PLUS-MINUS GRADING TO BE IMPLEMENTED
During the Friday, April 20, meeting of the Student Government (SG) Senate, Dr. Jeremy Haefner, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, discussed the Institute’s plans to transition to a plus-minus (A+, A, A-, etc.) grading system in fall 2013.
Approved by Academic Senate and President Bill Destler in spring 2009, the system was originally intended to become active during the 2010-2011 academic year. After the Institute made the decision to transition to semesters in early 2010, implementation of the new grading system was postponed.
Plus-minus grading will be optional to the professors, but in instances of classes with multiple sections, the choice will be given to the department. Under the plan, pre-requisites will be counted with a grade of C- or higher, though Haefner stated the weight of grades on the new rubric may be changed.
A study year was decided on after concerns of how the new grading system will affect financial aid and GPA It will commence during the next school year with 10-15 faculty volunteers, mostly in engineering and technology fields, who will use both grading systems concurrently.
Classes using the plus-minus grading system during the trial year will not affect student grades; that is, the equivalent letter grade will be reported for the purposes of calculating GPA, without pluses or minuses.
Kate Gleason College Senator Richard Latham and Freshman Senator Paul Darragh expressed concerns that the study pool was too small, and should include more departments and students. Haefner responded that he would bring this concern back to faculty to evaluate the study parameters.
INTERSESSION CLASSES PROPOSED
Haefner also discussed plans for intersession (to take place during winter break) and summer session classes to go along with the semester conversion.
Currently, the planned goal of the sessions is to give students the ability to advance or catch up on their work, do distance learning, research partnerships and study abroad. The sessions will also be aimed at getting alumni re-engaged with the campus through various opportunities and retraining, and give non-RIT students a chance to earn transfer credits and college credits in high school.
Intersession, which will be three weeks long, will consist of a student taking one letter grade course with time available for study sessions and office hours with professors. Intersession will have separate tuition, and will be priced to offset the lower amounts of available financial aid available for the session.