General education minimum grades soon to require C or better

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Courtesy of Chico State

Beginning with the fall semester of 2016, a new policy will go into effect which will change the minimum passing grade for certain general education classes from a C-minus to a C.

The change applies systemwide at the California State University level with Executive Order 1100, which was approved on Feb. 16.

The new requirements apply to the group A general education breadth requirements and are meant to foster student success, said Stephanie Thara, a Chico State public affairs spokeswoman.

“Our faculty wanted to ensure that our students excel in every single one of their classes,” Thara said. “By receiving a C or better in English, math, critical thinking and quantitative reasoning, we know that our students are leaving those core courses with the knowledge and skills needed to academically succeed in the rest of their classes.”

Some students are supportive of the new requirement.

“It’s raising the bar in terms of what is expected from students here at Chico State,” said Angelica Rodriguez, a first-year geology major. “They’re easy classes. There’s no reason to not get a C or above.”

One of the reasons behind the change is to create consistency between four-year institutions and two-year junior colleges.

“Prior to the change, the C requirement only applied to transfer students,” Thara said. “We wanted to make the minimum grade requirements consistent across all students on campus, which includes first-time freshmen and transfer students.”

One of the biggest impacts this policy will have is starting in fall 2016, all students who receive a C-minus in a general education class will be forced to repeat the class in order to earn a C or higher.

“I already took all my area A general education classes and they were easy to pass,” said Nick Madden, a junior computer animation and game development major. “Having to take a class over again is absolutely ridiculous. This school needs to stop focusing so much on GE and more on helping students find their correct majors.”

However, the requirement applies to students enrolling in fall 2016 who have not previously been enrolled in a CSU or community college. Students who achieved a C-minus grade prior to the policy taking effect will not have to repeat courses.

First-year business major Sarah Klucznik said this seems like another way for the university to make money and continue to shrink the four-year graduation average.

“We are paying all this money already for classes we don’t want but have to take, especially if they aren’t major classes,” Klucznik said. “I think it’s a way to keep students here and make them retake classes for more money.”

Michael McClurg can be reached at [email protected] or @michaelmcclurg on Twitter.