With an average campus grade point average of 3.1, UNC is one of many universities nationwide questioning the true value of a grade point average in the face of grade inflation.
But with a policy that will include contextual information on transcripts, the value of that 3.1 GPA — and of all grades received at UNC — will hinge on the relative performance of a student’s peers.
On Friday, the Faculty Council approved the policy with a 21-13 vote. The change will apply to students entering UNC in 2012 and after.
Under the new policy, each student transcript will include the median grade in each of their classes, the student’s percentile rank compared to peers in the same section and a “scheduled point average” — the average median grade for all students enrolled in the student’s mix of courses.
The policy will also send grade reports to faculty and publish class grade distributions online.
McKay Coble, chairwoman of the Faculty Council, said the plan was a year in the making.
After the Faculty Council unanimously approved a resolution endorsing expanded grade reports last year, it appointed a committee to create a plan.
Andrew Perrin, associate chairman of the sociology department, served as chairman of the committee. The group drafted the three-pronged policy in an attempt to better portray a student’s performance.
“If the student’s GPA is above their (scheduled point average), then that’s an indication that they did better than the average student would have done in that mix of classes,” Perrin said.