Monday, December 01, 2008

Math as the barrier 

My colleague (and frequent Scholars commenter) Dave Switzer points to a new website called CampusBuddy, that can reveal your school's GPA and provides another place for professor ratings. Dave has listed out departments for their averages here at SCSU. The GPA overall at SCSU is 3.14 according to the site; Economics is a "less-than-generous 2.47." Only five departments have mean GPA lower than us: Math (lowest at 2.03); Astronomy; Physics; Chemistry and Accounting. Given that all six of these departments require some math skills, I'm going to put it on poor math training. Here's the story at Normandale CC, which is a school that provides some transfer students to us. As I reported a few years ago, looking at 1999 data, 248 of 2,546 freshmen that year who took the math placement test did not even get through the tutorial. The six-year graduation rate was much better for those who did pass the tutorials.

A blast from the past: Matt Abe on one school's use of "integrated math".

And for longtime readers:
Remember some years ago we named a certain department the "Department of the 3.7 GPA"? I'm happy to report that department is tightening its standards; its departmental GPA is now 3.5. Teacher Development, however, gives an A- or better to 85% of its students and a mean GPA of 3.8. How many of those become math teachers?

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