Grade Inflation in Higher Education: Systemic or Isolated?

Dr. Sean Mulvenon,
Dan Ferritor
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During the last four decades higher education has seen a dramatic increase in the grades assigned students. The increase in grades received and overall grade point average has been viewed by some as indicative of a lowering of academic standards in higher education. Others have portrayed this increase as representative of increased academic preparation of students, and thus a corresponding increase in academic performance at the postsecondary level. The pivotal question examined in this study is are increasing grades a function of better preparation, a lessening of academic standards, or a combination of both. More specifically, is grade inflation in higher education systemic or isolated?

Keywords: Grade Inflation, Higher Education, Educational Policy
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Grade Inflation in Higher Education

Dr. Sean Mulvenon

Professor of Educational Statistics, University of Arkansas

Sean W. Mulvenon is a professor of educational statistics, The Billingsley Chair for Educational Research and Policy Studies, and Director of the National Office for Research on Measurement and Evaluation Systems (NORMES) at the University of Arkansas. He completed his doctoral work at Arizona State in 1993 with his dissertation "Analytical Power Formulae for Repeated Measures Designs." His professional career includes a visiting assistant professor position at the University of Illinois 1993-1995, and since 1995 he has held a faculty appointment at the University of Arkansas. His scholarship and professional record include: * 40 published manuscripts and 1 book * Over 100 national and international professional presentations * $4.2 million in external funding generated at the University of Arkansas * Recipient of the first National Science Foundation grant in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas * A journal editorship and reviewer for numerous journals * Member of the National Research Advisory Board for the National Center for Educational Accountability * Member of National Research Advisory Panel for Study on Teacher Preparation Programs * Currently holds 207 copyrighted programs from work at NORMES * Numerous awards, including the College of Education and Health Professions Outstanding Research Award in 1999. His primary research interest include longitudinal data modelling, educational assessment procedures, and methodological designs for educational research. Additionally, since 1998 he has written over 20 proprietary reports for the Arkansas Department of Education, Community Care Foundation, National Science Foundation, and Arkansas school districts. He has worked extensively with the Arkansas Department of Education in developing measurement and assessment models for their state school accountability program, with his work in this area recognized both within Arkansas and nationally.

Dan Ferritor

Professor of Sociology, University of Arkansas

Dan Ferritor if a professor of sociology and the former chancellor for the University of Arkansas.

Ref: L05P1022