By Edward Kdonian
This issue has stirred up quite a bit of controversy among the students here at CCRI. For those of you who have not read our last issue, the basics of the proposal are thus: The administration of CCRI would like to remove the WP/WF grading option so that professors will have to assign students an F grade if they do not meet the necessary requirements to pass after the ten week drop period is over. Unlike receiving an F, WP or WF grades do not affect a students GPA. Meaning that while attempted credits are affected, your GPA will not suffer if you are forced by health issues or family issues to stop attending class.
The administrative reasoning for this change as stated by the Academic Advisory board in their meeting minutes, is twofold. First, it is stated, “These grades are not used consistently by faculty”.
Are these grades meant to be used only in special cases at the professors’ discretion? Currently each professor has the choice to give a student an F which will affect a students GPA negatively, or a WP/WF that will not.
Academic Advisory’s second reason is, “These grades do not encourage student accountability and responsibility…” Basically, the assumption is that taking away the safety net will force students to take college more seriously. However it could also be seen as a way to punish students who actually take education very seriously.
Student Government was informed the college is removing these grades in an attempt to align their grading systems with that of other colleges because they don’t use the WP/WF system.
However there are numerous colleges from New York, Florida, Texas, Georgia and more, that both accept and use these non-punitive grades. One simple Google search shows links to dozens of colleges who use this system.
Instead of the current grades, the Academic Advisory Board is proposing they be replaced with “Administrative Withdrawal”.
The description of this new grade reads: “The (AW) is used when a student must withdraw from a course after week 10… due to non-academic extenuating situations…” This means that if a personal situation arises that affects your ability to attend class, it is no longer between just you and your professor. You will have to write your private affairs down on a piece of paper and submit it to a department head. Therefore, someone other than your professor would now view a grade established by a student and professor.