Whereas, The disparity between grade distribution for students taking the same course with different instructors, formats and lengths within the same department/program/college raises questions of academic rigor and common standards;
Whereas, Students can now access the grade distributions of faculty at a given institution and may begin to make course selections based on the grade distribution of individual faculty;
Whereas, This practice of selecting a course section based on the grade distributions of an individual faculty member, could "incentivize" some faculty to change their grading standards in order to ensure their courses "make" and thus exacerbate the problem of grade inflation and/or disparity; and
Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, while recognizing the importance of academic freedom in the primacy of faculty to assign grades, also supports meaningful dialog among faculty about grading standards and rigor;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges research the prevalence of grade inflation within the California Community College System and the impact, if any, of the availability of faculty grade distributions on grade inflation;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges develop a white paper to empower local academic senates seeking to initiate local campus discussions on the topics of grade inflation and academic rigor; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges use its appropriate institutes and plenary sessions to share the results of its research on grade inflation.
MSC Disposition: Local Senates
The position paper Promoting Thoughtful Faculty Conversations about Grade Distributions was adopted Spring Session 2008.
S08 14.02 calls for a follow-up paper on effective practices.