CMC faculty to vote on extended credit/no credit deadline; students would view grades before deadline

The Kravis Center, a red building with glass windows. The sky can be seen on the left in the background.
Claremont McKenna College faculty will vote Friday on a motion allowing students to consider their final grades before opting for credit/no credit grading. (Liam Brooks • The Student Life)

Claremont McKenna College faculty will vote Friday on a motion allowing students to view their final grades before deciding to choose credit/no credit grading for their classes, a CMC source familiar with the proposal told TSL. 

If the motion passes, students will have until May 26 to request a grade of CR/NC after receiving their final letter grades May 22. All CMC instructors will honor requests for CR/NC grades, a change from CMC’s current policy that professors can choose whether or not to grant pass/no credit grades. Any student, in any course, would be able to request CR/NC grading via email, the motion says. 

The faculty will vote on the motion, brought forward by the CMC Administration Committee and Curriculum Committee, in Friday’s Zoom faculty meeting, which is set to run from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The faculty may also vote on a second motion which proposes an unspecified uniform floor/grade adjustment policy and an extension for the senior thesis deadline. 

ASCMC endorsed the changes proposed in the CR/NC policy on which faculty will vote, ASCMC President Johnson Lin CM ’21 told students via email April 6. ASCMC also endorsed a grade floor and/or grade inflation, and an extension of the senior thesis deadline. 

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The five undergraduate Claremont Colleges have not adopted a unified grading policy — Pitzer College, Harvey Mudd College and Scripps College have all announced separate finalized policies at different points over the past week. Pomona College is also set to vote on a final policy Friday.

CMC’s first proposed motion closely resembles Mudd’s spring 2020 grading policy, which also allows students to view final grades before choosing pass/no credit grading. 

Scripps will allow students to opt to take individual classes pass/fail until May 6, while Pitzer made “satisfactory pandemic” or “no record pandemic” the default, but will allow students to opt in to receive letter grades until May 15.

In a survey conducted by a student group called 5C Students for Grade Equity, in which 47 percent of CMC students participated, grade inflation was the most popular option listed among CMCers, with 84 percent of respondents in support.

But 82 percent supported a B+ grade floor, 70 percent supported pass/fail with an option for a letter grade and 66.4 percent supported pass with an option for a letter grade. A universal pass/fail system with no option for a letter grade was less popular, at 46 percent. The poll did not ask students about their opinions on an extended pass/fail deadline.

Grading policies across the 5Cs will travel with each colleges’ students, meaning that faculty at each respective college will honor grading policies of the other campuses when assigning grades, according to information distributed by both HMC and Scripps.

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