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Points of Interest

Dastardly "D"

This Points of Interest shows that a grade of "D" was found to be more common for Black and Hispanic students than White students.
August 28, 2019
Christopher M. Mullin
Tags: Measurement and Outcomes, 6. Use data effectively., Structuring Equity

While Mississippi is the only state to prohibit a general education course grade of "D" to transfer and a review of regional accreditor websites did not present a policy position, it is general knowledge and has been reported on in the higher education space that a course with a grade of D rarely transfers into an upper-division program. This leads to students being required to retake courses they were led to believe they passed.

A review of publicly available data found that a higher percentage of black student consistently received a grade of D in gateway courses, followed by Hispanic students. The consistency of outcomes illustrates an engrained trend: even as the number of students earning a grade of D decreased from 19,506 in the 2014-15 year to 17,678 in the 2017-18 year, the gaps remained. This Points of Interest shows that a grade of "D" was found to be more common for black and Hispanic students.