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A good read.... yes, believe it or not, from the AJC (Link)

Discussion in 'The Swarm Lounge' started by DeepSnap, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. slugboy

    slugboy Moderator Staff Member

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    It’s market forces and economics at work. Donations, applications, and income are tied to academic reputation and US News ranking, which is tied to selectivity and student success and graduation rate. Also, all state schools became more selective when the Hope scholarships started because capacity stayed the same while applicants increased.


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  2. gtg391z

    gtg391z Helluva Engineer

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    I don't really care about increasing standards for admissions. That will happen with increased demand. I just want the process to be open, honest and based on measurable quantities, i.e., GPA, AP courses and standardized tests. As long as race and/or gender plays no role in admitting someone then I don't have a problem. However, this is not the case anymore.
     
  3. Connor

    Connor Jolly Good Fellow

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    I think the opinion's argument is poorly constructed, but some of the pieces make sense: As a Georgia resident, if you are not admitted to GT, then there aren't many other in-state engineering programs (of similar quality) to consider. This is a problem since in-state tuition and the Hope Scholarship help reduce the cost. The author's upset because their legacy child didn't make it in and has to change their plans.

    Yes, there are in-state schools that have engineering programs- Mercer, Kennesaw, North Georgia, etc.- but not at a consistent and supportive level. Out of state

    --this is not my opinion, but my interpretation of what the author was trying to get across.

    Legacy is certainly taken into consideration, as it implies the applicant is seriously considering the school, but there are stellar students all around...
     
  4. yrp

    yrp Helluva Engineer

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    There's aren't many engineering programs of a similar quality in the country. I think it's unfair to expect one state to have multiple public universities of this level available
     
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  5. Whiskey_Clear

    Whiskey_Clear Banned

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    You seem butthurt about criticism of admissions. Just sayin.

    There are two separate dynamics in this discussion and admissions is only tangentially involved.

    Tech has been renowned for producing really sound practical engineers. My dad, a Tech alum with Bachelors and Masters degrees at Tech (he also went on to manage an engineering department for a large utility corporation so he had a practical as well as a managerial background) has made that point to me since I was a kid.

    Far predating this letter (the writer of the letter didn’t publish it as an op-ed by the way...he simply shared it with the author and allowed her to cite it) my dad said basically the same thing the letter writer did, this statement from him stemmed from my question to him of some of the differences between MIT and GT in fact. He didn’t quote the planes on the line quote but alluded to something similar. That Tech primarily produced practical engineers while MIT had more of a focus on theoretical engineering/science. So he kind of said the same thing in a different way...at least imo.

    So the question is, has Tech changed their educational philosophy from the 20th century to the 21st century? It seems to me they have tried to move in the direction of MIT. Now is that good or bad? That question is probably a worthy of a healthy debate. It appears the writer of the letter feels it is not for the best.

    The second aspect that relates a bit is whether there are sufficient engineering degree offerings outside GT but in state? I would think that’s a pretty obvious no. I would also say that’s not a particularly good thing either for obvious reasons.

    With as much derision as many here have for the uga engineering program it very easily could become the primary engineering program producing the most practical engineers. If the first aspect of this conversation is true anyway, and if so I’d say that it’s actually not a bad thing.

    If any potential Tech students want to get into GT they will almost certainly have to take a plethora of AP classes. There is so much competition to get in it’s a real requirement. Dual enrollment no butvAP yes. And don’t fool yourselves, the same is true at UGA now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  6. MountainBuzzMan

    MountainBuzzMan Helluva Engineer

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    I understand this as well. Got one in and one did not make the cut. I was shocked by how emotional I got with the whole thing.
     
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  7. MountainBuzzMan

    MountainBuzzMan Helluva Engineer

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    I understand how hard it is to get in now and if a legacy does not compare to the people who are getting in, I am fine with that. My only real complaint was we knew a bunch of kids and their credentials. A number of them got in due to race. (Which I am fine with) I felt like the bar used for that should also be applied to legacies.

    It really comes down to donations. Tech needs to keep accelerating its donations. Yet when they deny a legacy or multi generation legacy but let kids in who are less qualified, most of the time that action stops significant future donations from older grads.

    Tech was probably going to get a high 7 to 8 digit donation from me when I passed away. (Assuming financials continue at my current pace) But the process soured me toward Tech and I changed my will. Multiple that by all the denied legacies and they are losing a lot of future donations.

    I feel like with some minor tweaks they can have their cake and eat it to.

    The article came across as butt hurt without any real answers to solve the problem. Just let in more Georgia kids is not the correct answer without fixing a number of additional issues with the campus
     
  8. yrp

    yrp Helluva Engineer

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    I dunno if any of you have been students recently but Tech is super crowded, especially CS (which I majored in).

    I wasn't in a single CS class that had fewer than 50 students (and there was only one class that was that size).

    Even 3 and 4 thousand level classes had 100-150 students and filled up a CULC or Klaus classroom. Machine Learning had 1000+ students if you count all sections. Two professors split the workload along with maybe 25 or so grad TAs.

    We can't admit more people into Tech without getting more buildings, housing, and more professors in. We also have 60% in state students - increasing that number is hard considering the fact that OOS and international students pay so much more (not to mention the loss of diversity which will definitely make you a worse engineer).

    The solution to this isn't to lament the admissions process or hope that Tech makes it easier to get in but to open more engineering schools across GA. I don't think this is related to Tech becoming less practical or anything like that (if that is true, it's a separate issue).
     
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  9. LibertyTurns

    LibertyTurns Helluva Engineer

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    GA needs increased capacity for Engineers. Why couldn’t it be GT-Macon, GT-Savannah, etc? We could have annexed Ga St? We could align ourselves with Morehouse and Spelman. Why does it have to be Mutts On Road Into Cesspool Engineering?

    GT has immense opportunity but we lack vision. Now we hired someone that seems light in the loafers. I hope he surprises me but I’m not holding my breath.
     
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  10. gthxxxx

    gthxxxx Ramblin' Wreck

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    My personal guess is that the move towards higher grad rates is primarily due to administration resume padding by tackling the low hanging fruit to eke out higher ratings on mass consumer publications such as US News. I doubt it's due to economic related forces, since GT already has a captive audience by being heads above the other universities in engineering in the Southeast region, possibly since its establishment. There have also been an overwhelming number of applicants in state, out of state, and internationally for as long as I'm aware of. Hope scholarships have both a credit limit and grade requirement, so I don't see how that would directly impact selectivity and graduation rates.

    I do agree that the limited capacity presents a problem and increasing selectivity is one method. From my personal experience, I'm of the opinion that the school needs to thin down by at least a third of its population to achieve a better equilibrium. However, GT could have also maintained its historically low retention/graduation rate but instead those rates have risen significantly over the years [1]. If the goal is to graduate better engineers, which would also enhance academic reputation, GT should have more faith in their in-house system as opposed to admission selectivity relying on external and potentially questionable, unreliable, and out-of-date measurements. With how far science/engineering advances year after year, there should be no problem in increasing difficulty of courses, not to mention the existing standard methods for achieving target results, e.g. the bell curve.

    [1] https://irp.gatech.edu/sites/default/files/documents/FactBook/FactBook_2018_UPDATED 14-05-2019.pdf, pp 46-47.
     
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  11. WhatsTheGoodWord

    WhatsTheGoodWord Georgia Tech Fan

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    I don't care about criticism of admissions when it is based on facts. Do you like people opining that they know all about your job when in fact they have no idea? There are a lot of people who think they know what is going on with admissions who have no clue. Admissions is a historically close to the vest business. This leads to a lot of speculation about what is really going on, much of it wrong, this forum is an example. There are some valid points to be sure, many have been raised here, that were not raised by the writer in the original post from the column, which was just a bunch of sour grapes.
     
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  12. herb

    herb Helluva Engineer

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    Agreed, It is not easy. But it is not exactly transparent, which leads to such speculation. When it is something people care about, criticism is to follow
     
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  13. yrp

    yrp Helluva Engineer

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    Why are we assuming that lower grad rates equate to better engineers?

    Why are we assuming that classes aren't getting harder instead of assuming that the teaching is better, the students are smarter, and they are being provided with resources to excel.

    GT has not lost its reputation of creating excellent engineers despite the grad rate going up, so I wonder where this assumption is stemming from?
     
  14. gthxxxx

    gthxxxx Ramblin' Wreck

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    Lower grad rates is to deal with limited capacity. Better engineers result from trusting in house system vs admission selectivity based on poor inputs by all statistical measures, not to mention uncertainty introduced by psychological growth. This is not by any fault of GT. The only standards out there are AP exams, ACTs, and SATs, and even those vary year by year; how do you derive uniform and accurate measurements from high school GPAs, extracurricular activities, jobs, etc. How well do they predict aptitude in the chosen major? And this isn't even considering international applicants.

    Again, no such assumption is being made. The argument is made that the more resources available to the student (e.g. faculty-student ratio, equipment-student ratio, modern and efficiency of teaching utilities), the better the education. Limiting capacity directly affects such rationing. See above point for my rationale of the better approach to address limited capacity.

    I stated earlier that I doubt GT's reputation related to its degree has changed significantly. Instead, I argue that choosing to filter at admissions is inefficient and inaccurate and therefore a previously tapped pool of potential is lost. I further speculated that admitted students' potential are not fully reached when grade inflation is applied to enhance grad rates. Past, present and future GT graduates are all able to get their foot in the door based on its reputation, but I feel that the adversity and pressure of the past further prepared for the path beyond.
     
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  15. yrp

    yrp Helluva Engineer

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    So let's say we gratuate 95% of the students rn, so if we admit 100, we end up producing 95 engineers.

    If we lower our grad rate to 60% then we need to admit around 160 people to still produce 95 engineers.

    Isn't that making the capacity issue worse?
     
  16. Animal02

    Animal02 Helluva Engineer

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    6,235
    From my own experiences at Tech.....I found that those that struggled a bit in H.S. often did better than those that were top of their class....they came equipped with the study skills necessary to get through. I learned the hard way but survived. Struggling to "make it" gave me life long skills to compete in the real world. I am more successful than most of my classmates at both schools I graduated from. At Tech, I had a friend that was a EE, graduated with a 3.8 and really knew nothing about engineering and another that was a brilliant that failed out....they were the rare exceptions at the time....and the second school I attended, the former were quite common.
     
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  17. Animal02

    Animal02 Helluva Engineer

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    6,235
    Everyone gets a participation award.....no one gets their feeling hurt. It seems to be the current thought process. :rolleyes:
     
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  18. gthxxxx

    gthxxxx Ramblin' Wreck

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    Assumed implicitly (and mentioned once explicitly) in this approach is the retention rate. The majority of the weeding occurs during the earlier years, so the student population is bottom heavy. This idea isn't novel in any way and was the tried and tested method for about a century (some guessing on my part).
     
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  19. WhatsTheGoodWord

    WhatsTheGoodWord Georgia Tech Fan

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    9
    Before we get carried away speculating on why GT wants to increase graduation rates, know that this is a goal from Complete College Georgia, https://completecollege.org/georgia/ . It's not just a Georgia Tech thing.
     
  20. gtg391z

    gtg391z Helluva Engineer

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    447
    It should be easy. Make a spreadsheet that calculates a rank based on their academic achievements and then plug in all the students that applied. Start at the top and go down to fill all the slots. If there is a tie at the bottom then use extracurricular activities and an essay to break the tie. Done!

    It only gets "hard" when you bring in subjectivity and demand diversity.
     

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