Changes In Grading, No More Internship Credits
Written by Bwog Staff
Columbia releases all announcements on Friday mornings, including one from a few minutes ago that states that effective immediately, CC and SEAS (and a similar email was also sent out to GS students) “will no longer provide registration credit (R credit) on academic transcripts to note that a student has participated in an internship.”
Columbia will instead adopt a policy similar to peer institutions of pressuring companies into fairly compensating their student interns. Yale and Princeton, for instance, don’t award credit for internships. Harvard undergrads can’t use internships in themselves to obtain credit, but they can put them toward independent study. U Chicago has yet to join the bandwagon to abolishing academic credit opportunities. NYU allows students to receive credit for both paid and unpaid internships.
It’s illegal under the Fair Labor Standards Act for companies to benefit from an intern’s work and not compensate them in some way. That’s why some companies get out of paying their interns by requiring them to obtain credit through their academic institutions. It just got a whole lot harder in the short term for Columbia students to secure those kinds of unpaid internships. A committee will be reviewing exceptions on a case-by-case basis for providing credit to students who have already accepted internships for academic credit.
The email also mentioned a change to withdrawal policies—now students can withdraw with an Add/Drop form (no petitioning, as before) up to the eleventh week in the semester, so long as they remain full-time students. The mark will still be on your transcript, but you won’t receive a grade.
Read the full email below.
I am writing to let you know about two changes in grading policy applicable to all students in the College.
Withdrawing from a course (mark of W):
Columbia College students can now elect to withdraw from a non-Core course after the drop deadline in the fifth week of the semester (which this semester is February, 25, 2014) until the P/D/F deadline in the eleventh week of the semester (which this semester is March 27, 2014). This is a change to previous policy which allowed Columbia College students to withdraw (receive a mark of W) only by petitioning the Committee on Academic Standing in our Center for Student Advising.
If you elect to withdraw from a course during this time, the course will remain on your transcript and the mark of W, but no points of academic credit, will be recorded for that course. Each student is responsible for maintaining a full-time status (12 points a semester) and those who do not may face academic probation, suspension or dismissal from the College.
To elect a mark of W, you must complete a Columbia College Acknowledgement of Course Withdrawal and a Registration/Add/Drop Form and take them to the Center for Student Advising in 403 Lerner for processing. The mark of W will be recorded on your behalf. Please note that it is strongly recommended that you have an advising conversation before you elect to withdraw from a course.
Internship Registration Credits (R credit):
Columbia College, together with The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Columbia School of General Studies, will no longer provide registration credit (R credit) on academic transcripts to note that a student has participated in an internship. There is no doubt that internships can be valuable experiences for students seeking an introduction to a range of careers and professional cultures. However, we expect companies to appropriately compensate students for work performed during internships. Our new policy is one adopted by many of our peer institutions and also is in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and NY State’s Minimum Wage Act and Wage Orders. Click here for additional information regarding unpaid internships.
While this policy will be effective immediately, the Committee on Academic Standing in our Center for Student Advising will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis for any student who has already accepted an internship for which employers believe that R credit will be awarded. We will continue to support student participation in internships and will be happy to provide letters acknowledging this support if such letters are requested by employers.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to your advising dean if you have any questions or would like additional information about either policy change.
Dean of Academic Affairs
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