Student GPAs consistent in presidential and dean’s lists

The announcement of the Fall 2008 Dean’s and Presidential Scholars lists on Jan. 21 showed UCA student GPAs are following the same pattern of previous semesters.

This semester, there were 886 students with 4.0 GPAs named as Presidential Scholars and 1,439 students with at least a 3.5 GPA named to the Dean’s list. Both GPAs require a 12-hour course load.

UCA had a fall enrollment of 12,950 students, which means 7 percent of the student population qualified as a Presidential Scholar and 11 percent made the Dean’s List.

The previous three semesters showed little variation. Last Spring, 6 percent of students qualified as Presidential Scholars and 11 percent were on the Dean’s List. In both spring and fall semesters of 2007, 7 percent were Presidential Scholars and 12 percent were named to the Dean’s List.

Dean of Undergraduate Studies Sally Roden said she recognizes the trend in GPAs to those named to the honors lists and attributes the trend to increases in enrollment and ACT requirements for enrollment.

“The student body dictates the scores,” Roden said.

The GPA consistency from semester to semester is largely related to the fact that UCA has “students from every county in Arkansas,” Roden said, and the students from the same counties and school districts are coming to UCA with the same background education yielding relatively similar grade point averages.

Roden said that such a situation shows UCA to be “truly an Arkansas university” that accepts students ranging from instant Honors College students to those students who need to be transitioned into college through the University College.

“All students need attention, confidence and be provided opportunities, which will make them more likely to succeed,” she said.

Roden said that university faculty must uphold their responsibility to educate students and make themselves available for student support and grade discussion, but it is ultimately up to the student to maintain their responsibilities as a student, to be educated.

Junior Natalie Vinsant, an occupational therapy major named as a Presidential Scholar, said, “I think that students need to remember that they are here for an education first and foremost,” she said. “School costs money and they are here usually due to the sacrifice of someone else.”

Roden’s advised students to “take every opportunity to excel, to inquire, to analyze. Make priorities and set a goal. Take advantage of the numerous resources this university offers you.”

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