The Faculty Senate passed a temporary grading option that allows students to decide to opt into a credit or no credit grade for the Spring 2020 quarter during the Faculty Senate Meeting on April 21.
Discussions related to an alternative grading system were provoked due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The motion was mentioned but not confirmed from the previous meeting on April 7.
The primary author in drafting the changes to the grading policy, Senator Beth Steffel, said, “my goal in bringing this to you is to come up with the best possible options for students in the unprecedented times we’re at.”
The meeting took place through Zoom where the credit/ no credit grading alternative was voted and adopted by the senates.
CSUSB joins other Cal States, such as Cal Poly Pomona and Fullerton, that offer this grading option.
The senators discussed time-frames that they found reasonable for students to make the change to their grade. The time-frames were described as a “two-stage process.”
Stage One will last until the final day of instruction when students can issue a course grade as credit or no credit. Steffel explained Stage Two will last two weeks after final grades have been posted where “a student can petition the registrar to convert a posted letter grade.”
The two-stage process was recommended by the Office of Registrar to Steffel to keep up with the demand for these changes. Exceptions for the deadlines may also be waived on a “case by case” basis.
Senator Shari McMahan stressed that the change does not wipe the letter grade clean off a student’s record.
“We are to record all letter grades,” McMahan said. “And keep those on file and students have an option to do credit/ no credit. The letter grade will always be on file. So when they try to apply for their credential program or go into nursing, they can pull the transcripts with the letter grades.”
Under Definition of Grades at CSUSB, receiving credit or no credit as a grade does not reflect on a student’s grade-point average, but it does show up on a student’s transcript.
With all the possible outcomes a student has on hand for their grade, Senator Davida Fischman recommended that the request for these possibilities should be accessible and efficient to them.
“I just wanted to request that the procedure for students to request a grade change after the fact be as simple as possible,” Fischman said. “That they’d be able to just go in and make the request and not have to fill out a great big form and and write a lot of justification and so on.”
Additionally, it has been established that unauthorized withdrawals this quarter will not count towards the withdrawal limit. Grade forgiveness in a course for Spring 2020 will not count against the limit as well.
Credit/ no credit talk has yet to reach second year CSUSB student, Daniel Cardenas.
“To be honest I didn’t even know you could do this. I’ve been so busy with work. I’ve just been making sure I turn everything I have into Blackboard,” Cardenas said. “That’s pretty crazy, the fact that it’s an option is cool.”
Cardenas is majoring in history and is disappointed that he’s taking his major classes online, where he finds it more difficult to keep up with classes. He is considered an essential worker and finds the option for credit or no credit comforting.
“I mean I’m still going to just do what I got to do,” said Cardenas. “I’m paying for school so I don’t want to just take a class and not get the credit, you feel me?”