A&T gets new grading policy

Beginning the fall semester of 2014, the university will implement a plus and minus grading system for incoming freshmen and future students.

“The new system should have minimal impact on students,” said Akua Matherson, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management. 

“With the exception of being clear on the grading scale for their individual class and translating that into the GPA and final grade you want to have by the end of the semester.”

Adding the new grading system will not affect previous cumulative GPAs.

Matherson noted that students should understand that their grading scale is clearly outlined in the course syllabus that they receive for each class in which they are enrolled. 

The associate vice chancellor also advises that students should know what the numeric grade translates to on the grading scale and in turn corresponds to in respect to the GPA.

“For students that have always sought to do well, this will be an easy transition. For students who may not have concentrated as much as they need to, this should serve as a wake up call to re-engage and re-focus on academics.”

The addition of the grading system is meant to function as a motivator for students to strive for higher grades in their classes. Matherson explained that “students who have sat squarely at C’s should now strive to hit a B- and move from there. Likewise, students who have been strong B students should look to become a student at an A- and push from there.”

Britney Newton, a Secondary Education Major said that although she is not very familiar with the new grading system, she does not feel that it would benefit students. 

“My best friend goes to East Carolina University, who uses the plus/minus grading system. 

From her experience, the new system makes it harder for students to maintain a decent GPA.”As an education major, Newton thinks the system will be horrible for students. 

“The system will essentially be the collegiate equivalent to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The new system will cause students to focus more on grades rather than retaining content, just as NCLB caused students and teachers to focus more on standardize testing.”

Matherson said that staff members are content with the new changes. “Many faculty members who have come from other institutions were already familiar with plus minus grading.”

“As the university continues to push for excellence and seeks to have a greater presence as a research institution both at the graduate and undergraduate level, plus/minus grading is the standard. It allows faculty to have more flexibility and more appropriately score assignments and tests based on the individual student.”

A&T is the first HBCU to implement a new plus/minus grading system. 

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  • LACI OLLISON, Register Reporter