Information sent to students from the City Tech Administration:
We are pleased to inform you that CUNY has decided to extend the new, flexible grading policy to include the fall 2020 semester. There are some aspects of the policy that are different from the fall and other aspects that are the same.
What is the flexible grading policy?
The flexible grading policy applies to all students. After final grades are posted in CUNYfirst, you can choose to convert the traditional letter grade you earned in each single course (any grade from B+ to F), into a grade of Credit (“CR”) or No Credit (“NC”). When you select this option, your letter grades of B+ to D- will convert to “Credit” while your letter grades of F will convert to “No Credit.” Grades of Credit or No Credit will not factor into your GPA. You will have until Saturday, January 16, 2021, to select CR or NC instead of a letter grade in any of your eligible classes. Some courses are not eligible for CR/NC, and a detailed list is included below.
Do you have to use the flexible grading policy?
No. It is important you understand that using the flexible grading policy is not mandatory. You can select this option for one course, for several courses, or for all courses. You can also choose to keep whatever traditional letter grades you earn.
If you choose to take advantage of the policy, you will make a separate decision for each course. You can keep the letter grades that work to your advantage.
Over the next few days, City Tech will post new information and tools to help in your decision-making. We will let you know as these become available.
What is different from the spring 2020 semester?
There are important differences. First, you cannot convert a grade of A- into a CR grade. Across the university, a number of students did this by mistake in spring 2020, with the result of a lowered grade point average. Second, there are many instances when converting a grade into a CR might prevent you from progressing in your degree program. Some licensure requirements demand that a student have a grade of C or better in all classes within the major. A grade of CR won’t do it! In other cases, a grade of C or better is a prerequite to progress to a more advanced course. To prevent you from falling into that trap, the CR/NC option may not be available for some of those courses. You still need to be careful in your choices, especially if you expect to transfer into a different degree program or plan to apply to a clinical program.
What should you do right now?
Speak with your academic advisor if there is any uncertainty about your individual case. You will have a period of time after your grades are posted in CUNYfirst to make your decision. In most cases, the deadline is Saturday, January 16, 2021.Continue to monitor your City Tech email, since we will send more information as it becomes available.
What is the process for declaring a CR/NC grade?
The University has created a process in CUNYFirst that will allow you to use a drop-down menu showing the course and original grade submitted by your professor and then, if appropriate and useful, to have the letter grade converted to a CR/NC. It is important to keep in mind that once you make the declaration for CR/NC, it is final! You cannot go back and change the declaration to a standard letter grade. Think through your decision CAREFULLY before submitting the request! Once you make your decision you cannot change it. If you have been on academic probation or have a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0, the minimum required to graduate, it is crucial you talk to an advisor before making a final decision to take CR for a C or higher.
Some courses are not eligible for conversion to CR!
No courses that have the following prefixes can be converted to CR:
VCT, EDU, DEN, HSA, NUR, RAD
Nor can the following courses:
Human Services: HUS2305, HUS2405, HUS4701, HUS4801;
Health Services Administration: HSA3510, HSA3560, HSA3602, HSA 3630, HSA 4620 and HSA 4740;
Math Education: MEDU3002, MEDU4000, MEDU4001 and MEDU4002.
Architecture: ARCH1112, ARCH1212, ARCH2312, ARCH2412, ARCH3512, ARCH3612, ARCH3630, ARCH1231, ARCH2331, ARCH2431, ARCH3531
Computer Engineering Technology: CET3625
Construction and Civil Engineering Technology: CMCE 1115, CMCE 1215
Why? In all of these programs there are requirements that students pass classes with a grade of C or better, in order to qualify for licensure, or teacher certification or other professional credentialing. So, you would only delay or damage your progress by converting grades with these prefixes into CR grades.
What do you need to consider when making this decision?
You may want to reach out to your academic advisor or program director to ask questions about how this may affect your degree plan and/or your financial aid awards. Keep in mind that while all CUNY colleges SHOULD accept your credit for transfer, we cannot guarantee that all colleges and universities, graduate programs, scholarships, and other parties will accept the grade of “CR” for credit. If there is doubt, raise the question directly.
There is an excellent FAQ on CUNY’s website. It can be found at https://www.cuny.edu/coronavirus/credit-no-credit-policy/faq/. In particular, it lets you explore the implications for financial aid. It is being revised to cover issues related to the current semester, but will be updated well before you need to make your decision. Links to important information will also be posted on the City Tech Registrar’s CR/NC page, found at https://www.citytech.cuny.edu/registrar/credit-no-credit-policy.aspx .
When should you consider NOT taking the CR/NC grade option?
In any of the following scenarios or a combination of these, you should speak with your advisor and strongly consider not declaring the option:
1. Graduating students with GPA below 2.0: If your major GPA and/or cumulative GPA is currently below 2.0, and you are hoping to graduate this Spring, converting a letter grade of C or better may not be a good option for you. Any letter grade of C or above will move your GPA closer to 2.0. You need a GPA of 2.0 or higher to receive your degree. Converting a letter grade of D to CR will remove the option to repeat the course for a higher grade, which you might need to raise your GPA over 2.0. It is crucial you talk to an advisor before making a final decision.
2. Considering Post-Graduate Programs: If you intend to apply to a graduate program, for a scholarship, or to any program outside of CUNY that has requirements for minimum passing grades, you may want to think carefully about the CR/NC option. An entity outside of CUNY, such as a professional licensing body, a private scholarship organization, or a graduate program outside of CUNY, may not accept a grade of “CR.”
3. Veteran Students Using the GI Bill: The University Director of Veterans Services, Lisa Beatha, has notified the colleges that veterans who choose this option may owe a debt to the VA. Students are strongly advised to contact the campus Veterans Certifying Official prior to declaring the CR/NC option. At City Tech, our certifying officials are Jennifer Kearney firstname.lastname@example.org & Kwesi Reid email@example.com
4. Students intending to enter a clinical health program or teacher education program: The highly competitive admission requirements to the clinical programs include a C or higher in many general education programs, such as BIO, MAT, PSY, and others. They may not accept a CR rather than a grade for those courses.
Some Financial Aid considerations
Federal Student Aid: Students who receive federal aid are required to successfully complete courses within a specified period of time, with a determined GPA and at a pace based on the length of their academic program, known as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The federal CARES Act allows for a college to exclude any attempted credits that you did not complete, for class meeting dates that include December 31, 2020 or the end date for the Federally-declared emergency from SAP calculation, because of COVID-19. You will not need to submit an appeal for the exception.
State Student Aid: Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), New York State’s higher education student financial aid agency, has determined that students certified by the college as impacted by COVID-19 and receiving state financial aid will not suffer negative consequences regarding their current or future awards. You will be required to submit the CUNY COVID-19 Financial Aid Documentation form to the college where you are enrolled as supporting documentation. You will be notified when that form is available for the fall semester.
Generally, when in doubt, it is best to GET ADVICE! You can contact your academic advisor or email any additional questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help provide you with clear answers.
Again, CUNY has created a comprehensive FAQ. You can access it by clicking here.
Keep in mind that the decisions are yours. In most cases it will be clear what is your best choice. Where that is not the case, City Tech is here to help.