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American Grade Inflation Demeaning Overseas Good Students: Experience At The American University Of Beirut

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Conference

2001 Annual Conference

Location

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

6.150.1 - 6.150.8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/8900

Download Count

434

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Paper Authors

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Nesreen Ghaddar

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Fadl Moukallid

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 391

American Grade Inflation Demeaning Overseas Good Students: “Experience at the American University of Beirut”

N. Ghaddar & F. Moukalled American University of Beirut, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture P.O.Box 11-0236, Riad El Solh Beirut 1107 2020 – Lebanon

Abstract

Admission decisions to Graduate Programs at US universities take into consideration the student undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) as one major component in measuring the student potential for future success in his/her field of study. The number of students graduating from US universities with 3.9-4.0 cumulative GPA is growing steadily. Overseas schools may have educational philosophies, values, and assumptions attached to grades different than most American schools. Grades communicate the level of student’s achievement in comparison to other students in the program, and the mastered skills in a given subject. There is so much emphasis in discriminating distinguished excellent students in grades that are recorded numerically rather than via letter grades. At the American University of Beirut (AUB), few students in the class get a cumulative GPA above 85 in a scale of 100. Typically, the class GPA is about 76 in a scale of 100. When these grades are translated into letter grades; virtually half the class is a C+ level or 2.5 GPA in a 4.0 system. The chances of any student being admitted to graduate programs in leading US universities are reduced. Students are placing pressure on faculty members to raise class averages. The objective of this paper is to bring to light the problems faced by international students due to grade inflation in US Universities.

I. Introduction

The Faculty of Engineering and Agriculture (FEA) at the American University of Beirut is a leading professional school in the Middle East that offers American-style educational programs. Many FEA graduates pursue higher education in the US and enjoy the easy transition in culture and style. However, in recent years our students are finding it tougher to get admitted to graduate programs in leading schools in the US, and when some inquired, they got responses that link their rejection to their low GPA. All faculty agree that grades provide information on how well students are learning1. Grades also serve other functions that include the value of the work accomplished, the encouragement of good work by students and for selection of people for reward or continued education2. To serve such functions, grades have to be accurate and discriminatory of the students’ levels

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Ghaddar, N., & Moukallid, F. (2001, June), American Grade Inflation Demeaning Overseas Good Students: Experience At The American University Of Beirut Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/8900

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