Students at Manhattan College who fail to meet the minimum required grade for a class now have the opportunity to improve their grade point average by retaking the course at the college.
With a new grade replacement policy effective the 2014-2015 academic year, only the higher of the two grades received will be factored into a student’s cumulative GPA.
However, both grades will still be listed on a student’s transcript.
“The rationale was to give students the added incentive to retake a course at Manhattan College,” Registrar Luz M. Torres said.
The new grade replacement policy is not unique to Manhattan College, but a standard practice throughout colleges and universities across the country.
“It is common. Other schools are definitely doing this,” Torres said.
While the specifics of respective policies may vary, most colleges have some way for students to replace a failing or unsatisfactory grade when they retake a course.
“Every institution that we Googled had some kind of grade replacement policy,” Carla Fraser, associate registrar, said.
After being proposed by faculty members and deans, MC’s policy was approved in November of 2014 by the Educational Affairs Committee. Once specifics regarding qualifications for the program were determined, it was then announced to the college community.
Currently, the new policy applies only to 100 and 200 level courses at the college. Students may petition their respective academic deans to have a grade replaced for a 300 or 400 level class.
Additionally, the grade replacement policy can only be utilized the first time a course is retaken. It also only applies to classes taken at Manhattan College, not credits transferred in from other institutions.
While the policy is available for any eligible student during his or her undergraduate enrollment at the college, the Registrar’s Office cautions students to research potential impacts before having a grade replaced.
“Not everyone can do this,” Fraser said. “Financial aid might be affected in some cases.”
Students studying under the G.I. Bill or other programs for veterans may affect their benefits by replacing some grades.
Regardless, the new policy was welcome news for students at the college, especially those who are currently retaking a course.
Sophomore civil engineering major Alex Sciacchitano is taking a course again this semester after failing to meet the minimum requirement in the fall.
“It is a great policy, especially for students who need to maintain a certain GPA for scholarships or athletics,” he said.
“There is always a possibility of running into a tough class or professor and you end up having to retake a class,” Sciacchitano said. “It is nice to know that you can get a second chance to redeem yourself and come out relatively unscathed.”