LSU Manship School Plans to Lower Admissions Requirements and Abolish GPA Standard | New

Faculty at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication will vote Friday on proposed admissions changes that would remove the program’s standard 3.0 GPA, reduce credit hour requirements and allow direct admission of high school students. very efficient.

Proponents of the proposal say the changes will increase diversity by removing barriers that disproportionately and negatively impact students of color, low-income students and first-generation students. Other faculty, however, express that the Manship School is not equipped with the academic resources necessary to ensure success for students with lower GPAs and therefore the changes will not achieve the intended goal.

A group of proud alumni are concerned about recent discussions centered on reducing the…

Manship, the academic college of journalism, public relations, political communications, and digital advertising, is one of the most selective at LSU. The school asks:

  • Thirty hours of college-level courses, which means most students aren’t accepted until their sophomore year

  • Completion of MC 2010, an introductory course in media writing, with a B- or better.

  • A 250-word essay on career and development goals, and a CV.

Although students with a lower GPA may still be accepted, priority is given to students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The proposed changes would:

  • Lower the credit hour requirement to 24 hours

  • Remove Prioritization 3.0 GPA

  • Consider additional criteria for direct admission of high school students, such as high school media experience or other relevant experience

Josh Grimm, acting dean of the Manship School, first announced the proposed changes last fall. Many high school students’ GPAs drop dramatically during their freshman year of college, but that doesn’t mean they won’t excel in Manship, Grimm said.

“My biggest concern in the current admissions process is that we assess students on how well they do overall at major conferences, [general education] course,” Grimm said. “And those don’t reflect the Manship experience. We have small classes. That’s what we’re built on.

After some faculty members refused, Grimm agreed in May to form a committee to take a closer look at the school’s admissions policies and recommend changes.

The committee met five times and reported its findings at a department meeting on August 16. He confirmed that the school’s admission requirements disproportionately and negatively impact first-generation, low-income and lower-income students of color.

A heated debate among faculty members ensued at the department meeting, faculty members in attendance said, including personal insults.

The committee unanimously recommended admitting high-achieving high school students and reducing credit hour requirements. Removing the GPA requirement did not win full committee support.

Two other recommendations – removing the essay and curriculum vitae requirement and allowing a low-level English course to replace MC 2010 for transfer students – also received partial support, but will not be considered when Friday’s vote.

Roxanne Dill, a journalism professor and Manship faculty member since 2007, served on the committee. She said she was worried about the unintended consequences the changes might have on the program.

“I would prefer that we take some time and consider alternatives before making this decision,” Dill said.

Dill said he spoke to Saundra McGuire, director of LSU’s Center for Academic Success, about the proposed changes and how they could potentially backfire.

McGuire declined an interview with The Reveille.

In the committee’s report, Dill said McGuire identified two ways the changes could run counter to his goal of improving diversity. The first is the “stereotypical threat” that can arise when standards are lowered to help students from underrepresented communities. In such cases, negative stereotypes can be reinforced by these kinds of decisions, even if the stereotypes are not spoken out loud.

The other concern is that lower standards can reinforce the idea in students’ minds that intelligence is fixed and unchanging. Some research suggests that schools with more challenging curriculums and better support systems may encourage the idea that intelligence can be developed and changed over time, Dill wrote in the report.

Grimm pushed back against the idea that the Manship School does not have enough resources to support less prepared students.

“We have hired a third pedagogical adviser. This summer, we hired, in coordination with the Career Center, a career coach. Last year we launched our freshman experience class. I think we have a lot of resources, which is why we have one of the highest retention rates on campus,” Grimm said.

If adopted, the changes will first have to be accepted by senior management. Grimm said he hopes they can be implemented by spring.

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