UTSC students can now take one class with the credit or no credit option as part of their degree. The St. George campus’s Curriculum Renewal Committee approved the option to Arts and Science Students in 2008. It is not available at UTM.

Under this option, the student’s mark in the class does not factor into their GPA. Students need 60 per cent in the class to get a degree credit, or CR, on their transcript. Those with lower than 60 per cent get a “no credit,” or NCR.

“This option will give students an opportunity to explore the various courses on campus not at the expense of your GPA,” reads an email from Aisha Khaja, VP academics for the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, and UTSC student affairs dean Tom Nowers.

Students need to choose the option before the last day to add the course. The credit/no credit course cannot count towards satisfying program requirements. The decision, once made, is final. The instructor, however, is not told which individual students in the class are doing the course on that option.

“It took a little while for students to grasp a couple of its features, that they couldn’t switch back if they were getting 51 per cent or 90 per cent, and that they shouldn’t be using this to avoid a non-stellar mark in one of their hard program-requirement courses,” said Glenn Loney, assistant dean of the arts and science faculty. “But now that those things are sorted out, it seems to work well. They seem to like it and are taking advantage of it,” he said.

Execs of the Arts and Science Students’ Union want the option expanded to two course equivalents. “I think that because the breadth requirements for the next academic year are changing, the faculty should consider increasing the opportunity to exercise the CR/NCR option,” said ASSU executive member Grant Gonzales. ASSU president Gavin Nowlan said the no credit option will allow students to engage a wider variety of courses and to take intellectual risks.