Ministry of Advanced Education- Intervene on behalf of UAlberta students wanting grades

Ministry of Advanced Education- Intervene on behalf of UAlberta students wanting grades

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Camilla Stephan started this petition to Alberta Ministry of Advanced Education

Minister Nicolaides, your Ministry's webpage when discussing your responsibilities, defines that your services are driven by outcomes, one of which is that

"The adult learning system is accountable and coordinated"

Please assert your power and hold University of Alberta (UA) and its Board of Governors accountable for the decision to remove grading choice from UA students, and please coordinate UA with the majority of other Canadian universities such that we too are offered the right to choose between our grades and CR NCR on our transcripts. 

University of Alberta (UA) has chosen to impose on its students either CR or NCR on transcripts for all courses taken in the Winter 2020 term, as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. In contrast, under identical circumstances (again, COVID 19), the vast majority of Canada's universities continue to offer their students  transcript grades if they wish them, rather than impose on them pass/fail /CR/NCR. This includes but is not limited to University of Calgary, McGill, University of Toronto (UofT), Queens University, the University of Western Ontario, University of Saskatchewan, University of Manitoba, UBC and UVic.

These universities recognize that students require grades for many reasons including for licensure and admission to graduate and professional degree programs of study. UofT- Canada's top university by many measures- in fact warns its students AGAINST choosing CR/NCR if they require grades to qualify for certain licenses and admission to programs of further study. UA on the other hand, imposes this on us, and makes the unsubstantiated claim that they will issue 'letters of recommendation' in lieu of transcript grades which "will certainly" be considered- however, UA students continue to gather written advice from other institutions to the contrary- these institutions to date have not waived or altered their requirements, to consider "letters" instead. 

Not having the choice to have our hard earned grades on our transcripts will put UA students requiring grades at a disadvantage compared to students from other universities with whom they are competing for admission to professional and graduate programs, for example. Such UA students will suffer consequences which UA is unilaterally imposing on them. Allowing students to choose whether they want grades or CR NCR on their transcripts rightly shifts responsibility and any consequences for this decision to students, where it should be. 

UA readily accepts our tuition in exchange for services and by virtue of our syllabi- which call themselves "agreements" between students and itself- a contractual relationship is formed which entitles students to expect what we have enrolled for- grades as part of the education that determine our futures. UA syllabi refer us to UA Policies which include the Assessment and Grading Policy which states in part

"assessment serves as the means whereby the level of student knowledge and achievement is communicated to a variety of stakeholders in the broader world including prospective employers, other academic institutions and accrediting bodies"

UA students have exchanged consideration (tuition) for services on the basis of UA Policies, and we have a right to expect that the policy be upheld including the right to grades which reflect our "knowledge and achievement". 

Please carry out your duty Mr Minister, on behalf of the undersigned UA students , and hold UA and its Board of Governors accountable for this breach. 

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