Thursday, April 9, 2020
An Update from SMCC President Dr. Shari Olson
Regarding the Pandemic Response "P/Z" Grading Policy
Dear Student,

Like colleges and universities across the country, including most in Arizona, MCCCD is temporarily adjusting our grading policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic response. 

Except for courses or programs that require letter grades due to accreditation, dual enrollment, or other factors, all Spring courses continuing after April 9, 2020 will be converted to “P/Z” (credit/no credit). If you are in good standing at the end of the class, earning at least a C, you will receive a "P" (credit). 

If you prefer to receive a letter grade according to your course syllabus grading scale, you must communicate your preference to your instructor through Maricopa email or Canvas messaging no later than one calendar week prior to the end of your course. If you are taking multiple courses, you may choose to receive a letter grade in any one class or all of your classes. If you do not inform your instructor that you wish to receive a letter grade, you will automatically be graded “P/Z” (credit/no credit). Whether you choose “P/Z” or a letter grade, you must complete the semester in your classes to receive a grade and credit for the course. 

Important things to know:
  • “P/Z” grades will not be calculated in your Maricopa GPA.
  • AZTransfer has revised transfer policies for courses taken during pandemic response. For these courses, credits earned with a grade of “P” may be counted toward graduation, toward the AGEC (Arizona General Education Curriculum), and will transfer for program credit at our Arizona State universities, GCU, University of Phoenix, and others. If you plan to transfer outside Arizona, check with your transfer institution regarding 
  • P grades will not satisfy course or program requirements where the requirement is a grade of B or higher. 

Even with the availability of “P/Z” grades, you may feel you are unable to continue with a class and wish to withdraw. We want to support your academic progress and hope you will stay with us to complete the semester. Please speak to your instructor about your wish to withdraw. You may be eligible for a tuition credit or partial refund. You should also speak to an academic advisor about how withdrawing may affect your academic plan and/or your financial aid/scholarships/veteran benefits.

Important things to know about withdrawing:
  • Withdrawing from class(es) can adversely affect students who receive special funding and eligibility circumstances, such as athletes, Veterans, and students receiving federal student aid, scholarships, grants, loans, or accessing employer education reimbursement plans.
  • Students who withdraw from a course will receive a grade of “W” (withdrawn, passing) or “Y” (withdrawn, failing) on their transcripts and must repeat the course in its entirety to receive credit for it.

We know this is a very challenging time, and we’re here to support you. We are adding more information to the Student FAQs and Community Resources regularly. You can also email us directly here at SMCC and we will connect you with the department or individual who can help.

Can’t find the information you need online? Submit your questions through this online form so we can update the information for everyone.


Dr. Shari Olson
South Mountain Community College

Maricopa Community Colleges
Be careful. Take the proper precautions. Stay healthy.