Pass/no credit deadline to be extended

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    The deadline to elect pass/no credit in classes will be extended by a little over two weeks starting in the Spring 2015 semester.

    The purpose of pushing back the deadline is both to keep students engaged in class and to allow students to make a more informed decision for that class.

    “Most of the tests happen right around the time that the pass/no credit deadline was, so they may have taken a test, but they don’t have the grade back on the test,” said Jacob Greenstein, a sophomore international politics and Spanish double major.

    Greenstein led the efforts to change the policy.

    The deadline for the 2014 spring semester was Friday of the ninth week of the semester. According to the new policy, the new date will be the same as the last day to withdraw from a class, or when 70 percent of a course is completed.

    “By that point in the semester we don’t really have a good grasp of how we’re doing in that class,” Greenstein said. “[With the change] students can get a more realistic understanding of how they’re doing in a class to make a more cognizant decision to elect pass/no credit or not rather than doing it on a whim.”

    Greenstein added another major factor in pushing back the deadline was student involvement in class. He said if students have longer to decide, they will stay engaged in the course more, as it may still affect their GPA.

    The faculty was largely in support of the change, Greenstein said. The reason for the deadline not being pushed back further was to prevent grade inflation, which was a concern for the faculty involved.

    “It really doesn’t affect the faculty very much,” TCU Faculty Senate member Alan Shorter said. “It certainly doesn’t change the way we teach, in my opinion.”

    Greenstein came up with the idea when he chose the pass/no credit option in a class last year. He then asked other students about the policy to get their perspectives.

    “Consistent feedback was that it’s a really good option for the students, but there’s something wrong with it, and we don’t have long enough to figure out if we want to use it,” Greenstein said.

    Sophomore communications major Alex Eaves agreed the new policy is a positive change.

    “For one of my classes, the pass/no credit date was before our first test, so people would have no idea how they’re going to do in the class,” Eaves said. “It is will absolutely benefit students.”

    The change in policy was approved by the Student Government Association, the Faculty Senate and finally by Provost Nowell Donovan.