Miami University will change the Latin honors system, beginning with the class of 2012.
Instead of having a set-in-stone, university-wide GPA system for determining the level of honors a student may receive, students’ GPAs will be ranked with other graduates’ GPAs in their academic division. This system is aimed at making the Latin honors system more fair for all students.
The editorial board of The Miami Student applauds the university administration for trying to make Latin honors more equal for each student. From personal experience, the board is very aware that certain departments have often times very different levels in grading, difficulty in course material and expectations. However, Miami’s largest college, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is composed of 56 majors, 55 minors and 3 co-majors. There are 6,220 undergraduate students in CAS. With this high level of academic diversity, the board is concerned that there is also a difference in course grading policies and GPAs.
The Latin honors change is certainly fairer than the previous policy, but it is by no means perfect. The board recommends Miami administration should look carefully into each major to see if GPA and grading differences exist. Ultimately, the most fair way to make sure students’ grades are measured against those of their peers is to separate honors by department.