Expansion of CSULB's Spring 2020 CR/NC grading policy to Fall 2020

Expansion of CSULB's Spring 2020 CR/NC grading policy to Fall 2020

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Harmony Hernandez started this petition to CSULB Academic Affairs and Provost Jersky

In the midst of a pandemic, students across the nation have faced the hardships of learning online AND dealing with the pandemic itself. On Tuesday December 8th, the students of CSULB received an email from Provost Jersky stating that the university would NOT be offering an extension of Spring 2020's credit/no-credit grading policy. Provost Jersky gave only 3 concerns that affected the outcome of this decision, concerns that students attending the university feel could easily be solved. The purpose of this petition is to amplify the concerns of students and ask that the university reconsider its decision. 

The first was "Multiple semesters with few or no letter grades recorded can do considerable harm to students’ transcripts"; there are a number of ways to solve this one. The university must acknowledge that now during the pandemic students are NOT within the same learning environments as they had been in person, not only that but many professors have failed to adjust to the online environment making simple classes in the 100 level extremely harder than 300 and even 400 level courses. The solution students are proposing is to limit the number of credits students are able to request CR/NC for based on the number of units they are taking, some students are taking considerably more units than others because the university itself pushes for a graduation within 4 years rather than to improve the wellbeing of their own students.

The second concern listed was "The Spring term grade distribution indicated that a greater number of students received no-credit for courses they typically would have received C or D as passing grades. This affects Standard Academic Progress (SAP), which can negatively affect Financial Aid"; to the student's understanding and the CSULB grading website (https://www.csulb.edu/student-records/understanding-grades-and-grading) an A, B, or C counts for credit. According to Provost Jersky there was a significant amount of students who received a NC for a C when they should have received a Credit for it on their transcript. This result should not be placed on the students to blame, but rather the professors who allowed for this to happen. We understand that the spring semester was extremely tough, but student's opted for the CR/NC option because they were under the impression that they would be receiving credit for their passing grade without the harm on their GPA. If the University is more than willing to say "students were aware that they were registering for courses that would most likely not be taught face-to-face" then the professors teaching courses this semester need to be upheld to the same standard, because instead of receiving an adequate education this semester and support and understanding from professors, students received more work online than they would have in person.  Not everyone has adequate home environments where they are able to preform to the best of their abilities, and yes students understood that they would be learning online this semester, but the university fails to recognize that students have not been able to work and afford housing AND school so a great majority of students have been forced to go back and live with their families. Not only that but not every student has access to a stable internet connection, a quiet place to take their classes, or a ride to the nearest free wifi which in turn affects their ability to 1) complete and turn in assignments 2) read some of the readings posted by professors and 3) participation (which in many classes counts as a grade). 

The third and final concern given was that "Many graduate and professional schools do not recognize credit/no-credit grades, especially when extended over a long period," but 1) we would not need to ask for credit/no-credit grades if the circumstances were not what they are now and 2) not all students wish to go to graduate school so by refusing to allow students to make the decisions in which they believe is best for THEIR education the university is directly harming the portion of students who just want to graduate. 

Finally, the advice given by Provost Jersky "If you have questions or are struggling with a class, reach out to your instructors. You can also talk to your academic advisers or department chairs, who are more than willing to help convey any issues you are facing to our faculty or offer other resources," we cannot reach out to the professors who refuse to listen and be considerate of student's situations because they simply will just not listen. 

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