Berry offers satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system for spring classes

By Rachel Hartdegen, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

MOUNT BERRY, Ga. — On Wednesday, Provost Mary Boyd released a statement that Berry will be implementing a satisfactory and unsatisfactory grading option for the spring 2020 semester. This option was decided by the Academic Counsel during an emergency meeting that was held on Monday morning.

This option is a temporary change for the spring semester only, in response to the transition to online instruction. Students have the opportunity to choose this for any of their classes if the course allows. This conversion is to help students who are having a hard time with remote learning.

With this new grading option, students will receive a satisfactory grade for a letter grade of D or above and an unsatisfactory grade for letter grades below a D. Once a student decides to convert their grade, they will not be able to return to the letter grade system for this semester.

A grade of satisfactory will satisfy requirements for majors and minors, as well as requirements for foundations courses. This grading option will also have no impact on a student’s GPA, but this conversion could have an impact on future opportunities. These adjusted grade options will be seen by future employers and graduate school committees on a transcript, so these grade adjustments could impact life outside of Berry.

To apply for a grade conversion, a student should first speak with their adviser and have the conversion approved. If the adviser approves the change, there is a form to fill out on Viking Web. This grade conversion also extends to Berry students studying abroad on a Berry approved program.

At the moment, professors will not be notified if a student converts their grade, so at the end of the semester professors will send their students’ letter grades to the registrar’s office. It is there that grades will be converted accordingly.

This temporary change has had a quick turnaround and some professors are unsettled by this decision. Dr. Brian Carroll, the department chair for communications, shared his concerns for this change.

“I think it underestimates our students,” Carroll said, “I’m fairly certain it removes incentive to embrace struggle and difficulty, in an academic sense. So, rather than striving, working, pushing to the next level, there is a big, fat, juicy reason to coast.”

As this change is implemented throughout the semester, more will be revealed, but at the moment students can choose whether to use this alternative grade option. The application for the grade conversion is due April 16 at 5 p.m.

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