Does Graduating With Honors Still Matter?

As GPA’s rise, there is an increasing number of college graduates graduating with honors such as cum laude. An employer might encounter 20 or so applicants that have achieved this distinction. This distinction is now becoming less meaningful and colleges and universities are being forced to revisit this honor system.
There are a number of possible explanations that should be explored.
1. Students getting more savvy about cheating so they won’t get caught.
2. Grade forgiveness. A common practice where students are allowed to repeat a course if they got a bad grade. The higher grade gets calculated in the GPA.
3. Treating students as customers. At the end of many college courses, students take a course evaluation that evaluates their professor’s performance. If a professor gets overwhelmingly negative evaluations, that professor is usually fired.
4. High school teachers and college professors are giving A’s to everyone in the class. A disturbing trend in some schools. We call this a participation trophy.
Should high schools and colleges transition over to a competency based learning model? A competency based learning model creates multiple pathways to graduation, make better use of technology, supports new staffing patterns for the 21st century that utilize teacher skills and interests differently, takes advantage of learning opportunities outside of school hours and walls, and help identify opportunities to target interventions to meet the specific learning needs of students.

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