Students ask for credit/no credit extension as finals loom

By Aliza Majid, Staff Writer

On April 29, the University extended the deadline for students to drop their classes or switch them to credit/no credit to May 6. Some students are hoping for another extension, as finals week influences their grades.

After the sudden transition to an online semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some academic policies had to be altered to accommodate students’ course grading and credit decisions.

“The University administration, in close consultation with the Academic Senate, changed the deadline in response to concerns raised by students that in this unprecedented time they needed more time to make the decision about each of their classes,” said Robin Kaler, associate chancellor for public affairs.

The main concern about the policy extension was the newly revised credit/no credit policy that was enacted for the spring 2020 semester. The CR/NC policy allows students to select a class they wish to receive credit for if above a C- but ensures the course will not alter their GPA. 

“I think it’s really important to have the option, because the vast majority of classes are designed to be in person so when they made the switch to online, I think a lot of professors and students weren’t really prepared for that,” said Tommy Yang, junior in Engineering. “Especially lab classes, because I’m taking two lab courses this semester and not being able to be there in person and have a TA and the professors there is kind of hard. So, I’m glad we have the credit/no credit option.”

The original date to switch to credit/no credit or drop classes was April 30. The date was extended to May 6, the last day of classes, to give students more time to consider the policy.

“I think there were just a lot of questions right in that last couple of days, and it just made sense to extend it so that everyone had time to think carefully about what they wanted to do and what their options were,” said Robin Kar, chair of the Senate Executive Committee.

Though the University extended the deadline to May 6, there are students who still called for an extension for the credit/no credit policy to occur after finals. This would allow students to see their final grades and determine whether or not they want to elect CR/NC.

A petition was created by Vaidehi Ambardekar, senior in Engineering, to influence the University’s decision to extend the deadline. There are currently around 2,600 signatures on the petition from students who wish to push back the deadline.

“It doesn’t really make sense to have the credit/no credit option set before finals, because I know some people that have finals that are worth more than 30% of their grade and that could mean a grade change for so many people,” Ambardekar said.

As of now, the University does not plan to extend the academic policy deadline, but students who requested CR/NC by May 6 will have their courses processed for the spring semester.

“We just want to make sure that students who felt that they were not able to show their true academic capabilities, especially in an incredibly stressful period, were able to take an option like credit/no credit without it harming them in the long term,” Kar said.

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