CCM settles into new grading system

BY GINA FICO
Contributor

The County College of Morris has aligned their grading system to match the vast majority of two to four year colleges state and nationwide, and according to students and administrators the benefits are already being felt on campus.

“It will be [very] beneficial to students here,” said Christina Herbst, a CCM student.

Herbst said she is used to a plus and minus system, as she came from a liberal arts college in New York State and had that method of grading there.

Starting this fall semester, CCM students can expect plus and minus letter grades, according to Kim Andriani, liberal arts division administrative assistant.             

Matt Mancuso, a Phi Theta Kappa member, agreed that this would improve the overall student experience at CCM.

“Students would get a little more satisfaction in knowing exactly how they did, sometimes just a letter grade is too vague,” Mancuso said. “I feel that the 99 [percent grade] should carry more weight than the 90 [percent grade], there’s a whole nine [percent] difference. It’s not as if you’re downgrading someone’s A, you’re just showing where on the 90 to 99 scale they scored.”     

Some students said they were frustrated with the grading system at CCM saying that with so many colleges having pluses and minuses and did not understand why CCM had not switched over sooner. One benefit is that students will clearly know where they stand in class. Instead of obtaining a B and knowing the grade was somewhere in the 80’s, the new system gives a clear indication of how progress was made. Some students may also feel it is unfair to obtain the same letter as someone who did not work as hard.

“Overall people would improve with the new grading system,” said Jefferson Castano, a CCM student.

Castano said accuracy is more defined with this system. He said accuracy is a positive component, but with the new grading system representing hard work students deserve.

Student’s grades can now better reflect with a plus the hard work they did during the semester. Furthermore, Castano said that adding pluses and minuses to grades brings a greater impact on a student’s GPA.

Student Stephanie Coulman said she is not overly concerned about the changes in the grading system, although she said it makes more sense to have the plus and minus system, not having it would not affect her either because she had it at high school before coming here.

“It shouldn’t matter so much about the plus and minus,  ‘B’ is still a ‘B’ and an ‘A’ is still an ‘A’,” said Coulman. Coulman said that by giving students a letter grade, they know what range they are in and that is enough.

Some high schools participate in number grading and students prefer this way of grading because it is the most accurate of the ways a student can be graded.

CCM, which is treated by many as a stepping stone for future academic endeavors, offers a lot of help for students looking to transfer. Many students are convinced that transferring might be easier if we used the same grading scale as other two and four year schools.

“I believe this system would be beneficial to me as a transfer student ,” Student Abby Lengyel said. “I feel that some schools will look at my transcript and only see that I got a certain grade, when really I could’ve been the top of my specific class and would be deserving of a higher grade. In reality there’s a difference between an 83 and an 89.”

Getting a B or a B+ could make all the difference for a transfer student.

“The grades are generalized,” said Reed Schetlick, a communication major.“I would assume that a school that I’m transferring to – if they had a plus or minus system – that they would want to see a plus or minus system because its more specific. “If I’m getting an 89 it would obviously look better to them, but they don’t see that, they just see that I got a B.”

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