Give students the OPTION to report grades as credit/ no credit this semester at MSU.
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Given the extenuating circumstances surrounding the coronavirus and the move to online classes for a full month, Michigan State University should move to give students the option for all their classes for this semester evaluated on a pass/ no pass or credit/ no credit basis. The classes this semester should have no bearing on any students grade point average (GPA). The reasoning for this is as follows:
1. Some students may lack accessibility to the required tools to conduct their learning online. It would not be fair to those students to be held to the same standard as those that have access. This simple accessibility issue could cause some students GPA to be lower.
2. Some students may have difficulties learning online versus using face to face instruction. It is not equitable to change the way we have to learn and expect the outcome to be the same as it would have been given normal circumstances. This learning difference could cause, again, the GPA of some students to lower.
3. Some students may not be able to return for finals or feel as prepared for finals. This will yield lower test results and cause students GPA to be lower.
Why is lower GPA a bad thing?
With a lower GPA, there will be many issues that will present themselves. First of all, students need a high GPA to gain internships and employment. Yes, it is not the only thing employers look at, but, in a world of algorithms that automatically review your resume and look for desired or undesired items, it is hard to say it is not a large potential limiting factor. Secondly, some students need a good GPA to get into their desired college within Michigan State. By moving to online classes, MSU is denying the students the ability to compete in some cases and the ability to get into their desired college.
There are likely more reasons that the switch could cause issues for students that I have not listed here.
So, then, what is the solution?
The solution is have all classes from this semester have no bearing on any students GPA. I propose that students are given the option to have all their classes evaluated as credit/no credit so none of the adverse effects of this major event will affect our collectives GPAs. For those that will or want to succeed still, they will have the option to opt in or out and their regular GPA will still be reported to them. The GPA that the student would have gotten should be shown in class before they make the decision to opt in or out. Even if opting out, the student should have access to report any positive number to prospective employers and wherever else it is necessary.
This solution will provide equity for all students and allow students to maintain some sense of normalcy in their respective college careers.
Please consider something like this Administration of MSU. We are all looking to you for guidance in this strange time.
William Paul Bulkowski, concerned Michigan State University student
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