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The grade point average for the 2012 Fall term is the highest it has been in ten years, at 3.158.
The lowest GPA in the past 10 years 2005-2006 when it was 3.081.
Vice President for Enrollment Management Edith Waldstein said while there is no one specific reason that the number is higher this year, she said she hopes it is because the student body is academically stronger.
“You always want students working as hard as they can and you want them to be as successful as possible,” Waldstein said.
Wartburg junior Chelsea Keninger said she thinks students are applying themselves in classes.
“I think students at Wartburg understand the importance of getting the most out of their education, especially with the cost of rising tuition every year,” Keninger said. “They also understand how the economy has influenced the competitiveness of both the job market and acceptance into graduate school and are using these as motivation for high grades.”
According to Waldstein, this year’s incoming freshman class had slightly higher grade point averages than usual and that GPAs are slightly up nationwide as well.
She said there could also be a correlation between the smaller class sizes this year and the higher grades. She said she predicts the grades for next year will be around the same as what it is this year.
“It’s a goal to have students get the very best grade they can get as long as that’s an indication of what they’re learning,” Waldstein said.
She also said grades are a just one representation of what students learn while at Wartburg.
Dr. Bill Soesbe said although he has a curriculum and standards for his classes, he believes grade point averages are just a number.
“The GPAs aren’t as important to me as knowing our students are learning and they’re able to apply that to their professional life,” said Soesbe. “The thing I like about what we do, GPAs matter and grades matter, but we’re really concerned about is the process of learning, and really truly making sure students learn.”
He said he believes Wartburg’s faculty does a good job of ensuring they do what is best for students.
“It is ultimately up to the student to determine the level of work they want to put into it but I’m going to continue to motivate and do things to help them realize the potential that they might not realize they have,” Soesbe said.