UMD student works to change midterm grading policy

UMD student Molly McDonald has been working to amend the current midterm grading policy that would require professors to post midterm grades in a more timely fashion.

As Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Student Association, McDonald, in her third year at UMD, has been rewording the standing policy, trying to include more upper-level courses.

“I decided to look at it again and rewrite it,” McDonald said. “We’re actually going to pass a resolution on Monday, hopefully, in support of this new one.”

This has been an ongoing project in the Student Association office for a few years now, and although McDonald says it hasn’t been an easy process, she cares enough to get it done.

“If students turn in an assignment in, let’s say, September, and it’s not in the grade book before midterms, that’s not okay, because you don’t truly know where you’re standing,” McDonald said.

As the current policy stands, only students in 1000 and 2000 level courses receive alerts on their MyU page if they are failing a class. McDonald is trying to get that policy to apply under all courses.

“Anyone who’s failing any course at any level should get an alert,” McDonald said.

McDonald posing with our fearless mascot, Champ the Bulldog.

McDonald posing with our fearless mascot, Champ the Bulldog.

McDonald has listened to a lot of feedback already from students and faculty about how to improve the process of posting midterm grades.

“Students say they don’t know how are they are doing until weeks after midterm and after they can drop out of a class,” McDonald said.

Senior Travis Warner has seen his fair share of empty midterm grade postings and would like to see something change.

“Sometimes it can get really bad,” Warner said. “I had one class that didn’t get midterms up until after the school year was over. That wasn’t super helpful.”

McDonald believes there isn’t one specific reason why some instructors aren’t submitting grades on time.

“Sometimes, I think, life happens, and students respect that,” McDonald said. “I feel like there are multiple reasons and there’s no right answer.”

McDonald said nothing will likely come of these new rules until next semester at the earliest, but she remains confident that this new policy will benefit even more students than it already does.

“The policy is great, it has great bones,” McDonald said. “But what we can do when we see something wrong is propose a new one or add our vision to the current policy. Our ultimate goal is to get at least midterm grade alerts for students that are failing.”

*An earlier version of this article contained some inaccuracies about the Student Association office. Those inaccuracies have since been amended within the article.


NewsAndrew Becker