Academic Affairs extends withdrawal deadline, allows switch to pass/fail


Photo by Kathleen Creedon

This article is a part of the Trinitonian’s coverage of Trinity University’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here to read the rest of our coverage.

Students and faculty spent the last week adjusting to the sudden switch to remote synchronous learning. To alleviate some of the stress, the university announced two optional accommodations for students struggling with the transition.

On Friday, March 27, associate vice president for academic affairs Michael Soto sent an email to all Trinity classes announcing a couple of changes in course registration: the ability to convert registration to pass/fail grading and a deadline extension for course withdrawals.

Now, the university will allow registration conversion to pass/fail until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3.

Soto explained in the email that requests for elective courses would be quickly approved. However, the process would for courses that fulfill Pathways elements or are a major/minor requirement requires approval from the instructor or department chair.

“I will be very glad to approve that switch. This late in the semester, that won’t be a problem,” Soto said in a livestream the university held on March 19.

Though students can request any number of courses be switched to pass/fail, Soto warned that, because pass/fail courses are not used in GPA calculation, it may affect academic honors.

“You might also need GPA-bearing credit hours to restore academic standing, financial aid eligibility, or NCAA athletic eligibility,” Soto’s email reads.

As for course withdrawal, the university has extended the deadline to Monday, April 13, at 5 p.m.

“Under the present circumstances, the Registrar’s Office is handling all registration processes electronically,” Soto’s email wrote. “You may request to withdraw from a course by emailing your instructor, your academic adviser and [email protected]. Once your instructor and adviser indicate their approval via email, the Registrar’s office will process the withdrawal.”

Soto said the changes are meant to provide students with greater flexibility and more accommodations.

“We don’t want to do this across the board because many students need those GPA points for graduate study, for any number of reasons,” Soto said during the livestream. “We want to give students the most flexible options that are available to them.”