Stanly Community College eliminated D's from its grading scale, and students seem to be benefiting. The change prompted conversation about how students’ progress is evaluated, and whether this is the best approach to increase student success.
John Enamait, president of Stanly Community College, said a number of factors contributed to the college’s decision. Universities will not grant a student credit for a course in which they received a D. Students at Stanly were also not allowed to take a higher level course if they earned a D in the prerequisite.
“It was determined that the grade of D was actually not helping students in any way -- it was actually beginning to hinder students in their ability to progress,” Enamait said. “What we were finding is that, inside the institution, the grade of D really, for most intents and purposes, was the equivalent of an F.”
The Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) between the UNC-system’s Board of Governors and the North Carolina Community College System outlines transfer requirements and equivalencies. It says students must make a certain grade in the CAA courses they take to be eligible for a transfer.
“A North Carolina community college student who satisfactorily completes, with a grade of C or better, courses identified in the Universal General Education Transfer Component will receive credit applied toward the university’s lower-division general education course requirements,” the document says.