information. The most recent additions and changes are at the top of this page for convenient review.
What are the steps undergraduates need to take for the pass/fail grade option?
Between April 10 and May 1, UMM students enrolled for the spring 2020 term may choose the pass/fail grade option for individual courses. Deadline for submission is May 1, 2020. The steps a student needs to take:
- Review the Pass/Fail Protocols.
- Read the FAQ’s specific to this topic.
- Reach out to your academic advisors to ensure the Pass/Fail option will not affect your academic program or future goals. Reach out to the Financial Aid Office to learn whether your aid package will be affected in any way by choosing the pass/fail option.
- To select the pass/fail grade option, go to Registrar’s Office website and select the button labeled “Pass/Fail Protocol – Spring 2020.” This page provides a link to the Student Selected Pass/Fail Request Form.
- Using your UMS email account, send the completed form to the Registrar’s Office at email@example.com.
Can I still withdraw from a course this spring 2020 semester?
The deadline for withdrawing from individual courses has been extended to May 1, 2020. Faculty and Staff members at UMM strongly encourages students to complete their classes if possible and to seek appropriate guidance from a variety of sources to address perceived barriers to completion and to best understand the implications of any decision to withdraw from a class. Students also are encouraged to seek guidance and help from the Office of Student Financial Aid, as needed. This extended deadline will apply only to the spring 2020 semester.
How does pass/fail grading impact continuing merit scholarship eligibility?
For continuing Merit Scholarship eligibility, students must meet the cumulative GPA required by their particular scholarship(s) along with other renewal criteria. Since there is no GPA associated with pass/fail classes, this grading option will not impact students’ current cumulative GPA. Continuing merit scholarship eligibility is reviewed at the end of the spring semester. Students not meeting the renewal requirements will receive a notification from the Office of Student Financial Aid which will give information regarding submitting an appeal. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Merit Scholarship probation for the following semester. If the appeal is not approved, the student will not be eligible for their scholarship until they meet the requirements of their particular scholarship(s).
Pass/fail option for spring 2020 undergraduate courses
These are extraordinary times for our faculty and students, and the change in class structure and pedagogy required at this midpoint in the semester is disruptive in many ways for all members of the university community. The goal of a new, one-time only (spring semester 2020) pass/fail grading option for all UMM classes is to assume a student-centric approach and provide a choice that maintains as best we can the academic integrity and learning outcomes at the end of this term. It is recognized that some students will be striving to improve their GPA, while others may be more concerned with keeping pace with their classes under changing circumstances or living in conditions that may not be conducive to studying or learning. Likewise, faculty may also be concerned about the integrity of exams or other graded assignments under a new pedagogical format to take effect on March 25, that may make the awarding of letter grades difficult to assign fairly. Faculty also may be concerned that a pass/fail option may minimize the motivation to learn. Recognizing both concerns, the idea behind this pass/fail option is to err on the side of student-centric interests at this time of great upheaval in all our lives — faculty and students alike.
UMM pass/fail protocols are posted online.
Does the instructor have to grant approval or permission for a student to switch to pass/fail?
No. It is the student’s decision and it cannot be overruled by the instructor.
Will general education courses that students opt to change to pass/fail continue to count for general education courses?
Yes. Grades of LP or P will count to fulfill general education requirements.
Will major/minor/concentration courses students opt to change to pass/fail based on the new policy continue to count for major/minor/concentration courses?
- Yes. Grades of LP or P will count to fulfill those requirements unless the requirement is looking for a grade of “C” or higher.
- Grades of P will fulfill requirements looking for a grade of a “C” or better, but may not automatically pull into the student’s Degree Progress Report. We can fix this once we are notified and will continue to look for a more automated way to address this situation.
- If the requirement requires a grade higher than a “C,” students will need to check with the department to find out if they can take this option and have the course still count.
Can students who opt to change to pass/fail based on the new policy continue to have their courses count as prerequisites?
- Yes. Grades of LP or P will count to fulfill prerequisites unless the prerequisite needs to be a grade of “C” or higher.
- Grades of P will count to fulfill prerequisites requiring a grade of “C” or higher. We are working to add the pass/fail option to the prerequisite. This should allow students to register for the next course without a problem.
- Students registering for courses where the prerequisites require a grade higher than a “C” will need to discuss their preparation with the instructor.
How will students officially change course(s) from graded to pass/fail?
Students will receive an email from the Dean of Students on April 9th with a link to the pass/fail protocol and a fillable form to email to UMM Registrar from their maine.edu email. Faculty and Staff will receive a copy of the email around the same time.
How will instructors know which students have elected to change the grading basis for their course(s) to pass/fail?
This information is available on MaineStreet in the Class Roster and the Grade Roster for the course.
What grade should instructors give if the student earns a “C-”?
Instructors should enter a “P” grade. For spring 2020, “P” grades will be considered a “C” or higher for purposes of prerequisites and fulfilling requirements that require a “C” or better grade. “LP” should be entered for grades in the “D” range.
Does the pass/fail protocol apply to non-degree students?
Yes, the protocol applies to non-degree students.
Does the pass/fail protocol apply to early college students?
Yes, with the approval of your high school guidance counselor and Early College Coordinator, Christy.Alley. To request the P/F option, early college students should contact Christy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens if a student is repeating a course and elects the pass/fail option?
The repeat process will work as it has in the past. The prior grade will no longer count in the student’s Grade Point Average. Any credits earned will no longer count. Credits earned for the current course will count. Because the course is being taken pass/fail, the grade earned (whether P, LP, or F) will not be calculated in the GPA.
If students are unsure whether to elect Pass/Fail grading, where should they get advice?
Students should reach out to their advisor or instructor to discuss what is best for their situation.
Will summer courses that were to be held on campus still be available? Or will they also be online?
Due to COVID-19 and current CDC recommendations, summer courses starting in May, June, and July will be moved to a remote teaching and learning environment.
- All existing online courses will be offered as scheduled, subject to regular cancellation policy (e.g. low enrollment).
- Students will be notified by email of any course cancellations.
- Up-to-date course information is available on the Summer University website.
If you have further questions, please contact the Summer University staff at 207.581.3143 or email@example.com.