3. Honors students dropping out: We consider it a failure to lose anybody from the Program if he or she remains at UTC. We try to recruit students who can maintain a 3.5 GPA for four years. If they allow it to drop below this, they have not lived up to expectations (i.e., we have misjudged their abilities). If they drop out because they decide they don’t want to jeopardize their GPA, then we have misjudged their motivation to accept the requirements of a challenging program.
I have been hearing things about UTC’s honors program, and I their focus is alot different than is ours. I personally disagree with it. This problem has come up for me before in relation to our own honors program, in that I think that an honors diploma should be the university saying that this graduate came and fulfilled our highest goal. I think that maintaining a 3.5 QPA has next to nothing to do with why I am here, at least so long as I see a lack of a call to quality in many of my classes. I recognize its importance, but at the same time I do not think that it is an accurate measure of a students performance cognitively or emotionally. It is an inaccurate measure but unfortunately I am at a loss to come up with a better one.
I do not like the concept that a university education is about getting good grades, when getting good grades means memorizing facts or doing shoddy workmanship. I was talking to D last night about English 202 last night and the fact that I have a big chunk of pop quizzes missing. The pop quizzes are missing because I got to Keats and I didn’t understand him, so instead of skimming over it and forgetting about it, I took huge amounts of time and went through his stuff line by line trying to understand it. Doing tasks to my specifications is quality to me, and in many of my classes my grades are not about the quality of my work, but about when I get it done.
The UTC professors (I assume this is a professor, if this is a student, oh my gosh!) response grates on me considerably. It is loaded with elitism and fascism. There is not the concept that a student might have other interests or priorities, but simply that they weren’t good enough. I wish that there was some way for the university to recognize people who committed to working at quality rather than grades.