Keene State College will implement a new grading system, incorporating (+) and (-) grades, rather than A, AB, etc. letter grades. Additionally, discussion surrounding the College Senate’s program elimination guidelines was discussed and pushed to a later date during the College Senate’s meeting on Feb. 14 in the Mountain View Room.

With the college’s new grading system, effective Aug. 27, 2019, all courses that were offered prior will use the current system, and all courses offered after that date will use the new system. No grades for courses offered before Aug. 27, 2019 may be changed to a (+/-) grade.

The new grading system was unanimously approved by the College Senate.

Additionally, in discussion regarding the College Senate’s program elimination guidelines, the Executive Committee decided now would not be the best time to proceed in discussing changes to be made. Senator Sue Castriotta spoke and suggested with the three-school system changing to two, and the fact that the names of those faculty and staff taking voluntary separations from the college has still not been made public, it’s best to hold off on having the conversation until the “dust has settled” with the college.

With the growth of the college’s widespread learning outcomes, Jo Beth Mullens, professor of geography, addressed the senators, on behalf of the committee of six, regarding the new outcome of sustainability. After distributing feedback forms, she asked for all suggestions regarding the language of the outcome. However, she said the committee wanted there to be three definite focuses: awareness, responsibility and action.

Two open forums will be held on Feb. 22 and Feb. 28 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. to acquire feedback.

The College Senate will discuss the possibility of using financial aid to fund summer courses. The hope is for students to apply their financial aid to the summer session by the summer of 2019. The concept has been sent to individual committees for discussion.

In terms of new business, Senator Castriotta shared that the Dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies Karrie Kalich and Academic and Career Advisor Jen Drake-Deese expressed interest in making KSC a Yellow Ribbon school.

The program “allows institutions of higher learning (degree granting institutions) in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with [Veteran [Affairs] to fund tuition expenses that exceed either the annual maximum cap for private institutions or the resident tuition and fees for a public institution. The institution can contribute up to 50 percent of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution,” according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website.

The reason for doing so, Castriotta said, would be to consider KSC a more veteran-friendly institution compared to others.

Provost William Seigh said, “We need to have a policy in place that takes care of our vets.” If student veterans were to be deployed, he said, what would happen to their credits?

Senator Kim Schmidl-Gagne said the topic is likely to be put forth during the College Senate meeting in March.

The College Senate will meet once again on March 21, 2018 in the Mountain View Room of the L.P. Young Student Center.

Jessica Ricard can be contacted at

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