Student Update: Excused Withdrawal, Pass/No-Pass, and Incomplete Grading Options for Spring 2020 Courses


To All Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College Students:

This is a challenging time, and we applaud you for continuing your education during the transition to remote learning. This format is new to many of you, and we know it can take significant adjustment to succeed in an unfamiliar environment. As a result, due to the nature of the COVID-19 crisis, we want to offer some choices for you in adapting to this challenging environment.

If you are considering changing your grading options or enrollment status for courses you took in Spring 2020, remember that this may affect how long it takes you to earn your degree or certificate, or your ability to transfer into a four-year institution. Before you change anything, please talk to a counselor.

Academic Counseling
You can reach an academic counselor through your college’s counseling website:
Cañada College
College of San Mateo
Skyline College

Counselors are ready to answer questions you may have about your student education plan, and they can help you make decisions on changing to pass/no pass grading or talk you through decisions on withdrawing from a class. Please use counselors as a resource before you make major decisions about your academic future – they are here to help.

“Incomplete” Grading Option
Students can work with their professor to receive an Incomplete (I), in which case the professor would establish work to be done over an extended timeframe (usually one year) in order to complete the course. Students will receive a letter grade upon completion and evaluation of the agreed-upon work. This is a good option for students who feel overwhelmed right now, but need to complete the course for a letter grade rather than pass/no pass. You will need to discuss this with your professor in order to change a class to Incomplete.

“Pass/No Pass” Grading Option
All courses are now available to be changed from a letter grade to a Pass/No Pass grading option, until May 21. Please be aware that changing to a Pass/No Pass grade may have consequences for transfer or other options in your future. You should meet with your counselor before changing a class to Pass/No Pass. To make this change, fill out the Add/Drop form and email it to your admissions office:
Cañada Admissions
CSM Admissions
Skyline Admissions

Selecting “Excused Withdrawal” (EW)
The Excused Withdrawal (EW) is reserved for when a student withdraws from a course(s) for reasons beyond their control. Due to the unique nature of the COVID-19 crisis, you may use the Excused Withdrawal between now and the day before the last day of the course. Remember, you should speak to your academic counselor before you make the decision to use an Excused Withdrawal. See instructions at the end of this email.

These options recognize the challenging situation we are all experiencing, but please note the San Mateo County Community College District is here to support you through your academic journey. We want you to succeed, and we encourage you to work closely with your faculty and academic counselor before making a decision to withdraw from a class.

Again, we encourage you to consult an academic counselor before making any decisions:
Cañada College
College of San Mateo
Skyline College

Best wishes to you and your loved ones!

– The Academic Counseling Teams of Cañada College, CSM, and Skyline College

Instructions for making changes on WebSMART
Here are some more details about the Excused Withdrawal or pass/no pass option:

  • To select the grading option in WebSMART:
    • Go to: “Student Services” > “Registration” > “Add/Drop Classes”
    • Choose your option
    • If selected, “Excused Withdrawal” will be automatically applied to your drop
  • You can make the EW or Pass/No Pass selection at any time between now and the day before the last day of the course.
  • No supporting documentation is required.
  • Your selected grading option will appear on your transcript. EWs are not considered in GPA calculations or academic progress locally. Pass/No Pass grades are not considered in GPA calculations but will impact your academic progress. Any of these changes may also affect your eligibility for federal financial aid and veterans educational benefits. Please talk with a counselor to find out how this would affect you personally.
  • Students who select an EW may be eligible for potential refunds depending on how you paid for your courses. Any refunds will be automatically credited to your registration account.
  • Students have up to one year from the end of the course to make a grade-change request.