Fall 2020 Credit/No Credit Policy
December 11, 2020
Dear Baruch Students:
As the semester draws to a close, I write to update you on some very recent developments with regard to academic policy for the Fall 2020 semester. As you have likely heard, on December 7, the CUNY leadership provided the flexibility for each college to choose—for this semester only—one of three options:
- Allow the use of CR/NC grades for all Fall 2020 courses as in the Spring 2020 term.
- Allow the use of CR/NC grades for all Fall 2020 courses except those the college designates to be excluded.
- Do not allow the use of CR/NC grades in Fall 2020 but expand access to the college’s existing flexible grading policies using the University’s P/NC grading framework.
The CR/NC grade option permits a student to convert a course grade between B+ and D- to a grade of “CR” and a grade of F to a grade of “NC.” Neither the CR nor the NC is included in the calculation of the student’s GPA. The CR grade will allow the student to earn credit (for credit-bearing courses) but is not factored into the GPA. If the student elects an NC grade in place of an F then it is not factored into the GPA, and the student will not earn the credit. A course with a grade of CR earned at one CUNY institution will transfer to another CUNY institution.
Recognize and Respond to the Pressures and Challenges Students Faced
I recognize that without warning, your College experience—and indeed, life as we once knew it—has been totally upended. The painful reality is that as we strive to maintain the health and safety of our campus community—as well as the momentum of your education—many in our community are experiencing previously unimaginable levels of stress and personal hardships. Baruch’s decision was guided, first and foremost, by our commitment to equity and access, along with our commitment to advancing academic momentum toward graduation, the achievement of learning outcomes for all students, and post-graduate opportunities and success. We listened to your concerns, and we empathize with you as you strive to balance family obligations, jobs to keep financially afloat, challenges with reliable internet access and other technology issues, and even needs around basic shelter and food security. The College has recently initiated the Stand Up for Baruch campaign to raise support for our students facing financial obstacles during this challenging time.
Baruch College’s CR/NC Policy for Fall 2020
While many of you reached out to me requesting the College adopt “Option 1” outlined above, it is not within my authority to simply mandate an academic policy at the College. Grading policies are typically under the purview of the faculty, and there is a shared governance process that must take place to consider the merit as well as potential pitfalls of a given policy. Baruch faculty, department chairs, and deans have worked overtime in the past week to consider the three options, and they overwhelmingly support “Option 2.” There are many considerations in their thoughtful deliberations, and they have concluded that Option 2:
- Recognizes and responds to the pressures and challenges students faced this past semester
- Provides the most flexibility for students and faculty, in terms of grading, for wide-ranging levels of classes across different disciplines
- Best supports academic success next semester and beyond (e.g., progressing into a more advanced class without adequate preparation from a foundation class could lead to major difficulties)
- Facilitates academic advancement and graduation
- Enables students applying for scholarships, graduate schools, and internships to remain competitive (e.g., while Credit/No Credit policy was commonplace across the county in the spring 2020 semester—as an emergency measure—it is not so beyond that one semester, and there is a concern that it could put our students at a disadvantage over the long run)
- Serves new Baruch graduates entering the job market
- Protects clinical and professional opportunities in graduate degree programs
- Preserves the integrity of Baruch degree programs
Extended Deadline for Withdrawals
To allow students additional flexibility, Baruch College is extending the “last day to withdraw from a course with a grade of W” to Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
Students will have the opportunity to select the CR/NC option for eligible courses during a designated period after fall course grades have been submitted and posted (in January); we will communicate those dates to you once CUNY establishes them.
Courses Excluded from the CR/NC Policy
I encourage you to visit the Baruch CR/NC resource page for more details and the list of Baruch courses excluded from the CR/NC option. General policies by School are as follows:
Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
All Marxe courses are included in the CR/NC option.
Weissman School of Arts and Sciences
Weissman courses are included in the CR/NC option with the following exclusions:
- All Undergraduate courses at or above the 3000 level in Mathematics are excluded.
- Graduate courses in Mathematics are excluded.
- All courses in the Graduate program in Mental Health Counseling are excluded
Zicklin School of Business
Zicklin courses are included in the CR/NC option with the following exclusions:
- All required undergraduate business courses including pre-business courses, business core courses, and the required courses in the BBA majors will be excluded.
- All Graduate and Executive courses are excluded
When considering electing the CR/NC, students should bear in mind that the minimum GPA required for admission to the Zicklin school will be based on available GPA, and the minimum GPA required for continuing in Accountancy and Finance majors will be based on available GPA.
Please consult the Baruch CR/NC resource page for the complete list of excluded courses and more information.
Our Commitment to Your Success
I know that for many of you the College decision may not provide the immediate relief you are looking for during a very difficult time. Please be reassured that it is my top priority to keep the momentum of your education, and Baruch’s faculty, staff, and leaders are committed to the integrity and reputation of your Baruch degree and your long-term success. As you work toward the final stage of the semester, please be aware that there are extensive services for academic support, professional advancement, emergency funding, and counseling. I ask that you reach out to the Dean of Students and the counseling center directly for any assistance you need.
We will continue to communicate with you as additional details of the CR/NC policy become available. In the meantime, I wish you all the best with your final assignments and exams as we enter the last week of the semester. With the December break rapidly approaching, I also want to wish you peace, health, and wellness for the holiday season.
S. David Wu
President, Baruch College