HELENA (AP) - Beginning this fall, new Montana university system students must earn a grade of C-minus or better in each of their required and general education courses if they want their work to count toward graduation.
The state Board of Regents adopted several new policies last week in response to a December legislative audit that found the system's grading and transfer process unpredictable and inconsistent.
The new C-minus minimum grade standard will apply to classes that students must take to satisfy general education requirements as well as requirements for their specific major or minor.
Individual academic programs will have the discretion to set a higher standard.
Students can earn a minimum of a D-minus in their elective classes and still have the credits count.
''I think overall, things will be better for the students because the policies will be clearer and more easily understood,'' said Regent Lynn Hamilton of Havre, chairwoman of the regents' student and academic affairs subcommittee. ''The campuses will have better guidance on how to interpret policy.''
In addition to the systemwide minimum grading policy, all campuses will be required to use pluses and minuses in their grading system beginning this fall. Currently, only Montana State University and the University of Montana use pluses and minuses, said Roger Barber, deputy commissioner for academic and student affairs within the state office of the commissioner of higher education.
Hamilton said the regents haven't established a numerical value for plus or minus grades, but said the regents' staff will be making a recommendation that will apply to all university system campuses.