CMC, With Near Certainty, Keeps Letter Grade Option
After campaigning for Claremont McKenna College (CMC) to adopt a Universal Pass/Incomplete/No Record Pandemic grading system, student activists at #NobodyFailsAtCMC failed to push the faculty to revote before final exams week. The move comes after CMC Dean of Academic Affairs Peter Uvin notified faculty that he did not support a universal grading policy.
“However, with the end of semester approaching, it is very possible that our Universal Policy will fail to pass,” organizers stated on its Instagram page.
Organizers state that a universal policy would be fairer towards students who lack resources at home to adequately complete work amid the shift to online courses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Additionally, home environments vary across the student body. There are a multitude of factors impacting students, including but not limited to: domestic abuse, gun violence, financial instability, food insecurity, housing insecurity, lack of access to mental health resources, time zone disparities, documentation status, lack of consistent internet access, escalated struggles with physical and learning disabilities, homophobic and/or transphobic home environments, and countless other factors. The impact of these factors are especially heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic fallout. Furthermore, with the majority of students no longer physically present on the Claremont Colleges campus, the college is limited in its ability to remedy any of the aforementioned elements that are likely to impact academic performance, and therefore is unable to maintain equal opportunity. It is unavoidable that while students in secure home environments are able to achieve their full academic potential, others will be significantly hindered by their circumstances,” read part of the movement’s statement, which was signed by over 700 individuals and students, including several CMC faculty members.
The movement modeled its proposed policy on Pomona College’s—a fellow member of the Claremont Colleges Consortium—universal pass/incomplete/“no record pandemic” policy, which passed the faculty vote last month. However, the CMC faculty decided to not reconvene to vote on the movement’s proposed policy.
While there is only one week left in the academic year, #NobodyFailsAtCMC intends to divert its efforts to push for a faculty vote next week, during final exams week.
Under CMC’s current policy, students have letter grades by default but may choose to have credit/no-credit grades until May 26th, four days after grades are revealed in the student portal.
Out of the five Claremont Colleges, so far, only Pomona and Pitzer Colleges have switched to a universal grading policy. Scripps and Harvey Mudd Colleges opted to allow students to retain a letter grade.
This post was updated to reflect Claremont McKenna College’s current grading policy.
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