Albers School of Business and Economics

Graduate Programs Blog

  • Grades & Justice

    Posted by Daniel Klein on 8/22/2012 09:13:50 AM

    By  Daniel Klein

    Who really cares about grades in Grad School, anyway?  I mean, isn’t the whole purpose of going back to school is simply to understand how to apply these concepts in the real world?  At least that’s what I thought until I got my first bad grade!  What gives?  I read (and really enjoyed) the case studies for the class, was well-prepared every week, and studied enough to feel confident going in to the mid-term.  But the test was hard.  Really hard.  There were terms I didn’t recognize and applications of concepts that were a little tricky.  The result:  a “C”.  Actually, more like a C -, but who’s counting?  I was stunned.  And frustrated.  During the break after the test, many of us in the class huddled around to go over the questions and to see if everyone else had a hard time, as well.  Turns out I wasn’t the only one who struggled, and I decided it would be worth it to e-mail the professor and share with her our concerns; especially since the mid-term counted for 25% of our grade.  The following week, our professor made a good case that the material was nothing new, and that she had even given us a heads up on the test format.  We were disappointed, but understood.  Three weeks later, we had another mid-term.  To our surprise, she had added five extra credit questions that would give us an opportunity to recover some points from the first test.  Not surprisingly, the results were much better.  Still, it looked like there was little chance that I would get an “A” in the class.  Again I was frustrated, but so be it.  But on the final, she added another section for extra credit.  Awesome!!!  When it came time to check my grades for the quarter, I figured I would get a “B” or “B+” at best.  To my shock, I had scored an “A-“!  I wasn’t just happy, though - I was more impressed with how our professor had given us the chance to earn a grade worthy of our efforts.  This is the type of university we have at Seattle U.  When I shared my story with another student, he mentioned that the same thing happened to him in another class.  The entire experience, here, is intended to help us grow as leaders and individuals.  And, there is credence to the idea that grades should only be secondary to the real-world knowledge we gain.  In reality, though, most of us are here because we are motivated and passionate about everything we do.  And just as in other aspects of our lives, mediocre is not acceptable.  Our professors and instructors seem to understand that, and in the true spirit of Seattle U’s Jesuit tradition and its commitment to its mission statement, justice was served.