Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What is the Worth of a College Transcript?

Robert Pacquette reports on an experiment he conducted to find out if employers look at college transcripts. Some pay very little heed to them. One
wanted to know what, if anything, the applicant had done during his life to overcome adversity. “The true test of a person's value is not their résumé or performance in school. It is totally their personal value system and character.”
looked at the applicant’s transcript but not necessarily at the GPA. He wanted to know if the graduate had attended “what used to be [called] the standard courses in college (i.e., English, history, math, economics, government, etc.) . . . When I see a resume with a lot of non-standard courses, I am not impressed, and I ask why these more standard courses weren’t available at the college (as if I assumed they would take them if they were offered!) and the explanations I get are amazing and always unacceptable.”
Yet another said that his hiring successes
reduced to a formula he called P-O-I. “ ‘P’ is for persistence, a rugged determination that reflects the [applicant’s] willingness to invest whatever is necessary to develop a strong foundation of knowledge and technical competence. ‘O’ is for originality, the ability to think critically and creatively, to see the patterns and trends and answers that aren't obvious. Original people think and operate laterally and persistent people think and operate linearly. It is rare to find someone who is strong in both categories. ‘I’ stands for impact. Talent and imagination are not everything. You have to be able to perform. Some people have a track record of achievement that is built more on charisma and personal communication skills than raw talent . . . A track record of success in small endeavors is usually a good harbinger of success in larger ones.”
Academics, on the other hand, are fixated on the transcript. Many of them make awards and hiring decisions based largely on the transcripts.

As Nibley noted in the 1980s:
Grades are acquisitive, competitive, and phony; but they are the official legal certificates that everyone must have, issued in fixed denominations on a mathematically graduated scale, to be converted it is hoped hereafter into legal tender of the land—and that is the only thing that interests these young people in the study of religion, of all things! This is no trifling thing; the seeds of such corruption are all-pervasive.