Pass/Fail Grading Option at Drexel University

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Drexel University has recently announced on March 16, 2020, that classes for the Spring Term will be taught online beginning April 6 and lasting until June 6. Students both on and off-campus have been expected to go back to their permanent residences and work from home. This decision, which is meant to be protective of everyone's health, also significantly impacts one's academic ability.

Since Drexel-offered services, such as the library, academic resources, and lecture halls are closed, students are hit with rather large roadblocks within the next quarter. The importance of these roadblocks is that they inhibit the quality of education Drexel promised each and every student when they decided to attend the school. This obvious change in the quality of learning would either positively or negatively impact a student's overall performance based on access to resources or understanding of new software.

Throughout recent weeks, panic and unrest have filled households of the Drexel community. This creates an unfavorable work environment that could potentially negatively impact a student's ability to perform. Most importantly, students should prioritize their health and wellness over focusing on academic performance.

With all of the above roadblocks inhibiting students from doing well in the future quarter, we as a community have observed what other schools have done. Schools such as MIT, Penn State, Columbia, Temple University, and many have already petitioned a pass or fail grading system, and in many of them it is being introduced in an attempt to “counter” these hurdles.

We ask that Drexel University offers the option of having a pass/fail grading system. Students at the end of their semester could choose between keeping their letter grade on their transcript, or choose a grade of pass or fail that would still count towards their degree completion. We, as students and members of the Drexel community, are grateful that Drexel University puts our health as a priority, and hope that you will take our petition into consideration.