Helping New Students Adapt
Some colleges are eliminating grades
Joy Malak floundered through her freshman year in college.
"I had to learn how to balance my finances. I had to learn how to balance work and school and the relationship I'm in." The hardest part about being a new college student, Malak said, "is not the coursework. It's learning how to be an adult."
That took a toll on her grades. "I didn't do well," said Malak, who powered through and is now in her sophomore year as a neuroscience and literature double major at the University of California, Santa Cruz, or UCSC. "It took a while for me to detangle my sense of self-worth from the grades that I was getting. It made me consider switching out of my major a handful of times."
Experiences like these are among the reasons behind a growing movement to stop assigning conventional A through F letter grades to first-year college students and, sometimes, upperclassmen.
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