I Got a PASS email--What do I do now?

If you received an Penguin Alert for Student Success (PASS) e-mail, you may wonder what to do next.

First, remember that a PASS notice is informational only. It does not:

With that in mind, do something now to successfully complete the term. Here are some things you should do and think about:



Talk to Your Instructors

Students are often nervous to talk with their instructors, but do you know many instructors are surprised that students feel uncomfortable approaching them?

Professors are people too, and they care about your success in their classes. So even if you feel uncomfortable, step up to ask for help. Relax, introduce yourself, and have a conversation. Below are tips for meeting with instructors.

Don't wait! Talking with your instructor sooner is better to deal with issues as they come up. Most problems are easier to resolve early in the term.

Use office hours
Your instructor may have office hours specifically to talk with students; they will be listed on your class syllabus. If the instructor doesn't have office hours, or the hours are inconvenient for you, make an appointment.

Prepare for your meeting
Preparation will help you arrive at the meeting with confidence and remember all the questions you want answered. If you are anxious, write a list of questions beforehand. If you are going to discuss grades, take class materials with you--your graded work, lecture notes and even your textbook.

Be specific
You may think a poor grade speaks for itself but it doesn't! Tell your instructor if you are having difficulty in class. Be specific so he or she can recommend strategies to help you. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification about comments your instructor writes on assignments or tests.

It's okay just to say, "Hi."
Most professors enjoy talking with students--it's part of the reason they got into teaching--but chances are students rarely stop by their offices. Dropping in, even just to say hello, will make you stand out in class. And that's a good thing!

But what do I say?
If you aren't sure what to ask your instructor, here are some possible conversation starters:
  • Do you mind if I come by during your office hours to ask some questions?
  • If you were a student in your class, what would you do to get an "A"?
  • I'm not getting the kind of grades I know I can in your class. How do I improve?
  • Do you have suggestions about how I can generate ideas for my paper?
  • May I ask a couple of questions about the homework assignment?
  • What resources can you recommend to help me prepare for this class?
  • What strategies do you recommend to prepare for a test?
  • Where can I find a tutor?

Remember, your instructors were college students too! They are your best resource for becoming a successful student.


Consider Withdrawing from Your Class

Sometimes students find themselves with a failing grade and too little time to improve it before the term is over. In this circumstance, withdrawal is an option to consider.

What is withdrawal?
There is a difference between dropping classes and withdrawing from classes. If you have received a PASS alert e-mail, the deadline to drop most classes has already passed; it is likely you may only withdraw.

Drops: Occur when a student gets out of a class during the first two weeks of the quarter. Dropped classes do not show on a student's transcript.

Withdrawal: Occurs when a student gets out of a class after the first two weeks of the quarter. Withdrawn classes appear on the student's transcript showing a "W" instead of a grade. Because a "W" is not a grade, it does not calculate in a student's grade point average (GPA).

Are their consequences to withdrawing from a class?
If you have financial aid, receive other funding support, or you are here on an F-1 visa, there can be consequences for withdrawing from a class instead of earning a grade. If you are considering withdrawal, speak with the Financial Aid Office, others who are paying your tuition, or Clark College International Programs.

How do I withdraw?
You, the student, are the only person who can withdraw from your class; your instructor cannot do it for you. To withdraw, submit a request online through Web Registration on the "My Clark" page, or visit the Enrollment Services Office with photo ID to submit paperwork.

When is the deadline to withdraw?
In fall, winter and spring quarters, the last day to withdraw from most classes is the end of the eighth week of the quarter. Withdraw dates vary in summer quarter and for classes with unusual start or end dates; students may verify dates on the Important Dates & Deadlines Calendar. If you miss the  withdrawal deadline, you will receive the grade you earned in the course.

Can't I just drop the class?
No. If you have received a PASS e-mail, the deadline to drop a class has already passed. You may withdraw from a class but you may no longer drop.

How could withdrawing affect my funding?
If you receive financial aid and have questions about how withdrawing will impact you, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
Location: Gaiser Hall, Room 101
Phone: 360-992-2153
E-mail: finaid@clark.edu

If you have an F-1 visa and have questions about how withdrawing will impact your visa status, please contact the Clark College International Programs.
Location: Gaiser Hall, Room 215
Phone: 360-992-2390
E-mail: international@clark.edu


Use Clark College's free student support services

There are a variety of free services available to help you succeed at Clark College. Please review the resources on the Student Success Programs Resource page.


Talk to a Staff Member or Peer Mentor

If you have questions about Penguin Alert for Student Success (PASS) or how to use the academic services and resources available to you, please contact Student Success Programs. We're here to help you succeed!