Students call for credit/no credit option following online spring term announcement

Last week’s announcement from the California State University chancellor that all 23 CSU campuses
would remain mostly online for the spring 2021 term has reignited student support for the
reintroduction of the credit/no credit policy. This allowed students to choose among three options
for how their final grades would be recorded, but CPP administration has not yet provided a
concrete response.

The spring 2020 policy allowed students to decide whether to receive a standard letter grade, no credit for grades lower than a D, or credit for the equivalent of a C- or better and no credit for grades lower than that. The credit/no credit option did not affect a student’s GPA.

Cecilia Santiago-Gonzàlez, assistant vice president of the Strategic Initiatives for Student
Success, discussed the thought process behind last semester’s decision.

“The abrupt transition to remote learning was very stressful for students. The credit/no credit
option was an effort to mitigate any potential negative impacts on student academic grades and/or
standing,” said Santiago-Gonzàlez.

Some students took advantage of the newly introduced policy to bolster their spring grades.
Graeme Gonzales, a fourth-year civil engineering student, spoke to his experience choosing the
credit/no credit option and how it helped him progress into this fall.

“Essentially, I did not want the grade of the class to greatly affect my GPA, since it was a
prerequisite for my major,” Gonzales said.

For others, like third-year accounting student Chris Marguerian, the switch to virtual learning was
the key reason for his decision to opt for credit/no credit.

“I felt that I wasn’t going to get a C or better due to the jarring change from in person to online
which led to disorganization of assignments and tests from professors, none of which I blame them
for; I know it was an impossible task,” said Marguerian.

The question still remains whether a credit/no credit option will be offered again this fall and upcoming spring 2021 semester. With the chancellor’s announcement, some students have expressed desire in having the option made available again.

Alex Cerano, a fifth-year civil engineering student said, “I think it would be really considerate of the school to keep the credit/no credit option. Even with all the COVID-19 related services
offered to students, it is still a great struggle for many people.”

Ashley Perez, a third-year aerospace engineering student, shared the same sentiment, “I think it should be offered again. We’re still online and it makes it harder for people to perform as well…
many professors expect us to perform the same even though the circumstances make it harder to
do so,” said Perez.

Reintroducing the credit/no credit option for future terms relies on the collective agreement of
CPP’s Academic Senate, Provost Sylvia Alva, President Soraya Coley, and the CSU Chancellor’s

Thus far, there have been no known discussions about extending the credit/no credit option to fall
2020 and spring 2021 terms, though current students can still request credit/no credit for their
spring 2020 grades by Dec. 13.

For more information regarding the credit/no credit option and other helpful links as well as
frequently asked questions, head to the following website:

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