The question of whether a C- is an acceptable grade for pre-requisites was one of the topics asked at the Academic Senate meeting last Monday, Nov. 25.
Currently the Contra Costa Community College District does not have a plus or minus system within the grading scale. The question is should Los Medanos College, Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College accept a C- for prerequisites and those that are transferring into the schools?
Los Medanos College’s Director of Admissions, Robin Armour, posed this question to the senators in the meeting. The decision could go either way according to Armour.
“We don’t have many C-’s because most the schools that we accept transfers from are from community colleges that don’t have the plus and minuses,” Armour said. “What would be affective, more so, I think, would be high school transfers. So students that take Algebra 2 in the high school, they can go into Math 30 or Math 34. But if they get a D or a C+, or a C- in one of the semesters they take it, is it still suitable? Is it still acceptable?”
Prerequisites are established so students are more successful in the classes. The question is does C- indicate efficiency in that prerequisite course?
The origin of the question came from the meetings with the other Directors of Admissions from DVC and CCC. Being a part of Admissions and Records, they are the ones that do the coursework of other colleges. After a student’s coursework has been evaluated, Admission and Records handles the official evaluations and works “really closely with faculty” according to Armour.
The CCCCD treats a C as a C regardless of the actual grade percentage. However, a C- is not actually a 2.0 GPA. To calculate a student’s GPA, an A is four points, a B is three points, a C is two points, a D is one point and then it is multiplied by the number of units. The GPA of a C- is a 1.7.
For an example, Armour explained, “So if you have a plus and minus grading system, for a minus you would take like four. Let’s say I had a C+, which is 2.0 and I would add .3 so it would be 2.3 times the number of units. If I had a B-, I would take to a 3.0 and subtract .3 and I would have a 2.7 so a C+ is not the same as a C-.”
Although this is a question being posed, Armour stresses that it is “not even close to being a decision.” The senators of the Academic Senate are the ones that need to take the question to the department and discuss it. From then, they decide whether they want to take a vote on it or not. If they do want to vote on it, it would be put on the agenda for the future meetings in the spring semester. Also, they could be silent on the matter if they don’t have an opinion and would like it to stay the same way.
“It’s not that we’re not going to accept it or going to make a change in the policy,” Armour said. “It’s just a question and what they think, like I said, it’s an academic professional matter so they’re the ones that have to decide.”