Update – December 20th, 2020: SMUSA has been advocating for the implementation of a pass/no credit option for the 2020-2021 academic year. Unfortunately, Saint Mary’s University will not be implementing the pass/no credit option right now. However, a commitment has been made to pursue a long-term model! We want to emphasize that this is not the end. We appreciate all of your feedback and we continue to work with the university to seek grade flexibility and other support for students during this time. If you are unhappy with your grade(s), there are still options. Learn more at smusa.ca/support/grade-appeals or by contacting our VP Academic, Abigayle Winters, at vpacademic.smusa@smu.ca!

The Fall 2020 term has been a new and challenging experience for the SMU community. Students have had to adapt their way of learning and are facing significant barriers to achieving their academic goals. Many are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and feel that they have not been able to perform at their best in the online academic environment. This is primarily due to academic-related stressors such as increased workload, challenges pertaining to online assessments, and communication difficulties.

This term has been especially challenging for first-year students, who have been adjusting to both the online environment and the university experience more broadly. Additionally, international students have faced numerous barriers, including time zone differences, limited or poor internet access. copyright issues, and general anxiety regarding travel to and from Canada.

To begin addressing these challenges, we are calling on Saint Mary’s University to implement the pass/no credit model for the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic year. This would provide students with greater choice and flexibility in how their grades are recorded. This was implemented for the Winter 2020 term with great success and we are seeing it extended at other institutions like Dalhousie University, Brandon University, and Bishop’s University.

What is the Pass/No Credit Model?

The Pass (P) option would mean you still receive academic credit for the course but the grade would not affect your GPA. For example, if you got a C+ in a course and did not want it to hurt your GPA, you could turn it into a pass (P) which is then GPA-neutral.

The No-Credit (NC) option would mean that you do not receive academic credit for the course, but the grade still would not affect your GPA. For example, if you got an F in a course, you. You do not receive credit, but it would be GPA-neutral.