Educational incentive or grade inflation?

Educational incentive or grade inflation?

Educational incentive or grade inflation?

A higher education news editor can see the good and bad in Western Oregon University's new plan to no longer give undergraduate students D- or F grades.

Citing a wrongheaded "GPA fixation" and an effort to support student success and encourage undergrads to continue their education, failing students will receive "No Credit" (NC) as of this fall.

Lamb, Matt (The College Fix) Lamb

"In my opinion, it is good that they aren't just pushing students through and giving them a passing grade," responds Matt Lamb, associate editor for The College Fix. "They actually are requiring them to repeat the course and demonstrate proficiency. This is a good idea to make sure that students know the material."

He does, however, have some concerns about the new policy, especially regarding the university's claim that the new grade will remove barriers to registration, financial aid, and transferring.

"It would appear that the university is grade inflating and giving the wrong idea about someone's proficiency," Lamb poses. "The university that they're applying to does need to know if they've had trouble with a particular class."

Students who do not earn a passing grade will be required to take the class over again and score proficiently. Officials believe the NC grade will be an incentive for students to remain in classes longer, rather than dropping them out of fear of getting an F.