Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 11:00 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

Grade point averages are supposed markers of our collegiate intellectual ability and drive for success. But as an "A" increasingly becomes a stand-in for "average," the credibility of our GPAs may be in question in the professional world. The goal of this paper is to assess whether grading at Colby College has fallen in line with the national trend toward inflation. Our regression analyses examine whether GPAs have risen at Colby over the past 15 years across a variety of disciplines and indicators such as gender, athlete status, and international student status. This study also considers whether grade compression, rather than grade inflation, may be responsible for the increases in mean GPAs over time. Data for this project came from Colby College's Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. Our findings were consistent with national trends; GPAs have risen in the majority of majors considered. In addition and contrary to our hypothesis about grade compression, the probability of a student earning a GPA in the A range has increased more than the probability of a student earning a GPA in the B+ range.

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Economics Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

422

Included in

Economics Commons

Share

COinS
 
May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 11:00 AM

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: Grade Inflation v. Grade Compression at Colby College

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Grade point averages are supposed markers of our collegiate intellectual ability and drive for success. But as an "A" increasingly becomes a stand-in for "average," the credibility of our GPAs may be in question in the professional world. The goal of this paper is to assess whether grading at Colby College has fallen in line with the national trend toward inflation. Our regression analyses examine whether GPAs have risen at Colby over the past 15 years across a variety of disciplines and indicators such as gender, athlete status, and international student status. This study also considers whether grade compression, rather than grade inflation, may be responsible for the increases in mean GPAs over time. Data for this project came from Colby College's Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. Our findings were consistent with national trends; GPAs have risen in the majority of majors considered. In addition and contrary to our hypothesis about grade compression, the probability of a student earning a GPA in the A range has increased more than the probability of a student earning a GPA in the B+ range.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/434