It’s time to raise the graduation standard at UK by raising the required grade point average.
It’s never too early to begin talking about this. December graduates will walk before we know it, and May is just around the corner. At UK, many have realized that they are now halfway through the first semester of their senior year or they are halfway through their final semester.
The thought of graduation brings a mixed bag of excitement: They will finally have their hands on their long-awaited diploma, but they will eventually have to leave their friends and school. However, the majority who solely abided by this low benchmark may not end up earning the payoff they had expected after their undergraduate years of toil and memories.
Every semester students who have completed 90 or more credit hours are on track to graduating, that is if they have at least earned a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Some who have not met that requirement meet with their advisers, sometimes as late as their last semester, to see how to salvage it.
There are several problems with a 2.0 being the minimum standard for graduation.
Notable corporations such as Bank of America and Kellogg use a prospective worker’s grade point average as a preliminary screening to “weed-out” candidates who they believe will not contribute to the growth of a work environment. Some may assert that this is not the case, that employers care more for work experience rather than grades, but according to an article written in Forbes Magazine, the harsh reality is that when one looks for a job which requires a college degree, they pay attention to the success students have in the courses applicable to the job.
Furthermore, for students who are looking at graduate schools such as law and medicine, one of the critical components of an application is a student’s grade point average. Even though certain programs are moving away from an offer admission based solely on an evaluation of a student’s undergraduate transcript, many programs still expect a grade point average over 3.0.
Finally, raising the 2.0 graduation requirement will most likely motivate more students to work hard from freshman year until graduation, reducing procrastination and perhaps improving retention.
Planning ahead can also be applied in the work force, wherein workers are sometimes required to collaborate on long-term projects or when they have to solve an issue. Furthermore, raising the requirement will also enable more students to graduate with Latin honors. The noteworthy Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude honors will adjust based on the new required grade average and will most likely impress major corporations or be an extra incentive for grad schools to consider students who have these honors on their transcripts.
In the future, I have no doubt that many graduates will consider the raising of the 2.0 grade point average requirement to be one of the greatest graduation presents they ever received.