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BGSU Faculty Senate, Undergraduate Student Government discuss plus/minus grading scale

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Most BGSU professors follow a 10-point grading scale, but the university believes in a policy of “academic freedom,” allowing professors to choose the scale they use to evaluate students. Negotiations are happening between BGSU, professors and the Undergraduate Student Government to implement a standard grading scale.

BGSU is looking at implementing a plus/minus system. This would break down grades farther than the 10-point grading system most professors use now. This change would affect both current and incoming students but would not be retroactive.

USG President Hannah Cubberley explains the process has been very slow. The USG conducted a survey and found only 7 percent of over 1000 students surveyed approved of the concept. The challenges of making it a smooth transition that works for everyone involved is part of why the process is slow.

“Right now, it is with Faculty Senate. They are still in conversations. I believe they were waiting on the undergraduate council to give some final approvals and final feedback and adjust some of the language on it. Particularly on the pass/fail component of it — what courses would be considered passing and C, C plus, C minus — what would be considered failing,” Cubberley said.

She says at first the USG was less supportive of the process, but now they are working with the committees to try to make the transition as smooth as possible. She feels the transition could be rough for some students because it is about so much more than grades.

“It can affect how people look at final exams. Right now, if a person’s grade is at a certain point, they can get through finals with less stress. With this change, finals could be more stressful because it could be a make or break point for someone’s grade,” she added.

Students at BGSU have opposing opinions on the matter.

“I think it represents a step in the right direction of more accurately representing work to GPA,” senior accounting major Joseph Tansey said. He wouldn’t have a problem with the change.

“The only reason I have against it is because most of my A’s are not at the top of the A range. I don’t think we will see this happen during our college careers though,”  junior accounting major Cayleb Reys said. He isn’t worried about himself but about the future students coming to BGSU.

Cubberley said the USG is looking to see what types of support may need to be put into place as the new grading system eventually takes over. It may look like extended library or learning commons availability. It may also affect scholarship availability and Honors College students. The USG is seeking ways to make the transition as painless as possible.

“We’re still having the conversations. When the conversations that directly affect students are happening, we want to be at the table. We want to be sure that everyone’s interests are being represented,” Cubberley said. “It’s going to happen. We want to help it happen the best way possible.”

 

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