COSC GPA Question

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by DaveHayden, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Hi all

    In the past there were two reason many people past over COSC for an assesment degree. The first was the lack of a major. Thanks to Randell we now know that while that is technically true, both the transcript and diploma only list the concentration and not the General Studies major.

    The second issue was the lack of a GPA. Previously I believe Lawrie wrote that they did calculate a GPA, but did not list it on the transcript. I believe he also said they would notify grad schools of it, but not the student. Is this info correct? Since we have quite a few current and past COSC students here, is there any additional info on this that would help potential COSC students?

    Thanks very much.
  2. Mel

    Mel New Member

    They do track a GPA, which is used to calculate honors (either for whole gedree, or recent honors.

    As for a GPA being sent to another college, that would usually be irrelevant - most schools will calculate their own GPA based on all of your coursework. This includes any courses that you choose to
    leave off your COSC transcript, so the COSC GPA isn't really all that useful.

    Remember also, that the school where you're applying may have different criteria for calculating the GPA as well -COSC includes certain graded exams, but I doubt they would be included by a grad school.
  3. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    This is true. Stanford did not calculate a GPA for its own undergraduates (believing that a GPA is not a good metric for student excellence). But the graduate schools did calculate GPA for applicants for admission. Interestingly, there were three different formulae used. The Medical School used a standardized formula (the AMCAS GPA formula). Other schools recalculated each applicant's undergraduate GPA using different formulae. From what I recall, the differences were in how + or - modifiers were treated (e.g. in one case an A- was given 3.7 points and both A and A+ given 4.0, whereas in another case an A+ was worth 4.3 points).
  4. Jodokk

    Jodokk Member

    GPA stuff

    That's cool, but as I haven't yet graduated and I haven't seen my transcript... I have to wonder what they will do with those two GRE's. How would they be listed? As generic Psych and Lit courses?
    How do Pass/Fail courses alter the GPA landscape?
    So many questions, so few brain cells left.
    Dan B
  5. etech

    etech New Member

    well, I am not sure if I read Randell saying this..I could be wrong though and have missed that thread. Maybe Randell would have to jump in to clarify if what you are saying is correct. From the website of COSC here is what I see.

    The degree earned is either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science and the diploma so states, without reference to a specialization or a "major." Each candidate for the Bachelor's degree must establish and complete a program of study (concentration) which has been approved by the Faculty of Consulting Examiners and which demonstrates in-depth knowledge within one or more fields of study. The concentration is not called a major because the "major" is General Studies.

    which sort of seems that they dont list concentration and only major which is "General Studies". if this is not correct (that is they only list concentrations on diploma and transcript) then I would be interested in their degree program in Information Systems instead of Excelsior. In this case I could put in my resume BS in Information Systems, right ? but this does not seem so.. correct me if I am wrong pls.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2004
  6. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Hi Etech

    According to Randell1234 and the scans of his transcript, COSC specifically calls it a "BA(or BS) Concentration:XXXXX". I would probably list it as a BS Information Systems concentration. It would certainly be fair to describe it a BS in Information Systems in any casual conversation. Remember if someone has stated someone else has posted a certain comment, search is definately your friend.

    A previous thread that has comments corrected in the above thread
  7. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Although teh transrpit does not list your GPA, COSC does send you a Summary Page that tracks your progess (number of credits and requirements that have been met) and it does list a GPA.

    See attached pic.

    Attached Files:

  8. seekinghelp

    seekinghelp New Member

    I was told that my current GPA from my associate's will pass through on their transcript as apparently Randall's does. I'm still confused by Lawrie's site that states COSC may or may not assign letter grades to certain tests but won't state which tests they will grant grades in. I have worried about a grad school having problems with this but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    As far as grades or Pass / Fail on tests-

    All General CLEPS got a P / F
    All ECE got a P /F
    One DANTES (HR Management) got a P /F

    all the rest got grades.

    Hope this helps.
  10. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    One more thing-

    All military credits were P /F as well as all computer certification credits
  11. seekinghelp

    seekinghelp New Member

    So the 6 hour general tests were pass/fail but the subject tests were graded, okay. I'm surprised the ECE exams weren't graded. I don't expect the GRE to be graded either, that's okay, 18 credits is 18 credits, I'd rather have the credits with no grade that 18 credits with a C.
  12. cmt

    cmt New Member

    All my CLEP's are "P" (including subject), all DANTES are "A" (including HR Management) and my ECE have not been transfered yet...still waiting on Excelsior :rolleyes:.
  13. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Seems strange to have such inconsistancy in grading
  14. seekinghelp

    seekinghelp New Member

    Seems more than strange and it seems to go back to what Lawrie Miller says about COSC's response to his question concerning how they grade tests, which was a non-answer if you read his site. :(
  15. etech

    etech New Member

    so if someone took mostly CLEP and DANTES to complete their requirements of BS at COSC, does that means that he/she would have no GPA ? and no way to calculate it either because all there would be a P/F ?

    Another situation can be that if someone took all CLEP/DANTES to complete their degree at COSC and only 2 or 3 Distance courses and got grade "A" at COSC in all three then that person would have GPA of "4.0" ? Does it reflect a true GPA ? How would this be taken by a college for graduate degree ?
  16. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Don't know but that is a good question.
  17. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    A quick drive-by if I may: does not now, nor has it ever, stated that COSC will not tell you to which standard exams it will assign letter grades. To do so of course (not tell you), would border on lunacy.

    No, COSC in this respect are quite happy being unclear, inconsistant, and obtuse.

    Note that secluded in a corner of a subsection of a topic on the COSC site, it now states tersely, that COSC letter grade no CLEP exams. I answered a query related to this in Lawrie’s Q&A (question number 74, I think) which may provide readers greater context and clarity.

    In brief, the text that concerns “seekinghelp” forms part of a synopsis and critique of COSC’s response to my questions relating to their policies on letter grading standard exams. See end of this note for partial quote.

    1. In BA in 4 Weeks, I say that COSC will not tell you the score required to earn a letter grade A or B. That is, COSC announces, it will award letter grades for appropriate performance / achievement in certain exams. They go on to list the exams they will tier grade in terms of performance (exams with letter grades), and those exams in which the candidtates performance will be assessed only in terms of pass or fail (exams without letter grades).

    2. I note that COSC always publish a pass score, and that, in the case of exams carrying a letter grade, that pass score equates to (and indeed, MUST be) a letter grade "C" (must be, since there are only three threshold standard scores assessed for each letter graded exam – A, B, C).

    3. Since COSC publish the standard scores required to earn a "C" in exams that carry letter grades, why are they unable to publish the standard scores required to earn an "A" or a "B"? Excelsior nee Regents, has done so without ballyhoo or contraversy since 1996.

    4. I suggest that COSC’s practice in this respect is untenable, in that it lacks transparency and invites unfair mainipulation and related jiggery-pokery.

    If moderators will allow, below is a snippet from my answer to a question regarding COSC ‘s vasilating pronouncements and incoherent policy..



    Begin................................. QUOTE

    Dear Ms. Miller,

    I will try to answer your questions concerning COSC's award of grade
    equivalents for standardized exams.

    1.) COSC awards a letter grade based on the recommendation of CLEP and
    DANTES. The grades equivalents are arrived at based on the test company's
    extensive norming of the exams.

    2.) Excelsior College does not provide the norming data that is necessary
    for COSC's faculty to comfortably support the award of letter grades for the
    Excelsior College exams.

    3.) COSC awards letter grades for CLEP subject exams, except for the
    language tests, and for DANTES exams.

    4.) The letter grade system used is A,B,C, and P. P is awarded for an exam
    that falls within the SEM. Students may receive credit for one exam that
    falls within this range. If a student takes an exam and does not pass, no
    credit is given and it does not appear on the student's record. Therefore,
    a Fail or grade of D or F will not be awarded for any exam.

    5.) Our catalog, Information Bulletin and website do include a list of exams
    that can be used toward the COSC degree. The minimum score required is
    listed for each exam.

    6.) We do not list the scores required for each of the grade equivalents for
    each exam because they are different for each exam and are based on norming
    of the exams. When our faculty reviews exams prior to their acceptance for
    credit at COSC, they look at both the content and the technical data which
    supports award of letter grades.

    7.) Letter grades for exams do appear on transcripts and they are counted
    toward the student's GPA which determines eligibility for honors. A GPA
    does not, however, appear on the transcript.

    Linda Larkin
    Director of Academic Services

    End................................. QUOTE

    Bottom line of Ms. Larkin’s reply –

    a. yes, COSC do letter grade some exams, including CLEP, but not ECE.

    b. Yes, the grades will be used in calculating GPA for the purposes of awarding honors, but no GPA will appear on the transcript (we knew that - but it wont stop graduate schools calculating GPA).

    c. No, they wont tell you how they arrive at those letter grades. Point 6) states that they don't list required scores for each letter grade (A, B, C) because the scores are different for each exam and because normed score will vary. This is rather lame answer. Many exams have different pass scores, yet averaged performances diet to diet in the same exam do not vary significantly.

    Further, COSC doesn't seem to worry about this when it deems it worthwhile to list every required PASS score (equates to a letter grade "C") for every exam on its web site. Why then would it not be worthwhile to detail the scores required for the remaining letter grades (that would be B, and A, if PASS=C for letter graded exams only)? How would any COSC student, looking to score an "A", know where to set his sights?

    If COSC letter-grades exams, the required scores necessary to achieve those grades should and must be listed, if fair play is to be assured, and equal treatment made transparent. Excelsior has managed to do this without much complaint or dispute since the letter grading system was introduced there in 1996.

    It would serve well the interests of COSC, its students, and prospective students like Spraha, if those responsible for the College’s policies with respect to the award of letter graded credit for standardized examinations, were to go away and find out what it is they are supposed to be doing.

  18. cmt

    cmt New Member

    COSC no longer gives ANY letter grade to CLEP.

    COSC gives a letter grade to ALL DANTES.

    I don't know about ECE.

    Seems clear to me, I asked, and my transcript supports their stated position.
  19. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    Amazing Grace or "was blind but now I see.

    Originally posted by cmt
    COSC no longer gives ANY letter grade to CLEP.

    Yup, and that is why I wrote in my last post, “ . . COSC letter grade no CLEP exams.”

    Originally posted by cmt
    COSC gives a letter grade to ALL DANTES.

    I don't know about ECE.

    Seems clear to me, I asked, and my transcript supports their stated position.

    Yes, indeed. Clear to you today. But it is not always clear, especially to those who may be new to the process and/or have yet to chose a college. Consider this all too typical refrain by one frustrated neophyte who sought counsel:

    "I am not finding any of the "big 3" to be of much help without handing over $$$."

    Over time, for the diligent who have asked the pertinent questions and sought the help of those who have gone before, things do indeed become clear. However, few start out that way. They need help in the form of structured presentation and transparency of process. As noted, historically, with respect to adequate explanation of the essential components that are the foundation of GPA, they have been ill-served by COSC.

    A final point: who was the new member I quoted, above?

    Why, that was you, in mid 2003, before things became . . . clear.

    I’d prefer to suffer less, the struggle many learners experience coming to terms with a process rendered unnecessarily complex by those charged with the responsibility of ensuring its stability and transparency.

  20. cmt

    cmt New Member

    Re: Amazing Grace or "was blind but now I see.

    Why did you only quote one sentence from my post Lawrie? Was that all you needed to make your point? Context need not be a part of quotations? The context of my quote was duplication of credit with the GRE, not letter grades. Perhaps you quote me to make a general claim. I would be more flexible with such use of my previous verbiage; however, I do not believe that was your intent. You quote me in this thread and a thread from months ago and attempt to show that the quotes parallel. Must we break out the elementary logic books? Yes, you do attempt this with your connecting sentence: "Yes, indeed. Clear to you today. But it is not always clear…"

    Another point: COSC, the only one of the "3," did later return my email with a concise answer.

    I do not believe COSC walks on water, I have a problem with them over another issue, but that is superfluous to this thread.

    I have abundant respect for you Lawrie and I am much appreciative of your contributions to all related subject matter discussed here. I even appreciate your attempt to show irony through wit, as in your last post (even if it was plain misdirection). However, let us not hijack this thread with a micturating contest. As fun as it would be, I simply don't have time for it these days :).

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