New No Credit Policy gives students reprieve for classroom struggles

Lynnette Cantos, Assistant News Editor

The first time that sophomore architecture major Anne Clerisse Volcy took English Composition 2 (ENC1102), she didn’t make the grade.

“One of the reasons I didn’t pass is cause I focused on my major,” noted Volcy. “I felt like my major was more important than English. If I failed, I have to wait a full year for architecture class.”

Failing and retaking a class is not fun, especially when it’s a class you don’t have an interest in.

The No Credit policy hopes to make it easier for students to keep their options open without too much stress.

As previously reported by the UP’s website, Florida Atlantics students enrolled in lower-division courses will automatically receive a “No Credit” (NC) in their transcripts if they don’t pass the course.

“The system automatically converts that [grade] to an NC if the student didn’t make the minimum requirements for the grade,” said Dean of Undergraduate Studies Edward Pratt.

Effective this spring semester, it will count for current FAU students, both in-state and out-of-state transfer students, and incoming freshmen for summer and fall 2015.

Capture“It allows students in their initial year to treat education as a discovery, because that’s what I think it should be,” expressed Faculty Senate President Ronald Nyhan. “The IFP courses are really discovery courses, and I think that’s what college is all about.”

The No Credit policy is automatically added in a student’s transcript and allowed on classes under the Intellectual Foundation Program (IFP). The ‘NC’ grade can be applied a maximum of four times during a student’s academic term at FAU.

CaptureStudents under Florida’s Bright Futures scholarships benefit from the No Credit policy because they must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to keep their funding.

The existing forgiveness policy, that most students know as “freshman forgiveness,” allows a student to retake a failed class and use the new grade towards their academic transcripts. To apply the policy, students must fill out a request form and get adviser approval.

“Assuming that you improved, both remain on your transcript but the grade that’s calculated in your GPA is the higher grade,” said Nyhan.

The core of both policies’ purposes is to preserve a student’s GPA to their advantage during their academic term within FAU.

The No Credit policy is connected to new advising programs and triggers an alert to both the student and adviser that they received an NC grade, designating them for additional counseling and assistance.

Pratt mentioned how most freshmen arrive at FAU and have some missteps, yet sympathized with students’ distractions during their first year at college.

“There are certain courses that are very difficult. Some students don’t do very well and that sets them back not just in terms of their GPA, but psychologically,” Pratt mentioned. “We want to give them a wake up call.”

While your GPA isn’t brought down by the NC, it also doesn’t go up any higher. Failing one class is ok, but you can still get in trouble for failing more than one class in a semester.

“A student gets an ‘A’ in one course and then NC in three courses, does that mean the student gets a 4.0 for the semester? Of course not,” Pratt commented about students abusing the policy.

Despite the minor stipulations that might stop a low-GPA student, the No Credit policy works toward the favor of incoming freshmen at FAU looking for a second chance.