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Letter: Need For Midterm Grades

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Patrick Dolan

To Whom It May Concern:

            As a concerned member of the student body, I would like to put forward a proposal to make mid-term grades available to all students each semester. Currently, only freshmen and students who have a “D” or below receive mid-term grades, however, based on substantial support from the student body, the Board of Trustees, and the Student Government Association, I would like to make mid-term grades available to all students on a permanent basis. 

Many students, including myself, question the logic of providing mid-term grades only to freshmen and students who have a “D” or below in a class. As a Senior, every job or graduate school I apply to will look primarily at the last two years of grades, not my freshman year, therefore, why should mid-term grades be made available only to freshmen or students with a poor grade in a class and not to all students, especially upper-class students? Currently, many professors do not use the grade book on blackboard, which is extremely frustrating for students as they often do not know their grade in a class until they receive their final grade at the end of the semester. Additionally, the subjective components of grading systems such as attendance and participation make it very difficult for students to know their exact grade after mid-terms even when they have all other graded material.

Making mid-term grades available would not only make the grading process transparent throughout the entire semester, but would allow students to know exactly how they are doing in each class midway through the semester. Therefore, if a student received their midterm grades and they had a “C,” there would still be enough time to bring the grade up, however, if that student did not receive mid-term grades and their professor did not post grades on blackboard, they would be unaware of their “C” and by the time they got their final grade at the end of the semester it would be too late to do anything. Most, if not all professors should already have each students grades updated in their grade book after mid-terms, so essentially, the professor would just have to transfer the grades from their grade book to blackboard. This wouldn’t be too time consuming, but it would be a positive change for all students as they would know exactly where they stood in each class mid way through the semester.

I strongly urge the Administration and faculty to consider and accept this proposal, as it would significantly help all students while making the grading process more transparent for all involved. While I am cognizant that faculty members are very busy with their classes, personal research, and family, I do not think that asking for faculty to post mid-term grades for all students is too much to ask. This would be a minor change, but it would have lasting results. 

Patrick Dolan

Public Affairs Dept. Academic Senator, Student Government Association