Southern offers grade replacement

Jessica PellegrinoGeneral Assignment Reporter 

Southern has always offered students the “second chance” option of taking a course for the second time, as a grade replacement.

The system is simple. If a student is unhappy with their grade in a class at the end of the semester, they can take the course again. The higher grade of the two attempts would be the one calculated into their final grade point average.

Though both of the grades, the original and the Grade Replacement grade, will show up on the student’s transcript, the better of the two will prevail in the student’s GPA. In other words, if a student receives a D in a three credit class, and they retake it, they are only awarded the three credits once.

Students are currently allowed to use the Grade Replacement service up to five separate times during their college career.

Under the current system, a Southern student is required to manually fill out a “Grade Replacement Form” online before the end of the add/drop period every semester. The form is only available until this date, then it is taken off of the school website.

The end of add/drop served as a deadline for Grade Replacement. After this time, students would no longer be able to fill out the forms necessary to be a part of the process.

The weight of the current process does not just fall on the student. Under the current system, not  only do students have to fill out a form, but the Registrar’s Office also has to manually, one by one, replace every grade at the end of the semester.

The Faculty Senate, a group responsible for proposing university changes to the president, recently passed a resolution that, if signed by the president, would implement a series of changes to the current Grade Replacement Policy.

Dr. Marianne Kennedy, the associate vice president for Academic Affairs at Southern, believes the current Grade Replacement Policy has its flaws.

“The current policy required to the student to declare their desire to use Grade Replacement. They physically have to fill out a form,” said Kennedy. “But, in reality, some students just miss the deadline.”

In the past, Southern has tried to combat the lack of knowledge about the policy by sending out emails regarding due dates, but students sometimes miss or do not read the emails, said Kennedy.

Under the newly proposed policy, students will no longer have to manually fill out forms regarding Grade Replacement. The process would automatically go through for any student who is taking the same class for a second time.

So, by simply registering for a course again, a student is in the running for grade replacement.

Under the proposed Grade Replacement Policy, if a student retakes a “W” class a second time, but the second time the class is not listed as a “W,” they may still grade replace and keep the “W’’ fulfillment from the original attempt.

Grade Replacement is not available to all students. Some programs, like Teaching Certifications, require that all grades are calculated in to the students Grade Point Average. So, retaking and doing well in a class might raise their GPA slightly, but would not completely overrun the previous grade.

Kennedy said the proposed changes would only benefit the student body.

“Some students would have never figured out how to use the old system,” Kennedy said. “The new system would be helping them without them even knowing. I would recommend that any student who is interested talk to their advisor, as every case is different.”

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas

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