One-third of a point may seem minor at first, but it makes a big difference for a student who gets an A- instead of a B. A new grading system that adds plus and minus grades gives Xavier professors 12 grading options instead of the traditional five.
“I’m happy with it because I just think if we’re going to do grading responsibly, this is very helpful and it’s fairer to the students and more accurate,” says Janice Walker, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The discussion about adopting plus and minus grades became a proposal from the college in September 2003. After gaining approval from faculty and administrators in the Williams College of Business and the College of Social Sciences, the student government association and University administrators, the proposal went into effect last fall.
Though some students preferred getting an A over an A-, most seem to like the new system. Walker says she had fewer grade change requests on her desk last semester than in the past.