Faculty senators discussed the possible adoption of credit/no credit grading system for all this quarter. COVID-19 has created new responsibilities for students that senators briefly parsed during the April 7 Faculty Senate Meeting.
CSUSB would join other Cal State Universities such as Fullerton, Northridge, Los Angeles, and Cal Poly Pomona who have made the temporary changes.
“Because of the unusual circumstances, we’re looking at technological solutions. The student on the back end would be doing some sort of indication to us in the Office of Registrar whether or not they would rather earn the course as a credit/no credit or earn the letter grade in the course,” clarified Vice President of Enrollment Management Rachel Beech.
Deputy Provost and Associate Provost for Academic Programs, Clare Weber enforced how the grading system would not change immediately into a credit/no credit system.
“We can’t change the grading policy that we already have in place,” Weber said. “It would require approval from the chancellor’s office because an executive order of Title Five has to be changed and they’re not going to do that.”
Speculation of credit/no credit grades created concern as to how it can affect students in the future, specifically their GPA.
According to the Office of Registrar under Definition of Grades, receiving credit/no credit as a grade in a course does not reflect on a student’s GPA, but it does show up on a student’s transcript
“It’s important we give our students the option to decide what they want,” said Senator Laisisi Ajayi from the College of Education. “And I think it is equally important that we advise them about the potential problem with going to credit or no credit.”
A student could benefit from a D+ because, under Definition of Grades, a D is passing as opposed to the credit/no credit requirements where it would be translated as no credit.
Ajayi explained how this can be applied to a real-life scenario.
“Many institutions and agencies require a specific percent or GPA. Many of the students may not understand now, but when they apply for M.A in some of these different programs, it may become problematic in the future,” said Ajayi.
Students should also consider how the decision could impact receiving financial aid.
“One of the issues we learned in one of the meetings is for veterans, if they earned an F in a class, they aren’t required to pay back their housing allowance versus if they earn a no credit they are, so there are a lot of nuances to all the various graded and options we’re considering,” said Senator Beth A. Steffel.
CSUSB student, Samantha Duran, suggested another problematic situation that can happen.
“I feel like one of the things to also consider is that students might take advantage of the situation and not take it seriously,” Duran said. “It all depends on the students’ situation. Others may be affected by the situation so, in the end, maybe it is a good idea to let the credit or no credit circumstances be present for whoever believes they need it.”
Student Alex Tuc took a different approach to the idea.
“Life is not perfect and we must deal with whatever we go through,” Tuc said. “In the end, it feels better when you accomplish something after going through something like this – COVID-19.”
Tuc explained how he works 45 hours a week and goes to school full time. He believes people will not work as hard as they should knowing at the end of the day they will have an option to change their grades.
Before making necessary changes, the faculty senators are doing further investigation to offer the best options for students.