Under the Grade Forgiveness Policy, students are allowed to repeat a maximum of two courses in which they received a grade of a D or F, to improve their cumulative GPA. The student may request that the repeated grade is the only one counted toward their GPA in total. Associated Student Government officials are proposing a change in the grade forgiveness policy that would allow students five chances for grade forgiveness as opposed to two, the ASG vice president said.
So what do I think? I’m going to start this one off with a little story. When I first came to the university, I was a transfer student from a junior college in Texas. If you didn’t already know, junior college is basically just an extension on high school—the only differences are the bigger classes, teachers whom you call professors and harder coursework. Let me be the first to say that although the word “college” is in the title, junior college is nothing like actual college.
Transferring into the UofA, I had a 4.0 GPA, which wasn’t uncommon for me because I’ve always been somewhat of a nerd and proud of that. So I thought because I had already been in college for a year that I was more than prepared for the UofA, but I was completely wrong.
My first semester, I was wide eyed, bushy tailed and stupid. Everything was so new; because I had never been away from home before (and I’m talking not even summer camp) I wasn’t used to the newfound freedom that I had. No one was telling me what to do, I could stay out late, go wherever I wanted and I could skip a class or two and sleep in. I also got really involved with UATV and The Traveler, and I basically spent all my time in the Kimpel basement as opposed to going to class every day. And because I was young and stupid, I justified my poor choices in my mind by thinking that in the broadcast world your GPA didn’t really matter; if I wanted to make it in the business I needed some hands-on experience instead of some stupid math class. Long story short, I justified my skipping all the way to my very first failed class ever in life. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen—I failed my math class.
When you’re new to college, it’s really easy to mess up and get caught up in “the college life.” You’re basically drunk in love with your newfound freedom and sometimes your attendance grades suffer for that. Once I decided to come back to planet Earth, I realized that I needed to figure out how to fix my mistake, and that’s when I found out about the UA grade forgiveness policy. I think this policy is a godsend; I think officials at the UofA realize that everyone isn’t perfect and that sometimes students need second chances. The fact that they give you not one but two chances to fix mistakes is more than enough.
I don’t think that the amount of classes that you can retake should be extended to five instead of the current two. I think that giving more chances to fix mistakes just gives students more reason to make those mistakes in the first place. I understand that stuff happens, and sometimes, just like me, you get caught up. But everyone has to grow up at some point and realize that they can’t just keep making the same mistakes and certainly not five F's worth.