Changes coming to ‘W’ grades
Students at Bakersfield College will soon face academic changes including the status of the “W” grade. as of January 2012, new state guidelines will impact students at BC, both present and future.
The changes were part of a plan drawn up by the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force and student representatives from around California.
First among the new regulations that have already started is the policy concerning the “W” grade.
In the past if a student withdrew from a class in time, they received a W grade without penalty. Under the new bill, Ws now count toward the maximum number of times students are eligible to take a class.
“It’s giving students incentive to be successful and move on,” said Student Government Association Vice President Toccara Byrd.
The policy is retroactive, which means W grades already given will affect student registration.
“In the long run, it’s going to help the students,” said Byrd.
Other measures on the bill will only affect future BC students.
As of January 2012, students will need to have a clear academic plan and major to work toward. The plan must then be reviewed on a regular basis.
“Students need to have a plan in place,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.
“Research shows it’s important to have a plan.”
The Kern Community College District also wants to push student development classes.
“We have more student development classes than we did in 2009,” said Gomez-Heitzeberg.
Future BC students also will see a reduction in the number of semesters they are eligible for financial aid and priority registration.
Starting soon, student loans will also be handled through outside agencies instead of on campus.
Gomez-Heitzeberg explained that the changes were brought about partly because of California’s financial state.
“We don’t expect the state budget to get better, and we don’t expect to have anymore sections,” said Gomez-Heitzeberg.
The goal of all the policy changes is to work within California’s budget, while helping community college students to reach their goals.
“We want our students to have the best possible chance,” she said.