1.0 Drop Credit “unacceptable”

UTM students who have been waiting for the implementation of the 1.0 Drop Credit policy should not be looking forward to it.

The campus’s vice-dean undergraduate says the administration is not open to more discussion about the topic.

The policy, which would allow UTM students to delete all record of a course of their choosing from their academic transcript, has long been touted on the platforms of UTMSU executives, including that of Andrew Ursel, the current VP university affairs and academics.

“After much discussion, I would say we are much closer to getting the 1.0 Drop Credit, given the tremendous amount of feedback we have gotten on the subject from students, faculty members, and administration,” Ursel said in an email response last month.

Kelly Hannah-Moffat, UTM’s vice-dean undergraduate since May 2011, said in an interview last week that to implement the policy would be to “compromise the integrity of the CGPA”.

Hannah-Moffat said the administration looked at the policies in place at peer universities where such policies are not instituted, and determined that implementing the 1.0 Drop Credit policy would be “unacceptable” and unfair to students who worked hard to maintain their CGPAs.

UTMSU first lobbied for this policy in 2011. The project was spearheaded by Dan DiCenzo, then UTMSU’s VP university affairs and academics, and Gilbert Cassar, then president. Hannah-Moffat said that Ursel had not met with her about the 1.0 Drop Credit policy at all this year.

“I haven’t seen anything new from UTSMU this year,” said Hannah-Moffat. “It was communicated to UTMSU last year that we would not open the issue of the Drop Credit. I wouldn’t support that kind of program. […] The drop credit is not closer, and it’s not an issue I’d like to see reopened.”

“I’m not unsympathetic to students,” added Hannah-Moffat, who said there are avenues for students in extenuating circumstances to drop a mark from their transcript in a fair way. She said these are important processes, since things happen that are out of people’s control.

“There could be a whole bunch of reasons why students may think they may need the Drop Credit, but if a student’s been invested in a course for a long time, they should get credit,” she said.

Hannah-Moffat points out that in lieu of the Drop Credit, the administration implemented the Credit/No Credit policy last fall. Then they extended the date for students to be able to apply for the CR/NCR policy from the last day to enroll to the last day to drop a course without academic penalty. They also modified the policy this past summer so that students are now able to apply it to two full-credit equivalents instead of one.

Addressing concerns that without the drop credit students can’t get rid of outliers on their transcripts, Hannah-Moffat said that graduate school admission committees are “sophisticated enough” to recognize outliers.

“It shouldn’t dissuade students from working really hard. We’re more than happy to hear suggestions from students, but also need to protect the integrity of the CGPA,” said Hannah-Moffat. She added that the changes to the CR/NCR policy and the processes of appeal for students in extenuating circumstances who “genuinely need” the petitions are strong processes that work.

There is also a petition for late withdrawal without academic penalty, which must be filed within six months of the end of the semester in question. Normally, late withdrawals are not granted if a student completed the course (that is, wrote the exam or submitted final assignments). This year, the last day to request late withdrawal after the drop date for fall courses is December 3.


  1. It should be implemented because it accounts for the extenuating circumstances that distorts the academic performance of many students. The effect of one unreflective bad mark disproportionately skews the CGPA, which in turn is used as a gauge to measure your capabilities or ability.

    The normal distribution curve in statistics acknowledges a margin of error in a data population of 5% (1 credit / 20 credits). Expunging one credit therefore accounts for a more refined and accurate measure of your capabilities (based on the 95% plus the additional credit you would have to take).

    There are comprehensive written reports on this with statistics.

    Ultimately student support is needed for this implementation to receive traction.

    • I’m all for this, but I can’t see this as something feasible for the administration. You are saying that all students should be given a credit worth of extenuating circumstances regardless of paperwork? There are already many safe guards in place for such circumstances such as dropping courses, late withdrawal, professor/faculty consideration, and petition to withdraw after late withdrawal date which is reviewed by a board for extenuating circumstances (tip: rumor has it they give you one freebie). However, all of this can only be done BEFORE you write the final exam.

      I think what the administration is getting at is they don’t want you to write a final exam, then back out later down the road because you didn’t get the mark you wanted. We are in a stage of transition towards independent adults, the choice we make has to be final.

  2. I think administration has done enough to help prevent you from having a bad mark on your transcript like CR/NCR or a later withdrawal date. In all seriousness, what effect does .5/1 Credit have on a CGPA wth 20 credits…NOT TOO MUCH. Yes the effect is still there….but not THAT BAD. It’s not the end of the world.

  3. Who wouldn’t want this implemented. It will benefit everyone. Ive talked to a bunch of commerce students, and they all want this to happen. Do it up!

  4. “Integrity of the CGPA”
    How comical

    And since when does being an adult mean that your actions are final?

  5. Think about if UTM implements this: Industry will know that UofT students are able to “hide” 1.0 credits, which not only “comprimise the integrity of the CGPA” but also devalues UofT student in general in the long run. This may eventually lead to loss of employment after graduation.

    • Dude, if you think about it, it is not like we are hiding 1.0 credits, it’s more like give students another chance to success in some courses that they feel that can successed on. Students who drop the creidit they don’t want can take another course they comfortable with and get a good marks on it. It will motivate students as well

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