Academic achievement follows students outside of college into their future career fields. If students graduate with a GPA higher than 3.5, they are recognized as honor students.
But if students conduct themselves less than honorably, (e.g. turning in assignments late, if at all, missing class and copying other students’ work, while maintaining a 3.5,) can they still be considered “honor students?”
According to the data from SRU’s academic records, they can. A’s are the highest occurring grades for the fall semester of 2015, accounting for over 45 percent of total grades given.
So 45 percent of our students must be extraordinarily driven and gifted, right? If you’ve been in some of the classes our staff has been in, then the answer is a unanimous “no.”
Being a disciplined student requires a lot of focus and dedication, and demands effort.
If a person is only putting in an average amount of work, then they should get a grade that represents that.
To be clear, average students who put out average work are not bad people, but how can professors stamp the same grade on a person who put in half the work that another more deserving student did?
The fact of the matter is that all students who leave SRU in the same major will have the same degree. The job market is slim enough as it is, and employers will not be able to differentiate an ambitious student with 3.5 from a slacker with the same GPA. In this instance, both the motivated graduate and employer are at a disadvantage if the wrong person is hired for the job.
If professors aren’t willing to sacrifice an underperforming student’s self esteem for another excellent student’s career marketability, then everyone loses.
Educators should be willing to reward students for their hard work, not simply feed their egos. The real world certainly won’t.
Every student who leaves a class with an undeserved and overinflated grade is being tricked into believing that they are fully prepared to enter the workforce, and that mediocrity is the standard.
This way of thinking will cause more adversity for them in the long run because they will not only enter the workforce unprepared, but will also have to reteach themselves everything they only partially learned in college just to stay afloat.
Inflated GPAs also reflect poorly on the university as a whole. When over 45 percent of the grades earned are A’s, it only shows that the professors don’t demand or expect excellence from their students.
According to collegefactual.com, in 2014 SRU had a retention rate of 82 percent, higher than the national average at around 72 percent. One might think that this number reflects highly on the university, but retention does not equal student success. Is retention really a measure of success, or is it just demonstrative of our university’s ability to push people through despite their lack of work ethic and intellect?
Granted, not everyone can be the best at their major or job, but when a professor gives students excellent grades for average work, they deny that student the chance to prove something to themselves. They deny students the opportunity to receive a poor grade and pledge to do better.
By saying “good enough” to average work, professors not only limit a student’s academic potential, but also limit their personal potential.