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Bravo to several of the responses I am reading to this situation.

Questions to ponder:
1) What is the mission and what are the goals of your learning center and your college (I'm guessing the situation in based in MA).  How does the decision you are about to make, line up with the m and g?
2) What are you standards for assisting/empowering a student.
3) Who says everyone has to pass to be a good student?

How many times I have heard a student who is about to or close to failing my class say "Well, I did the work.  Why won't I pass?"  Just because a student DOES the work doesn't mean they will pass my class.  They need to meet a standard.

As for codependency issues... my hope is that most of our field is in recovery regarding this issue (see Winnard, JCRL 1991 and you will see why I make this comment):).(small humor).  I agree with some other comments not to bend the standard unless you are clear as to why you are doing it AND your reasoning is in alignment with the mission and goals of your center.  I believe most centers do not have as part of their mission or goals to increase the GPAs of their students.  Rather that is a biproduct of the mission which is to empower students to become independent learners through skills development, etc.  I do think however, some of us can get confused around this issue.  Like someone else already suggested, take a step back and look at who are you making the decision for and why.  This is not about making the student feel good.  It may be about recognizing his efforts but it is not about cheapening his degree.

One last thing... if you have an employee who has been working with you for a while and you want to promote him or her, you don't promote him/her into a position that doesn't fit.  It's not fair to your employee and it is not fair to the rest of the staff.  There are other ways to give recognition and this may not be one of them since it will end up as a set-up.  By granting a degree to this individual who has not met the standard, will you be setting him up?  Let's not make him a poster child on this issue but let's at least get in the same book if not the same page.

-Karin Winnard
Associate Director
Ballotti Learning Center
Suffolk University