Report Cards Suck

posted Nov 29, 2012, 2:05 PM by Joshua M. Patton
This year I began (what I hope) is my last year before graduation and I finally had to do some academic accounting to see how close I was to finishing the program.  I admit, I did not approach my academic career at the University of Pittsburgh in the best way, at least with respect to grade point average and meeting general education requirements.  Rather than choosing classes from a checklist, I selected courses based on my interest in the subject or working with the particular professor.  

I don't understand why post-secondary education is structured the way that this.  While these Universities with long and storied history (Pitt is celebrating it's 225th Anniversary this year) benefit from that longevity and experience, it also means that they are more reluctant to change their ways.  

Part of the reason for-profit education is so successful at convincing students--especially adult-students who have been out of the school system for a while--to pay higher premiums to attend their institutions.  While these companies are not without their administrative bullshit, but that's to be expected when the aim is to keep as much money as possible.  With Pitt, it's different.  

If I wanted to ensure my entrance into graduate school, I could have taken only easy classes with professors that have high Rate My Professor scores and earned an easy 4.0.  While I have studied very little pedagogy, I do think that the University system should move away from the same grading system that happens in high school.  I don't even know what sort of evaluation system I would put in its place, but it feels antiquated and counter-productive to encouraging people to challenge themselves intellectually.  So far I am doing okay with a 3.76, so it's not like I am doing terribly.  I just don't think the system works.

And this blog peters out anticlimactically in 3...2...1....