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HPU's new optional plus or minus system
by Vanessa Katz, A&E editor

Beginning this fall semester, the HPU faculty will be able to give plus or minus grades. This option was requested by the faculty so that it could better document students’ performance.

Under the current system, a student earning a course grade of 89 percent would receive a “B” and 3 grade points per credit. Under the new policy, a student earning the same percentage would receive a “B+” and 3.3 grade points. Transcripts will also reflect this change.

There is no “A+” under the new optional grading scale. A 4.0 remains the highest possible grade point average attainable. Current “A” students will just have to work harder for the same “A” worth 4 points. Instead of scraping by with a 90 percent, a 4-point “A” will require at least a 93 percent and an “A-“ will give only 3.7 grade points per credit toward your GPA.

Dr. John Fleckles, vice-president for Academic Administration, has overseen implementation of the new grading policy, which was the expressed will of the faculty.
File photo

“An ‘A’ under the new plus/minus system will mean more and carry more weight than did the old ‘As’,” said Susan Olson, an adjunct communications instructor at HPU. Students under the new system have the opportunity to earn higher GPA’s.

“Numerically, there is a huge range that each grade can fall into under the standard grading system,” stated Olson. Narrowing the grading range gives teachers a better opportunity to distinguish students’ effort. New grades will recognize and reward greater effort put forth by students. “I would think that students would want that distinction,” Olson added.

“I’ve always thought that an A should be reserved for students displaying exceptional work and exceeding set standards, while a B is above average, and a C is average,” said Olson, “an A should not be standard.”

When asked if she would be implementing the new grading system, Olson replied with an enthusiastic “yes!”

Faculty members will have the option of using the plus/minus system or the standard system. Students will know whether a course uses the plus/minus option, at the beginning of the semester by reading each course syllabus.

Under the current policy, graduate students receiving a D grade or lower in graduate courses will receive F grades. Under the optional policy, D grades do not apply to graduate students.



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