Cherry Blossoms

CAS Advising update, Wed March 25


A few updates for the day:

1.    Dean Stacey sent an email to chairs last night; I’ll forward that email separately. Note sections on C/NC and experiential learning in particular. There are contrasting opinions on C/NC grading, and I expect that different colleges will probably handle it differently.
2.    Many questions about commencement. We don’t know anything, except that the central administration knows what the issues are and they are working on it. That’s all we know, and that’s all we can tell students, unfortunately. 
3.    As this was unfolding, some other colleges pulled course data for all of their graduating seniors, to see how they might be affected. Based on advisor conversations, and on what we have heard from chairs (we are cancelling very few courses), we don’t expect many graduation problems that cannot be handled through adjustments at the department level (e.g., in the form of substitutions, etc.). But we wanted to look into it, so Dori Bloom, our awesome data guru, has put together some reports on the Tableau server that would allow you to effectively audit your graduating seniors’ courses: what courses each graduating senior is taking; the list of all courses your seniors are currently taking; and how many graduating seniors are in each of those courses. (All of this by major, and grad quarter.) These cannot be made openly available to anyone, so if you want to see the data, let me know and I can add you to the list.
4.    Finally, getting questions about placement tests. The Testing Center is closed for the quarter. Departments, as well as students who had scheduled tests, should have been contacted. Language departments are now working on alternatives; expect those to vary by department. Math had already been working on a self-placement option, which they will launch now. Here is some great information from the expert, Sarah:

[From Sarah Garner:]
With the testing center closure this spring, there are a lot of questions about Math placement tests.  The Math Department has been working on a guided self-placement model which we had been hoping to launch in time for Summer 2021, but will now launch it immediately.  

Guided Self-Placement, will be online and free for students and only for MATH 111, MATH 120 and MATH 124.  All other courses will require the current listed prerequisites.  The GSP asks them questions about their math course history, asks them to self-administer an assessment depending on the class they wish to take and then told which course we recommend based on how many questions they could answer.  Our goal is to help our students be in charge of making their own educational decisions, while providing an accessible assessment to all.

For students needing to register for a spring quarter math course and need a placement test, they should contact  We will direct them to our current draft version and work with them on registration.

With this transition happening abruptly, I would like to ask that only Math Advising manually register students who would have otherwise needed a placement test.  We are still in the process of sorting out exactly how to implement the guided self-placement. I hope to update you all in the coming weeks especially for summer/fall continuing students.

We will have a final product in place by summer orientation for sure.  

Again, we're not changing any other course prerequisites, so this is impacting only those students who would normally need to take a math placement test in order to register for MATH 111, MATH 120 or MATH 124.

Please let me know if there are questions or any particular concerns you have for your majors that we should keep in mind.

Best regards,


That’s it for today… take care,