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“Grade Forgiveness” not on the horizon

Published: Monday, February 15, 2010

Updated: Monday, February 15, 2010 14:02

Grade forgiveness has long been a topic of debate at UCCS, but a decision made last March by CU-Boulder's Faculty Assembly may have ended the discussion for the foreseeable future.

Last March, Boulder's Faculty Assembly voted to end its grade forgiveness policy. The policy had allowed students to retake a class and use the repeated class grade toward final GPA calculations, while discarding the previous grade.

The Assembly's reasoning for discarding the policy was that the Colorado Springs and Boulder campuses should have consistent standards concerning grade forgiveness.

Current UCCS policy does not allow students retaking classes to discard previous grades, but instead counts both grades in final GPA calculations.

The assembly's move has stirred up more discussion concerning the policy, which many believe could benefit students seeking graduate or professional studies who have had bad semesters that have affected final GPAs. Grade forgiveness could improve a student's cumulative GPA if the repeated class grade is higher than the original grade.

"I believe PPCC has a similar [grade forgiveness] policy, and it is a great opportunity for students to redeem themselves after a lackluster performance in a course," said UCCS senior Stephanie Canales. For Canales, the grade forgiveness policy represents the chance to achieve the best possible GPA, which she believes will affect her ability to get into graduate school.

Grade forgiveness has been discussed at UCCS in the past. According to Thomas Napierkowski, a professor of English at UCCS, the issue was brought to the attention of the UCCS Faculty Assembly and the Educational Policy University Standards (EPUS) board by Student Government a couple of years ago.

At that time, Student Government representatives pointed out that the CU-Boulder campus had a grade forgiveness policy, and felt it was unfair for UCCS students to be held to a tougher standard.

In response to the complaints, the UCCS EPUS board began drafting a grade forgiveness policy for UCCS, but discontinued after the Boulder Faculty Assembly's vote last March.

The three-campus university policy does give UCCS the option to establish a grade forgiveness system. The Administrative Policy Statement for the University of Colorado system states, "Any policy on course forgiveness/repetition shall apply only to the campus whose faculty develops and adopts it and shall apply only to the students enrolled on that campus."

Napierkowski commented that UCCS' current system can grant grade allowances in personal emergency cases, like injury or death in the family, but such cases are rare. 

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