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Author Topic: "favorite" student e-mails  (Read 4236808 times)
yeastie
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« Reply #19515 on: April 28, 2012, 8:32:00 PM »

You're basing your comment on n = 1. My figures are based on the average of the first wave of accepted students in the incoming class.
I'm not sure what your purpose is in belaboring this point, but I can testify that this student's request is not that unusual for these competitive fields.


Explain how math in calculating a GPA is an n=1.

As for why I am continuing to harp on this point, I am confused about your claim that people who want to get into highly competitive programs would be best served by turning good grades into great grades by retaking a couple classes instead of becoming a much stronger candidate by getting a master's degree, getting experience through an internship, or otherwise going to the next level.

I understand why students focus on a magic, fairly easy bullet.  I am confused about why faculty would support such nonsense with weak math instead of suggesting better ways to become competitive.


In nursing schools where I am, each application gets a ranking score: 50% GPA, 25% A and P I grade, 25% TEAS V test. 

That's it, no interview, no other credentials examined. Students try to turn Bs to As all the time to be competitive.
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polly_mer
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« Reply #19516 on: April 28, 2012, 8:41:24 PM »

You're basing your comment on n = 1. My figures are based on the average of the first wave of accepted students in the incoming class.
I'm not sure what your purpose is in belaboring this point, but I can testify that this student's request is not that unusual for these competitive fields.


Explain how math in calculating a GPA is an n=1.

As for why I am continuing to harp on this point, I am confused about your claim that people who want to get into highly competitive programs would be best served by turning good grades into great grades by retaking a couple classes instead of becoming a much stronger candidate by getting a master's degree, getting experience through an internship, or otherwise going to the next level.

I understand why students focus on a magic, fairly easy bullet.  I am confused about why faculty would support such nonsense with weak math instead of suggesting better ways to become competitive.


In nursing schools where I am, each application gets a ranking score: 50% GPA, 25% A and P I grade, 25% TEAS V test. 

That's it, no interview, no other credentials examined. Students try to turn Bs to As all the time to be competitive.

So, that program would rather have someone who took classes 7 times to meet the GPA requirement instead of looking at the whole package?  I'm stunned because that's the first time I've heard of that process.  I'm accustomed to thinking of competitive programs making a first cut like that and then looking in detail only at the already good enough people to make a final cut.
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yeastie
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Posts: 90


« Reply #19517 on: April 28, 2012, 11:12:58 PM »

You're basing your comment on n = 1. My figures are based on the average of the first wave of accepted students in the incoming class.
I'm not sure what your purpose is in belaboring this point, but I can testify that this student's request is not that unusual for these competitive fields.


Explain how math in calculating a GPA is an n=1.

As for why I am continuing to harp on this point, I am confused about your claim that people who want to get into highly competitive programs would be best served by turning good grades into great grades by retaking a couple classes instead of becoming a much stronger candidate by getting a master's degree, getting experience through an internship, or otherwise going to the next level.

I understand why students focus on a magic, fairly easy bullet.  I am confused about why faculty would support such nonsense with weak math instead of suggesting better ways to become competitive.
[/
In nursing schools where I am, each application gets a ranking score: 50% GPA, 25% A and P I grade, 25% TEAS V test.  

That's it, no interview, no other credentials examined. Students try to turn Bs to As all the time to be competitive.

So, that program would rather have someone who took classes 7 times to meet the GPA requirement instead of looking at the whole package?  I'm stunned because that's the first time I've heard of that process.  I'm accustomed to thinking of competitive programs making a first cut like that and then looking in detail only at the already good enough people to make a final cut.

The max number a class can be repeated in our system is three times and all three remain on there transcript.  Some programs do have the personal statement/interview etc process but nursing isn't one of them. So a student wanting to repeat a class like this may not be the norm for every student, but it is hardly unheard of.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 11:14:50 PM by labrat » Logged
biomancer
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« Reply #19518 on: April 29, 2012, 7:17:05 AM »

You're basing your comment on n = 1. My figures are based on the average of the first wave of accepted students in the incoming class.
I'm not sure what your purpose is in belaboring this point, but I can testify that this student's request is not that unusual for these competitive fields.


Explain how math in calculating a GPA is an n=1.

As for why I am continuing to harp on this point, I am confused about your claim that people who want to get into highly competitive programs would be best served by turning good grades into great grades by retaking a couple classes instead of becoming a much stronger candidate by getting a master's degree, getting experience through an internship, or otherwise going to the next level.

I understand why students focus on a magic, fairly easy bullet.  I am confused about why faculty would support such nonsense with weak math instead of suggesting better ways to become competitive.
[/
In nursing schools where I am, each application gets a ranking score: 50% GPA, 25% A and P I grade, 25% TEAS V test.  

That's it, no interview, no other credentials examined. Students try to turn Bs to As all the time to be competitive.

So, that program would rather have someone who took classes 7 times to meet the GPA requirement instead of looking at the whole package?  I'm stunned because that's the first time I've heard of that process.  I'm accustomed to thinking of competitive programs making a first cut like that and then looking in detail only at the already good enough people to make a final cut.

The max number a class can be repeated in our system is three times and all three remain on there transcript.  Some programs do have the personal statement/interview etc process but nursing isn't one of them. So a student wanting to repeat a class like this may not be the norm for every student, but it is hardly unheard of.



I have been teaching and advising students aiming for medical, dental, PT, PA, optometry, pharmacy, etc. for a decade now, and have N of well over 100 students and at least 50 different programs in my history as a advisor.  The way my colleagues and I have advised students both at PretentiousSLAC (where about 60% of our bio grads went off to professional health programs), and at Big U Branch (where I advise all of the non-nursing, non-PT pre-health students) is that students should not waste their time and money re-taking a class in which they earned a grade better than C.   Admissions officers from many professional schools told us (the pre-health advisors at PSLAC) that they would rather see the student take the next upper-level course and do well than re-take organic chemistry for a better grade, and many of the graduate schools also take this approach.  So, for example, if Pat Pre-med got a B- in Organic, we'd advise Pat to take a course like Biochemistry (for which Organic is a pre-req, and a C is sufficient to move forward), rather than re-take Organic.  A higher grade in Biochem would indicate that the student really did understand the material, and perhaps had simply not dedicated enough time or energy to Organic.

The only instances in which we did recommend retaking the course - once, and at our school, not elsewhere - was for grades below C.  At PretentiousSLAC, one retake would replace the grade on the transcript and in the GPA determination.  A student who blew off Organic the first time through because of <sports, Greek life, whatever> and got a good grade the second time through could clearly master the information.  A student who couldn't achieve a better grade the second time through needed to reconsider their major and career path.  At Big U, students can re-take the course up to three times, but all of the grades count in the GPA, so it's harder to fix the damage of a low grade.

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octoprof
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« Reply #19519 on: April 29, 2012, 9:52:41 AM »

At Big U, students can re-take the course up to three times, but all of the grades count in the GPA, so it's harder to fix the damage of a low grade.

This is the way it's worked at every university where I've taught and studied, until now.

Current University allows students to retake courses indefinitely. It boggles my mind, frankly. I have been here four semesters and I have several students I've taught three or four times in the same course. Hello? That's insane.

In addition, retakes that get a higher grade replace the previous grade in the GPA. Insane, that... if there are tons of retakes. "That GPA doesn't mean what you think it means."
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lohai0
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« Reply #19520 on: April 29, 2012, 9:58:40 AM »

At Big U, students can re-take the course up to three times, but all of the grades count in the GPA, so it's harder to fix the damage of a low grade.

This is the way it's worked at every university where I've taught and studied, until now.

Current University allows students to retake courses indefinitely. It boggles my mind, frankly. I have been here four semesters and I have several students I've taught three or four times in the same course. Hello? That's insane.

In addition, retakes that get a higher grade replace the previous grade in the GPA. Insane, that... if there are tons of retakes. "That GPA doesn't mean what you think it means."

We have a very competitive nursing program. Here students are allowed one retake a course ( and I think 7 total retakes in the degree). Retakes do replace the old grade in the GPA but not the transcript. There is also some financial aid penalty for retakes. We still see a lot of retakes in the required math classes, but my understanding is that retakes in general are really down.
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geonerd
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« Reply #19521 on: April 29, 2012, 10:35:43 AM »

At Big U, students can re-take the course up to three times, but all of the grades count in the GPA, so it's harder to fix the damage of a low grade.

This is the way it's worked at every university where I've taught and studied, until now.

Current University allows students to retake courses indefinitely. It boggles my mind, frankly. I have been here four semesters and I have several students I've taught three or four times in the same course. Hello? That's insane.

In addition, retakes that get a higher grade replace the previous grade in the GPA. Insane, that... if there are tons of retakes. "That GPA doesn't mean what you think it means."

We have a very competitive nursing program. Here students are allowed one retake a course ( and I think 7 total retakes in the degree). Retakes do replace the old grade in the GPA but not the transcript. There is also some financial aid penalty for retakes. We still see a lot of retakes in the required math classes, but my understanding is that retakes in general are really down.

My university allows a course to be repeated a maximum of three times, but only courses in which a D or F was earned are allowed to be repeated. The replaced grade still appears on the transcript as an "RF" or "RD" for zero credit.
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polly_mer
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« Reply #19522 on: April 29, 2012, 10:38:25 AM »

Last year, the financial aid folks here told us the rules were changing for how to calculate adequate progress based on changes in federal financial aid.  I don't remember the details, but the general idea was that credits attempted went into the denominator of a ratio and credits successfully completed went into the numerator.  Retakes went into the denominator as a one-for-one credit, but went into the numerator at much less than one-for-one.  Consequently, retaking a lot of classes would make your ratio go down so even if the GPA is getting a minor boost, financial aid would be cut off for not making adequate and timely progress based on the ratio of completed to attempted credits.  People who were part-time would still be making adequate progress even with few credits attempted or completed, but people who had few successfully completed credits that gave a good GPA through sheer brute force (how many people really have drastically different homeworks and quizzes every term?) would no longer be able to game the system.
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chemystery
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« Reply #19523 on: April 29, 2012, 11:36:23 AM »

Since it was my post that kicked off this discussion I'll chime in with the way our retakes work with some of our programs.
My school allows anyone to retake anything, no matter what.  There is a story from before my time of a student who had earned an A in organic chemistry retaking it because she felt she could learn more.  On my campus, earning a higher grade will completely replace the previous grade in your gpa.  We are, however, a transfer institution, so what we allow does not necessarily mean anything after the student leaves us.  The very highly competitive nursing program we feed into does not allow any retakes.  If you goofed off and tanked one of your required courses, there's no point in even putting in an application.  There are a few other programs that will accept students who have retaken a few courses, but it's rare for our students to be interested in those programs.  The student who sent me the original email is interested in another pre-professional program.  I know for a fact that I have had former students with the same grade that student wants to raise be accepted to the program.  I also know that the program in question averages grades from all retake attempts.  In other words, retaking my course to raise your grade from a B is truly pointless.  The student has not yet come to see me.  I did notice that in the original email I overlooked the words "on this camps" when the student expressed that she had not taken the pre-requisite.  It may be that she has taken it at her previous school, in which case my permission isn't even necessary anyway.

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0susanna
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« Reply #19524 on: April 29, 2012, 11:48:49 PM »

Is this the "student e-mails" forum?

"Dear Prof. 0susanna,
How should I study for the Basketweaving exam? I failed the midterm and really want to do well on the final."

Dear Student who told me early in the semester that you have always done well in Basketweaving,
How can I put this? If you check the CMS gradebook, you will notice that in addition to failing the midterm, you have not submitted a single required assignment this semester. Maybe you can spare yourself some angst by just giving this course up as a bad job and trying again, perhaps with a professor who doesn't expect you to read or write.

0susanna
Whose Uni allows retakes for Fs
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biomancer
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« Reply #19525 on: April 30, 2012, 9:34:27 AM »

Is this the "student e-mails" forum?

"Dear Prof. 0susanna,
How should I study for the Basketweaving exam? I failed the midterm and really want to do well on the final."

Dear Student who told me early in the semester that you have always done well in Basketweaving,
How can I put this? If you check the CMS gradebook, you will notice that in addition to failing the midterm, you have not submitted a single required assignment this semester. Maybe you can spare yourself some angst by just giving this course up as a bad job and trying again, perhaps with a professor who doesn't expect you to read or write.

0susanna
Whose Uni allows retakes for Fs

I see we share a student.  Said student usually calls me rather than sending email, but also comes to my office periodically asking how to study.  Of course, the student is not coming to class, or doing any of the on-line quizzes or other assignments which help the student master the material.  Yeah, that's a strategy for success...
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Clueless people can be dangerous. The acidic environment they can spread often needs to be neutralized, and humor is basic.  - Dellaroux

I have realized that it is best to assume everyone is bonkers until they demonstrate otherwise. - ChaosByDesign
polly_mer
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Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #19526 on: April 30, 2012, 11:58:33 AM »

Related to the "how should I study when I'm hosed according to the math" question:

I just explained to a class the current point totals that students should have if they are on track for a C, B, or A in science for teachers.  One student asked the obvious question of how many points are left.  I did a breakdown and the student came up with the total.  A different student then asked why I had set the current point totals so high if all those points were left.  The stunned faces as I explained that someone who had been averaging 50% on tests never pulls a 98% on the final exam was very telling.  Yep, 2000 points are left in the term.  No, you won't likely get a C if you are currently 2000 points short of a C; that situation means you have been doing D work up to now, which doesn't bode well for you suddenly doing A++ work.  However, people who have progressed from doing H work to doing B- work over the course of the term have a good shot at a solid C.
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krisanthe
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« Reply #19527 on: May 01, 2012, 9:53:59 AM »

This is just a vent.  I have several advisees who can't remember anything I tell them and they ask me questions that I've already answered.

During advising meetings I map out a sample schedule and talk the student through it.  I give the student a paper copy and I also send a follow-up email that includes an electronic copy of the schedule and a summary of our meeting (ie: As I said in the meeting, don't forget to pre-register for Basketweaving 201.  To start looking for internships, visit the career office at...).

Yet, more and more frequently, I'll receive an email from the same advisee a few weeks later asking the same questions I already answered in our meeting.

"I have NO idea what to take next semester! I'm soooo confused. I need to meet with you ASAP so you can help me figure this out."

"I want to start looking for internships, but I have no idea how to start looking! Can you help?!"

Precious students, we JUST talked about this.  And I was kind enough to put everything I said in writing and email it to you so that you can go back and reference it.  Maybe I'm a big meanie, but I don't like repeating myself.  It's a waste of time.  If you can't be bothered to remember what I said or go back and reference my meeting summary email, that's your problem, not mine.

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kshenko
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« Reply #19528 on: May 01, 2012, 11:15:04 AM »


... I have several advisees who can't remember anything I tell them and they ask me questions that I've already answered. ...Precious students, we JUST talked about this.  And I was kind enough to put everything I said in writing and email it to you ...


I am seeing more of this among my grad students; apparently, the "it's okay to ask questions" culture has reached some of our doctoral students.  In my opinion, this attitude only prompts them not to engage in deeper information processing because they think they can always ask..

It is so frustrating when I have PhD advisees who bombard me with questions that have been explained to them in detail--several times.   Such questions dealing with the logistical issues are annoying yet not as worrisome...   By contrast, it really concerns me when they keep on asking substantive academic/scholarly questions that have been addressed several times.

How would they ever become independent thinkers this way???
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biomancer
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« Reply #19529 on: May 01, 2012, 11:42:06 AM »


... I have several advisees who can't remember anything I tell them and they ask me questions that I've already answered. ...Precious students, we JUST talked about this.  And I was kind enough to put everything I said in writing and email it to you ...


I am seeing more of this among my grad students; apparently, the "it's okay to ask questions" culture has reached some of our doctoral students.  In my opinion, this attitude only prompts them not to engage in deeper information processing because they think they can always ask..

It is so frustrating when I have PhD advisees who bombard me with questions that have been explained to them in detail--several times.   Such questions dealing with the logistical issues are annoying yet not as worrisome...   By contrast, it really concerns me when they keep on asking substantive academic/scholarly questions that have been addressed several times.

How would they ever become independent thinkers this way???


They're just hoping that you'll take over the hand-holding now that their helicopter parents are on unfamiliar territory.
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Clueless people can be dangerous. The acidic environment they can spread often needs to be neutralized, and humor is basic.  - Dellaroux

I have realized that it is best to assume everyone is bonkers until they demonstrate otherwise. - ChaosByDesign
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