Indiana Daily Student

LETTER: A call for pass/fail classes

Jews, Christians and Muslims, R152. A level 100 class that presented one-fourth of students with a final grade of a “C” or a “D.” To put that in perspective my level 300 tax accounting course gave 20 percent of students “C”s and no “D”s that semester; my level 300 corporate finance class gave 15 percent “C”s, no “D”s; and the loathed 300 managerial accounting class I was in had a similar distribution to the class I am lamenting. I distinctly remember a classmate of mine walking up to my GA after discussion on Friday and saying, “Is there something I can do about this because I am not a ‘C’ student.” Neither was I. Nor have I been since my time in Jews, Christians and Muslims. My low grade not only tanked my undergraduate GPA, but almost cost me admission to my graduate program. The fault was mine for the low grade but the system is flawed. How can one, level 100, non major course come so close to altering an academic career and even a professional one? I was even naive enough to not pursue an internship with a public accounting firm my junior year due to my commitment of being honest with recruiters about my intention to stay a fifth year in school. If I had not been admitted to my program there is a good chance I would have been FUBAR.

I know my case is not isolated. Others have come head to head with the same problem and the societal consequences may be severe. What if I had been a promising pre-med student barred from attending medical school? Or a pre-law student with high hopes of attending a top 10 law program and going into politics? Or simply an undergrad denied a chance at decent job all together? The grade distribution of the school needs reform. 1 non major class should not hold this much weight over a career and perhaps not even 1 major class should either. 

Everyone trips over his shoe laces once in awhile and the consequences in the competitive academic and real world can be dire. Pass fail for non major courses is the start to grade reform Indiana University needs.

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