Spring 2020 Grading Policy: Temporary Grading Policy Change
Updated: June 16, 2020
Middlesex County College Students, as you transition to emergency remote learning and meet the challenges and disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Middlesex County College would like to help reduce your anxiety and support your academic success. You will have the option to convert traditional letter grades to “Pass” or “No Credit” after final grades are submitted.
The new grading options will work as follows:
- You may opt to have your letter grade of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+ or C changed to Pass. By opting for a Pass grade, you will receive credit for the course, but the grade will not impact the calculation of your grade point average (GPA).
- You may opt to have a grade of D changed to No Credit. While a D is accepted for credit for many MCC courses, a grade of D will not transfer to a four-year college or university. By opting for No Credit, you will not receive credit for the course and the grade will not impact the calculation of your Grade Point Average (GPA).
- No grades of F will be awarded to students for the Spring Semester. If you earn a failing grade, you will be awarded a grade of No Credit. You will not receive credit for the course and the grade will not impact the calculation of your Grade Point Average.
- You will have until June 15, 2020 to opt to change your final letter grades to grades of Pass/No Credit.
This policy does not apply to the Spring 2020 Semester first 7-week term that ended in March.
Instructions for Requesting a Grade Conversion
Q: If I am graduating, can I still choose a Pass or No Credit Option?
Students who are graduating may choose the Pass option and the course(s) will still apply to meeting your degree requirements and not impact your eligibility to graduate. However, choosing to change a grade of D to No Credit for a course that is required to meet degree or certificate requirements will impact graduation eligibility as no credit will be granted for the course. Therefore, students will need to retake the course or an acceptable substitute in order to fulfill program requirements and to be eligible to graduate.
Q: If I plan to choose the Pass option, do I need to complete all the course requirements?
Yes, all course requirements must be completed and you must have earned a final grade of A through C to change to a grade of Pass.
Q: Does a Pass grade count in my GPA?
Pass grades do not factor into your GPA; they do provide credit for the course.
Q: Do I have to take my courses as Pass or No Credit?
No. The Pass and No Credit grade options are not mandatory. Students can choose whether they want to change any final letter grades to Pass or No Credit.
Q: Can I pick what courses are Pass or No Credit and which ones have a letter grade? Can I have a Pass or No Credit grade on one or some courses but not all my courses?
Yes. You can select which courses are Pass (for assigned final grades of A through C) or No Credit (for assigned final grades of D) and which ones have a letter grade. You do not need to choose the same option for all of your courses.
Q: Is the Pass/No Credit option only for the face-to-face classes that switched to remote instruction?
No. All students can choose to take a Pass or No Credit grade regardless of the original format of their course.
Q: Are there advantages to keeping a “D” grade instead of changing it to No Credit.
A “D” grade is not likely to transfer to a four-year college or university, but it will apply toward degree completion at Middlesex County College; however minimum grades of “C” in English Composition courses are a MCC graduation requirement. A “D” grade may not meet the pre-requisite for a subsequent course at MCC and you may need to retake the course. In that case, it may be better to opt for a No Credit grade that will not impact your GPA.
Q: Will Pass grades transfer to four-year colleges and universities?
Many four-year colleges and universities have adopted Pass/No Credit or Pass/Fail for all or some courses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is likely that they will accept our Pass grade, but this is a decision made by the transfer institution. (Transfer institutions will not accept courses for which students earn No Credit).
Please check with your transfer college or university and its policies on accepting credits. Rutgers University (New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden), Kean University, and NJCU, for example, have indicated their willingness to accept Spring 2020 Pass grades towards a bachelor’s degree.
Q: How will this policy impact my financial aid?
In most situations, there will be no impact on your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) needed to maintain financial aid. If you are on SAP Probation, contact Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: If I opt for a Pass or No Credit grade, can I use financial aid to retake the course for a letter grade in the future?
Whether you select a letter grade, Pass, or No Credit, you have the option to retake a course. If you earned a Pass or a D grade, you may retake the class one additional time and receive financial aid for that course. Students who earned a No Credit may repeat the course and remain eligible for financial aid if Satisfactory Academic Progress is maintained.
Q: How do the Pass and No Credit grade options impact students who plan to apply to Nursing, Radiography, or Dental Hygiene at MCC?
MCC’s Health Programs (Nursing, Dental Hygiene and Radiography) advise students not to opt for a Pass grade for any of the pre-requisites required to enter the program, such as general education courses and science courses. Please reach out to Desiree Brower, Admissions Counselor (email@example.com), for specific programmatic questions.
Q: How do the Pass and No Credit grade options impact students in clinical programs (Dental Hygiene, Nursing, and Radiography)?
A Pass grade indicates that you can continue in those programs and have met the requirements. A No Credit grades means you did not meet the requirements. As per policy, the Department Chair will contact you regarding the next steps.
Q: How will this policy impact me if I am taking a developmental mathematics, developmental English, or ESL class?
You can still select the Pass option if you earn a final grade of QA, QA-, QB+, QB, QB-, QC+, or QC. Students who earn a QD or No Credit cannot progress to the next level.
Q: How will a Pass grade be reflected on my transcript?
Once you opt for a Pass grade, it will be the only transcripted grade any college will see (unless you later opt to change your grade back to the originally assigned letter grade). We will provide information with your transcript that states that a Pass grade is equivalent to A through C work, which is typically what transfer institutions require for transfer.
Q: How will a No Credit grade be reflected on my transcript?
For academic courses, No Credit grades will appear as a “GNC” (Graded – No Credit). For Developmental and ESL courses, the equivalent grade is QNC (No Credit).
Q: If I opt for a Pass or No credit grade, can I change my mind later?
You may appeal for a grade change to revert back to the assigned letter grade by June 15, 2021.
Q: Will the Pass/No Credit grading policy be available for Summer 2020 courses?
The Pass/No Credit policy applies to Spring 2020 classes only with the exception of the first 7-week term that ended on March 7, 2020.
Q: If I am a Visiting Student, how will this policy impact my ability to transfer a course back to my home college?
Check with your home institution before selecting any grade option to make sure the course will transfer.
Q: If I have a question about the new grading policy for Spring 2020, whom I should I contact?
Please contact the Office of the Dean for the Division that houses your degree as follows:
- Business, STEM, and Health Professions Division: Acting Dean Donna Howell (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Assistant Dean Theresa O’Reilly (email@example.com)
- Liberal Arts Division: Acting Dean Theresa Orosz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- You can also contact email@example.com.
Students are encouraged to speak with their instructor, an advisor, Department Chair, and/or Dean before making decisions about their grading preferences.
These FAQs will be updated as more information becomes available regarding the process to request a Pass or No Credit grade, financial aid, and transfer of credits.