Credit: Mustang News File Photo

Students have the option to select Credit or No Credit grading for a Spring 2020 course through June 5, but five majors out of 60 undergraduate programs are not giving students this ability.

The Credit or No Credit option is potentially causing students to load up on courses, with about 1,000 more students enrolled in 20 or more units than in previous spring quarters, University Spokesperson Matt Lazier wrote in an email.

For Spring 2020, there is no limit on the number of General Education (GE) classes students can take Credit or No Credit, but each department has its own policy on whether or not Credit or No Credit grading can be used to fulfill major or support course requirements. In a campus-wide email from the Office of the Registrar, each individual department determined the amount of Credit or No Credit units that a student can take in their major or support classes. 

Five majors — all within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) — will not allow Credit or No Credit grading this quarter. Animal science and dairy science are two majors among the five CAFES departments that will not allow Credit or No Credit grading.

Animal science department chair Jaymie Noland said faculty decided against Credit or No Credit grading, as they were concerned about students who are or may want to pursue professional school such as veterinary school, medical school or graduate school after graduation. 

“This was actually a majority vote by the faculty,” Noland wrote in an email. Most programs have not waved their grade requirements and we would not want to assume they will and potentially jeopardize the chances our students have to pursue future educational opportunities.”

While food science and nutrition majors originally also did not allow a Credit or No Credit grading option for major classes, the department recently changed their policy, according to food science and nutrition department chair Stephanie Jung.

“Faculty were concerned about the impact [Credit or No Credit] courses could have on students’ future applications for admission to graduate programs, dietetic internships or other professional programs,” Jung wrote in an email. “While the original decision was made with students’ best interests in mind, after further consideration both programs decided to revisit their decision.”

In a campus-wide email from the Office of the Registrar, they wrote that students may be taking more units, however course expectations will not be changing. 

“For a variety of reasons, many students this term have enrolled in higher than typical loads,” the email read. “If you are taking a higher than typical load for yourself, please be mindful that course expectations and time demands for virtual instruction are not meant to be different than when the course is delivered face-to-face.”

Computer science junior Austin Shin said he was deciding whether or not to drop Introduction to  Operating Systems (CSC 453), which he said is one of the harder computer science requirements, due to the online nature of the course and the professor deciding not to hold a lecture. When he learned of the new Credit or No Credit policy he said he decided to take the course. 

“When I found out that my professor wasn’t going to do any lecturing I wasn’t going to take the course,” Shin said.“I reached out to my advisor and they told me about the new Credit or No Credit policy and I decided to give the course a try.”

When making grading changes to courses, the Office of the Registrar recommends that students wait until April 20 to make any changes so that the Expected Academic Progress gauge in PolyProfile is not negatively affected.

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