CSUB students offered credit or no credit grading system

Megan Tishma, Reporter

  Students worried about the transition from face-to-face classes to online learning questioned whether switching grading over to credit/no credit would be an option.  CSU Bakersfield’s President Lynnette Zelezny addressed this during her virtual Walk and Talk on April 9. 

 “The opportunity, which is limited, you have six units total you can opt for credit/no credit, the deadline will be extended,” Zelezny said. 

  The Academic Senate has decided to make the deadline for requesting credit/no credit grading May 1, and there is a five day waiting period before President Zelezny is supposed to sign that memorandum.   

  Students must petition for the grade switch to credit/no credit and must have their professors’ signature along with the dean of their major.  Students will then be counseled by the professor and dean on making the switch. 

  Students who are faced with mental distress and new obstacles like homeschooling children or siblings may be relieved to have this option. Zelezny, however, warned students to really think about this decision before opting-in to switching over their grading.   

  “Now, I want to be really clear, mostly that’s not going to benefit you, so I want you to think about a couple of things here: so, if your ever thinking about going to graduate school, that credit/no credit, particularly in a required class, is really going to not help you. So, it would be better to really do your best and pass the course obviously, but to take a letter grade.  For many students with financial aid [there is] issues with that; veterans, athletes, again this is not to your benefit,” Zelezny said. 

  Students who receive financial aid are required to have a certain number of letter-graded classes in order to maintain eligibility.  Veteran students under the VA policy would have to return any funds for classes switched to credit/no credit grading.  Prerequisite classes also must stay as letter-grades in order to be used as a prerequisite.  

  According to CSUB’s website, credit/no credit classes cannot be used towards your major requirements for your bachelor’s degree.  Only 15 units of credit/no credit grading can be used towards general education. 

  Students who are worried about this option affecting their GPA also expressed concerns on the Walk and Talk.  Credit/no credit classes have no impact on GPA.  Since students will only be able to switch one or two classes with the six unit limit, this option may not be useful. 

  According to the CSU Long Beach website, classes that you get a credit for do not affect your GPA. It applies zero points toward GPA. If students want this to boost their GPA, it will have no effect, good or bad.  

 “I empathize for those students who depend upon face-to-face instruction, and therefore feel credit/no credit is only fair given the circumstances,” Allison Stogdell, a senior liberal arts and English major, said.   

  “It should be letter grading,” Stogdell said, for those who want to go to grad school or other programs.   

  During the Walk and Talk, Zelezny also wanted to make it clear that this was an individual choice.  

  “There is no blanket policy at CSUB. We definitely heard from students, it’s not what the majority of students want, and so it is a choice that is in your control,” Zelezny said. 

  Professors who were at the meeting made it clear that students who are struggling or need extra help should reach out to faculty.