New grading system pending approval for fall 2017

A new grading scale system is set to be implemented at Oakland in the fall of 2017 pending University Faculty Senate approval.  The grading scale will become more consistent with the systems used by other universities across the country.  


According to former Student Congress President Nick Walter, there have been issues with our current grading scale system that have been present since 1963.  


“When I first set out to change this two years ago before I was even running for president, a senior member of the administration told me there was no way this would happen for the next five to six years,” Walter said.  “And now, it’s going to happen.”


The biggest issue lies in the transcript key, Walter explains.


“On the back of your transcript there’s actually this translation key that changes your GPA into a letter grade and back into a GPA,” Walter said.


Under Oakland’s current system, a 3.6 to a 4.0 is an “A” that changes back into a 4.0.   A 3.0 to a 3.5 is a “B” that changes back into a 3.0.   This makes students with a GPA of a 3.5 look like they got a GPA of 3.0. 


“A 2.0 to a 2.9 is a C which turns into a 2.0,” Walter said. “So you could graduate from OU with a 2.94 GPA […] and be going to grad school with a 2.0.”  

On a committee that was formed to examine issues with the current grading scale system, they became aware of this problem and began pursuing options that wouldn’t send some Oakland graduates off to grad school with a disadvantage to other universities.  


The proposed solution is called an Alpha Numeric Scale.  Under this scale, students won’t get a GPA.  They will get a letter grade with a possibility of a plus or minus.  GPA will only be available on your transcript.  


The new system is not quite yet official. In order to become official it must be approved by the Faculty Senate.  Walter expects the change to be approved but said students must keep pushing for it.  


Walter says this change is something all students should want to see happen.  

According to Walter, the current system allows students the potential to be disadvantaged against students from other universities as well as other students in different classes with different scales.  


“The only thing that I’ve heard push back on is that there is a small minority of faculty who just don’t want it because it’s different,” Walter said.  


“With any process there is always going to be people who are resistant to change.”


Walter feels that getting this approved and official would be a huge win for Student Congress.


“If this year in Student Congress was a huge failure and we got nothing else done except this, I would consider it a successful year.”