ASPC Endorses Universal Pass Grading System

Hours before the Pomona College faculty are set to vote on changing Pomona’s grading policy amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC), the student body government, announced its endorsement of a universal Pass/Incomplete grading system. This endorsed system most resembles the Faculty Executive Committee’s motion for universal Pass/Pandemic No Record/Incomplete grading. 

ASPC, which previously endorsed a universal A/A- grading policy, stated that “[w]e support the amendment calling for grading on a Pass/Incomplete basis (also known as the “Universal Pass Only” amendment)…We oppose any motion or amendment that could result in non-universal letter grading — opt-in or not.” Proposed faculty amendments to the Executive Committee’s motion include allowing opt-in letter grades and universal A policies.

According to a survey of students, most favored a universal A/A- policy; however, faculty quickly voted down the policy in a faculty meeting Wednesday. The faculty are expected to vote again on these amendments later this evening. 

Proponents of universal grading policies cite the inequities exposed by classes shifting online, with some students lacking internet access or study spaces, fearing that graduate schools and employers may look down on passes if letter grades were an option. Proponents of opt-in grading systems cite the need to allow students to choose their grading options. 

Pomona’s faculty are expected to discuss and vote at 4 p.m. PDT today on a grading policy for the rest of the semester.

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