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UMKC Latin Honors A review of the first year.. Latin Honors policy On average (adjusted across “ time ” ) Not to exceed (top) 5% Summa Cum Laude Not to.

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Presentation on theme: "UMKC Latin Honors A review of the first year.. Latin Honors policy On average (adjusted across “ time ” ) Not to exceed (top) 5% Summa Cum Laude Not to."— Presentation transcript:

1 UMKC Latin Honors A review of the first year.

2 Latin Honors policy On average (adjusted across “ time ” ) Not to exceed (top) 5% Summa Cum Laude Not to exceed (top) 10% Summa & Magna Cum Laude combined Not to exceed (top) 20% Summa, Magna & Cum Laude combined Undergraduate and First Professional degrees only GPA required for graduating with Latin honors is calculated using GPA data from previous two years

3 Quick Summary Latin honors has been very well received by UMKC students and they are generally pleased with our implementation of Latin honors. Twice as many students receive some form of honors at graduation compared to the old With Distinction system of honors. In almost all units on campus, in the first year of implementation, we came very close to awarding the exact percentages in the policy – within one or two students in almost all cases (except A&S).

4 Summary (cont.) The first year implementation in A&S was flawed not because of anyone’s negligence, but due to unpredictably high grade inflation. We decided to stand by the GPA cutoffs announced during the first year in order to maintain the best public / student relations possible. The policy in academic units other than A&S does not need adjustment. Each unit did an outstanding job and can be expected to continue to handle Latin honors appropriately for their own students under the existing policy. Faculty Senate may need to address Latin honors in A&S. Academic units who awarded fewer Latin honors during 2004-2005 than their quota (Dental Hygiene, SCE and Pharmacy) may want to review their policy in order to award more Latin honors in 2005-2006.

5 5 Major Challenges 1.Estimated GPA necessary to earn Latin honors 2.Grades from the final semester 3.Not exceeding the quota in any category 4.Semesters “Stand Alone” vs. Annual totals 5.One student, two degrees with honors – should this count as one or as two in the quota?

6 1. Estimated GPA Estimated the minimum GPA required to graduate in top 5%, top 10% and top 20% using data from the past two years Grade inflation Small class sizes Anomalous semesters

7 1. Estimated GPA A&S exceeded the number of Latin honors awarded using the cutoff GPA estimated by the Records Office. The estimated GPA was advertised as the requirement for graduating with Latin honors. For 2004-2005, we agreed to use the estimated GPA cutoffs even if it meant exceeding the number of Latin honors percentages.

8 2. Grades from the Final Semester Policy specifically excludes the grades earned in the final semester. For commencement and diplomas, it is necessary to determine which students will graduate with honors weeks before final examinations. Students who raised their cumulative GPA when grades from the final semester were included did not agree with the policy. Some students argued reasonably that honors should be based upon the class rank or GPA after all degree requirements are considered or completed.

9 2. Grades from the Final Semester The final semester grades are not known early enough to prepare commencement publications and to order diplomas. The exact class ranks may shift slightly if the final grades are taken into consideration. For 2004-2005, we agreed not to lower anyone’s Latin honors, but to raise students to the appropriate level of Latin honors if by virtue of their final grades, they qualified for the higher level.

10 3. Not Exceeding the Quota It is impossible to determine the quota until you know how many students will actually graduate! That is not known until a few weeks after grades are processed following each semester, and annual totals are not known until August each year. “Estimating the GPA” contributed to exceeding the quota. In small classes, perfect 4.000 GPAs by more than one student could exceed the Summa quota (ie. Dent Hyg, BS, Nursing)

11 3. Exceeding the Quota Students agree that the quota should be adhered to - the value of the honor is diluted if the quota is exceeded Students demand that clear and consistent communication regarding Latin honor qualifications Last year’s quotas were exceeded with full anticipation of a policy review before this year’s honors are determined A&S opposes reducing this year’s number of honors in order to on average meet the quotas over a two year time span

12 4. Stand Alone semesters vs Annual or Multi-year averages The policy is unclear Should each semester be viewed alone? or should the three semesters of an academic year be viewed as a whole? or can the quota percentage be stretched over more than one year?

13 Challenges to the semester vs year basis for calculating a quota In some units, Law, Medicine and Nursing for example, nearly all students graduate in May. The number of students graduating at midyear or in the summer is extremely small. In some units, the students who do not graduate in May include academically challenged students. If the semester is viewed stand alone, Latin honors may be awarded for a much lower GPA. If we do not consider each semester stand alone, how can we estimate the number of Latin honors to award in November without exceeding the quota in April / July? For 2004-2005, we agreed to look at the academic year as a whole. In a few cases, the quota for Latin honors was exceeded in November with expectations of getting back on track in April. We discussed ( but came to no agreement ) on combining years in order to average 5%, 10% and 20% over multiple years.

14 5. One Student, Two degrees A&S had ten students during 2004-2005 who completed two degrees or two majors, with Latin honors. These ten students are counting as 20 in the quota of Latin honors. The question is: “Should we be counting how many degrees are awarded with honors or how many students graduate with honors?”

15 5. One Student, Two degrees Some students complete two degrees with Latin honors from two different AU’s simultaneously –MD students also complete a bachelors degree –A few students finish 2 bachelors degrees in different AU’s –Many students finish double majors and Latin honors are conferred on both majors

16 Look at the Numbers See handouts. Page One highlights in red the places where we exceeded the quota Biology, Dental Hygiene, DDS, SCE, Nursing and Pharmacy did not exceed any of their quotas. Medicine and the Conservatory only exceeded the Summa quotas by (Med 1) and (Conservatory 2). B&PA exceeded the Summa quota (3) and combined Summa + Magna (2). Law only exceeded the Cum Laude quota (2).

17 The College of A&S Numbers A&S exceeded the quota in all categories (except one - BA Summa). Note: only A&S is subdivided by degree with separate cutoffs for BA, BS and BLA. The excess in A&S for last year = Summa (6), Summa+Magna (21) and Summa+Magna+Cum Laude (40). The A&S estimated GPA cutoffs fell well short of the actual GPA achieved by graduating students.

18 School of Education Numbers The School of Education exceeded the quota in all categories. The excess for last year was Summa (2), Summa+Magna (1) and Summa+Magna+Cum Laude (1).

19 A&S by Percentage A&S graduated 778 bachelors students last year. The rest of campus graduated 662 bachelors students and 318 first professional students. It is important to look at the excess percentage in the College of A&S instead of headcount. Summa was over by 15%, Summa+Magna was over by 27% and Summa+Magna+Cum Laude was over by 25%.

20 Discussion GPA Cutoffs Exceeding quotas Stand alone semesters vs Annual average Grades from the final semester One student, two or more degrees Anything else?

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