Equitable Grade Accommodations for Missouri Baptist Students

Equitable Grade Accommodations for Missouri Baptist Students

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Beka Farmer
Beka Farmer signed this petition

As student leaders on the campus of Missouri Baptist University, myself, Orville Parker III, the president of ABC, Aaliyaha Gladney, the incoming SGA President, and Kolby Matsushima, the incoming SGA VP, believe it is our responsibility to advocate and provide a voice for the student body of Missouri Baptist University through all circumstances.

On behalf of the student body of Missouri Baptist University, we feel it would be in the best interest of students for there to be an adjustment to the grading policy of the University for the Spring 2020 semester, in response to the challenges presented by this COVID-19 pandemic. This change will accommodate students who have struggled with the transition to an entirely online academic format, including but not limited to a lack of technological resources, lack of access to necessary items in the dormitories such as personally taken notes or textbooks, lack of ability to learn effectively through an online format, and an essential change in personal schedule requirements and responsibilities which were brought on by the COVID-19.

We are proposing that the OPTION be given to each individual student to determine whether they will opt into a pass/fail (credit/no-credit) system for courses of their selection. In addition, we are proposing that there be a grading scale adjustment of five percent to those who do not opt into the pass/fail (credit/no-credit) system. Other Universities nation-wide have made adjustments for the new challenges that have arisen with the transition to an entirely online learning experience. In the St. Louis County alone, other Universities such as Harris-Stowe State University, Washington University, St. Louis University, and Maryville University, have adopted said adjustments for their student body in accommodation to the changes brought about by the COVID-19. For these Universities, each individual student is able to decide if and which classes they switch to a pass/fail (credit/no-credit) system, and letter grade values were adjusted (An “A” was adjusted to fall in the range of 85%-100%, a “B” in the range of 75%-84%, a “C” in the range of 65%-74%, a “D” in the range of 55%-64%, and an “F” in the range of 54% and below).

It is promoted that MBU is and operates like a family. When a family member struggles, everyone else lifts them up and supports them. There are students who do not have access at home to the resources that are made available on campus. There are students who have one or more parents who have been laid off and have had to pick up available shifts at work to compensate for their family's struggles. There are students who are not receiving the same type of material through their online courses that they would have received from lectures. Students are encouraged to take traditional on-campus, face-to-face classes, and MBU discourages students from taking more than two courses online in one semester. Students have been forced to be entirely online for their classes that were not structured to be taught in an online format, and thus have struggled to maintain their grades. The educational experience has changed drastically for students, and a change to the grading system demonstrates a great understanding of the different experiences that students are having to embrace.

By taking into consideration the suggestions brought forth through this petition on behalf of the student body, we see your sensitivity to the well-being of the students. We know that the University desires to see each student strive in life, and we are asking that the University help bring forth accommodations to help with such a desire.