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What makes a college/university prestigious? Is it based on reputation? Is it based on the accomplishments those who went there? Is it cost? Admission criteria? I had a friend go to Stanford U. and she told me that if you got an F for a grade that it would not show up on your transcript - that all classes were graded on a curve - Is that prestigious? Are all universties of that caliber similar in their policies?

Any thoughts?

 

 

Peace,

 

AudioGuy

 

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Your friend is quite right about Stanford. You cannot really fail a course there. If you do not pass a course there, it simply disappears on one's transcript.

As to what makes one college or university prestigious or not depends on who you ask. For major research institutions, it has very little to do with the what goes on in the classroom as opposed to the quality of the research going on, the number of faculty publications, and awards.

When one looks at listings such as that which appears each year in US News and World Report, their rankings are predicated on numerous factors, some you might find more meaningful than others.

Things that they look at include:
1. student to teacher ratio
2. percentage of faculty with PhD or comparable terminal degrees.
3. the size of the institutions endowment
4. the percentage of alumni giving
5. research and publications of the faculty
6. where there graduates go with respect to further graduate/professional education or in the job market.
7. the number of faculty receiving awards like the Nobel Prizes, Field's Medals, etc.

I do not believe the issue of grade inflation which you mention, really plays a role in institutions are ranked. It is, however, a issue of some frustration for any number of faculty I know. The issue always boiled down to "if I do not participate in the systemic grade inflation, then I am putting my students at a significant disadvantage when they go to compete for jobs or graduate/professional programs with students of teachers that are less conscientious. And from what I know, they are quite right.

For example, I have one degree from an institution that does not give conventional grades. Instead, they gave detailed evaluations of the students performance in the class that would be condensed on things such as transcripts. This put me at a definite disadvantage when applying to some doctoral programs as well as certain fellowships.
Audioguy,

I will elaborate in more detail later but I think many of these universities were established as a form of separation by the elite away from others. For many of these institutions, there is not much academic rigor and legacy admissions do not face the scrutiny you and I would at a less expensive state college. I have read articles mentioning the grading system you talked about. there has also been evidence of grade inflation at many of the schools....i know from my own experiences that many of us(as always) have had to do more....i mean hell, I had professors who didn't know jack shit about my dissertation topic (Technology Transfer) and had the nerve to try and scrutinize it as a way of placing barriers before me.....but would let some 75 page bullschit on the part others like the "The color of furniture in the workplace and its effect on productivity" slide through....and actually try to promote that schit like it was the greatest thing since instant grits...black colleges face a stigma of being inferior from
racists and self-loathing negroes.....but the opposite is true....they prepare you to the extent where there are no problems in terms of credibility in the real world.....because they know what their students are going to face.........
Often, the caliber of the graduate is not reflective of the "props" given to the school...I have seen many graduates of these schools not know their azz from a hole in the ground, but will tell you in a minute where they went to school....ask them in detail about the curriculum or go into a dialogue about a related topic....and the truth becomes self-evident.
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
What makes a college/university prestigious? Is it based on reputation? Is it based on the accomplishments those who went there? Is it cost? Admission criteria?


I think it's very much tied to the admission rate. The more exclusive the school, the harder people work to in there and stay there and prove themselves, and the more prestigious it becomes. The hottest club is the one with the velvet rope in front of it.

There are legacies and dumb asses at every single college. It's a mistake to assume that everyone at a prestigious school can speak intelligently on any topic you put forth. Contrary to popular belief, there is no GPA/SAT combination that assures admission into a prestigious school (though there are definitely some GPA/SAT combos that will take you out of the runnings completely). In order to maintain their status as "exclusive" they have to keep the number of applications high and the admissions rate low. Everyone has got to feel like just maybe they have a shot and the most frequent way people determine that is by looking at the school's stats and seeing that somewhere along the line, someone with their same scores has been admitted in previous years. Then you have schools that send out letters telling minority students they are impressed with their scores and asking them to apply (only to later deny them admissions) to keep their application numbers up. These schools reputations seem inextricably tied to the number of students they shut out.

Remember what happened with that girl Blair Hornstine (the one who sued her school over not being sole valedictorian)? After all the bad press, there was a big outcry for Harvard to rescind her admission, Harvard buckled and complied, and people were thrilled. People have a strong desire to see these schools continue these exclusionary practices. The thinking is: "She can go anywhere she wants, but there's no way she should be allowed to go to Hah-vahd."
Peace and Blessings,

*Frenchy- Laughing at you with "Hahvad", I say this all of the time and most people don't get it.-sigh-*

This is an interesting topic. I've noticed that the curricula, prestigious quality of the professors, career opportunities and endowments are what most promote as the standard for determining one college over another. However, it is interesting....approximately five years or so ago...Howard University Law students defeated Hahvad law students in a mock court trial. I think Howard's engineering students defeated Hahvad for a grant based off of innovative projects. These types of things to do not get the attention they deserve.

I, personally, think the main benefit to attending an Ivy college over others is simply the networking opportunities and the foundational career opportunities....When our community can compete economically and surpass the money making opportunities, and receive the press for this,I believe the standard for what makes a college prestigious will begin to shift.

Peace,
Virtue.
However, it is interesting....approximately five years or so ago...Howard University Law students defeated Hahvad law students in a mock court trial. I think Howard's engineering students defeated Hahvad for a grant based off of innovative projects. These types of things to do not get the attention they deserve.---virtue

I agree with the need, and value of economic input by African American-American resources.

I think knowing about the comparative performance of schools is the responsibility of our media. We do have a media.

The main media will never cover the results of such events


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
....approximately five years or so ago...Howard University Law students defeated Hahvad law students in a mock court trial...
Funny you should mention that, It just happened again. If you're interested here's the story.

quote:
I, personally, think the main benefit to attending an Ivy college over others is simply the networking opportunities and the foundational career opportunities...
It certainly helped our current president...

This is a question for anyone to answer:
    Do you think that the "prestige" is warranted, or is it just an illusion?
Do you think that the "prestige" is warranted, or is it just an illusion?---AudioGuy

Prestige is a value judgment.

Harvard is a quality school.

Howard is a quality school.

Which is more prestigeous?

Clearly, the answer will be based on which school viewed as having greater value by the evaluator.

These are created conditions remember.

Lincoln never went to law school.

You don't even have to have a Bachelor's in pre-law to get into law school. At least, you didn't used to need it.

The simple answer is 'Yes.'

It is true because the evaluator says it is true.

When the evaluator is European America....


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
*Frenchy- Laughing at you with "Hahvad", I say this all of the time and most people don't get it.-sigh-*


virtue, I toss that word around as much as possible. Cracks me up like no other. Big Grin

quote:
Funny you should mention that, It just happened again. If you're interested here's the story.


The thing that sort of bothers me about that article is that it plays right into Harvard's reputation. Why is beating Harvard so much better than beating another school unless you buy into the idea that Harvard is better? Instead of all this "spelling out the name of the winner" and the like, I'd much rather just see a small quote along the lines of "Well, we whooped that azz before and we just whooped it again. What else is there to say?" Of course, I'm kidding (slightly).
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
....approximately five years or so ago...Howard University Law students defeated Hahvad law students in a mock court trial...
Funny you should mention that, It just happened again. If you're interested here's the story.

quote:
I, personally, think the main benefit to attending an Ivy college over others is simply the networking opportunities and the foundational career opportunities...
It certainly helped our current president...

This is a question for anyone to answer:
    Do you think that the "prestige" is warranted, or is it just an illusion?


I actually got goose bumps when I read this!!!!
Thanks. Howard, alma mater, 00', Phd.
That is wonderful.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
The thing that sort of bothers me about that article is that it plays right into Harvard's reputation. Why is beating Harvard so much better than beating another...


I hear you on that, but I think this this quote sums it up:
    "It solidified the fact that although others think we are a third-tier law school, we are the best trial advocates," said Chris Stewart, a third-year law student and a team member.

It seems as though they (HaHvahd & others) spend a lot of time saying that other schools are not as good, when in reality many others are on par with them - with fewer resources...
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
It seems as though they (HaHvahd & others) spend a lot of time saying that other schools are not as good, when in reality many others are on par with them - with fewer resources...

Not to take anything away from Howard et al, but this does not surprise me. I have known a few folks who did Harvard Law. The basically all said that the real challenge was getting in. Unless you wanted to make the Law Review, you could get through with a reasonable amount of effort. Other programs, however, may have entrance standards, but they really put it to you.

One of the schools that I worked at said it something like this - "The Ivy's turn out what they get, exceptional students. We take good, dedicated students who may not have had all the best advantages and make them exceptional."
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
Not to take anything away from Howard et al, but this does not surprise me. I have known a few folks who did Harvard Law. The basically all said that the real challenge was getting in. Unless you wanted to make the Law Review, you could get through with a reasonable amount of effort. Other programs, however, may have entrance standards, but they really put it to you.

One of the schools that I worked at said it something like this - "The Ivy's turn out what they get, exceptional students. We take good, dedicated students who may not have had all the best advantages and make them exceptional."



"...One of the schools that I worked at said it something like this - "The Ivy's turn out what they get, exceptional students. We take good, dedicated students who may not have had all the best advantages and make them exceptional."

------------------------------------------
Great points. While my experience at HU, left me somewhat bewildered, (there is still the class status, violations of 'unprofessional' behavior by staff/faculty, color code issues at many HBCU'S; and the administration left a lot to be desired), I 'appreciated' Howard University's unspoken motto: "We are minimally focused on how the student looks when they come in, but we are definately concerned with how they 'look', when they leave'.
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
It seems as though they (HaHvahd & others) spend a lot of time saying that other schools are not as good, when in reality many others are on par with them - with fewer resources...

Peace AudioGuy,

I agree wholeheartedly...

Peace,
Virtue


The 'social construction of reality' is my take (2cents) and what Baudrillard refers to in his discussions on hyperreality in America.
"According to Baudrillard, America has constructed itself a world that is more "real" than Real, and where those inhabiting it are obsessed with timelessness, perfection, and objectification of the self."
By creating this reality, 'Havad','Yale' and other 'prestigous' institutions are an entity unto themselves, and are taken as the sociall constructed reality, a mirror image, of the how the 'elite' see themselves, and how they want 'us' to see them also. It's where nothing is ever good enough, unless the seal of approval by some 'figure' representing the elite has approved it. Hence, they create a commodity, which everyone wants, and attempts to gain entry or acceptance, is the yardstick of success. Simulacra and Simulation.
nayo:

My knowledge is years before your's, and remote. I only knew students who were going to or had left Howard.

Those who were going were excited.

Those who had left were dissillusioned. And not because they had not done well. In fact, all had done well. Many were dean's list.

All who had left were women.

They all cited the 'clique-thing.'

And the 'color thing'.

I found this to be 'large' in the minds of friends who had gone to hbcu's.

Some prestigeous, some not.

I should say the same practices were prevalent among African American-American students at majority schools.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
nayo:

My knowledge is years before your's, and remote. I only knew students who were going to or had left Howard.

Those who were going were excited.

Those who had left were dissillusioned. And not because they had not done well. In fact, all had done well. Many were dean's list.

All who had left were women.

They all cited the 'clique-thing.'

And the 'color thing'.

I found this to be 'large' in the minds of friends who had gone to hbcu's.

Some prestigeous, some not.

I should say the same practices were prevalent among African American-American students at majority schools.

PEACE

Jim Chester



Tell the truth, and shame the devil. When I posted that I my HBCU experience was 'bewildering', that was/is an
understatement. Borderline homicidal/suicidal, I was. I was disappointed,(in the 'color-codes', MY GOD!and this in the 1990-2000 era. wth!; and the "what do your parents/did your grandparents do? as entry/acceptance by Howard's elite groups, ie. the Goldcoast). I was touting Black American cohesion and awarenes, and was dubbed, 'rebel without a cause', ouch! By Black people! Sure there were the revolutionary poet types, ie. Sistah Souljah, and others of that ilk, but they were eventually lauded as crackpots, and summarily dismissed. They made 'good' copy in the news. Many said, under their breaths, that HU/Howard U. stood for House 'N' U.

(I too made the 'Dean's list; distinguished scholar and all that rubbish), but, aware of the interdependent dynamics that race, class, the historical legacy of enslavement and 'African' peoples who hailed from outside the North American continent, had on these dynamics. Many times I 'self-talked' that I could have/should have gone to an HWCU, and took the racism/sexism, and done just as well, if not better. Not everyone is suited for an HBCU; I was one of those. And yet, I am sincerely, truly, even ecstatic, as well as pleased, to see Howard U. students and other HBCU representatives, succeed. Truly.
These accomplishments reminds me of that passage written many years ago, by W.E.B. Dubois:

"In a wee wooden schoolhouse, something
put it into the boys' and girls' heads to buy gorgeous visiting-
cards--ten cents a package--and exchange. The exchange was merry, till one girl, a tall newcomer, refused my card,
--refused it peremptorily, with a glance. Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but
shut out from their world by a vast veil. I had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep through; I held all
beyond it in common contempt, and lived above it in a region of blue sky and great wandering shadows. (my favorite line, here)

That sky was bluest when I could beat my mates at examination-time, or beat them at a foot-race, or even beat their stringy heads.
(HA!)

Alas, with the years all this fine contempt began to fade; for the words I longed for, and all their dazzling opportunities,
were theirs, not mine. But they should not keep these prizes, I said; some, all, I would wrest from them. Just how I would
do it I could never decide: by reading law, by healing the sick, by telling the wonderful tales that swam in my head,
--some way.
quote:
Originally posted by nayo:
Tell the truth, and shame the devil. When I posted that I my HBCU experience was 'bewildering', that was/is an
understatement. Borderline homicidal/suicidal, I was. I was disappointed,(in the 'color-codes', MY GOD!and this in the 1990-2000 era. wth!; and the "what do your parents/did your grandparents do? as entry/acceptance by Howard's elite groups, ie. the Goldcoast). I was touting Black American cohesion and awarenes, and was dubbed, 'rebel without a cause', ouch! By Black people! Sure there were the revolutionary poet types, ie. Sistah Souljah, and others of that ilk, but they were eventually lauded as crackpots, and summarily dismissed. They made 'good' copy in the news. Many said, under their breaths, that HU/Howard U. stood for House 'N' U.


Okay... where was I when all this was going on?? I didn't experience any of that - and I am as far as you can get from being a member of any "elite" group. Maybe I had blinders on, but I don't think so (maybe undergrad is different than grad?).

I honestly cannot think of any of my HU friends (and I have a lot) who would say they had even a remotely similar experience.


Believe me, I am not trying to negate your experience, but I have a hard time recalling anything of the sort. If you say it happened, then I am in no position to question it.

Please accept my apology on behalf of all the real folks who I attended with.

WOW, you have piqued my interest - I have to do some more investigation.
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
quote:
Originally posted by nayo:
Tell the truth, and shame the devil. When I posted that I my HBCU experience was 'bewildering', that was/is an
understatement. Borderline homicidal/suicidal, I was. I was disappointed,(in the 'color-codes', MY GOD!and this in the 1990-2000 era. wth!; and the "what do your parents/did your grandparents do? as entry/acceptance by Howard's elite groups, ie. the Goldcoast). I was touting Black American cohesion and awarenes, and was dubbed, 'rebel without a cause', ouch! By Black people! Sure there were the revolutionary poet types, ie. Sistah Souljah, and others of that ilk, but they were eventually lauded as crackpots, and summarily dismissed. They made 'good' copy in the news. Many said, under their breaths, that HU/Howard U. stood for House 'N' U.


Okay... where was I when all this was going on?? I didn't experience any of that - and I am as far as you can get from being a member of any "elite" group. Maybe I had blinders on, but I don't think so (maybe undergrad is different than grad?).

I honestly cannot think of any of my HU friends (and I have a lot) who would say they had even a remotely similar experience.


Believe me, I am not trying to negate your experience, but I have a hard time recalling anything of the sort. If you say it happened, then I am in no position to question it.

Please accept my apology on behalf of all the real folks who I attended with.

WOW, you have piqued my interest - I have to do some more investigation.



yep. : O
Completely tainted "my" experience/view of HBCU's. But, that's just me. I'm from the west, and while not involved in the east coast/west coast rapper battles, I found that there was iin fact, perspectives and perceptions of folk from the 'left coast'. I was at the grad level; but, I associated with students who were undergrad, and, they too, from places such as Las Vegas, Seattle and San Francisco, had relatively similiar experiences. And, come on, the administration? I worked in admissions for 7 years, so I'm speaking from inside knowledge as well. In many ways,it was Gil Scott-Heron's "N--er Factory' come to life and Ralph Ellison's experience at the 'HBCU' in 'Invisible Man.
Having graduated from MS Valley State in "81, my experience was people who curious about why we who were not from the state of Mississippi ended up going to school there, especially those brothers from way up north.

In my case MVSU is where my mom and her 5 sisters went to school and to compound the issue they had the actual nerve to give me a scholarship.
quote:
Originally posted by jazzdog:
Having graduated from MS Valley State in "81, my experience was people who curious about why we who were not from the state of Mississippi ended up going to school there, especially those brothers from way up north.

In my case MVSU is where my mom and her 5 sisters went to school and to compound the issue they had the actual nerve to give me a scholarship.



A belated congratulations on the scholarship! That was great! I worked my way through undergrad, masters and after. But anyway, while I can reflect on my grad school years, with a little chagrin (undergrad at predominantly 'white' university), I still applaud the 'work' that the HBCU's continue to do, with students, who might otherwise be overlooked or left out. Also, it is widely unknown, but many students who attended Howard and other HBCU's, (while I attended/worked), entered as the 'exceptional' student, ie. 1600 SAT's, 36-38 ACT's, 4.0-5.0 g.p.a's, plus well rounded school activity involvement; so lest, anyone assume HBCU's takes 'only' the student who is 'remedial',it is also the excellent student who is too a part of the admissions-matriculation quality of the HBCU student.
I was 'friends' with a few euro students in my program, who could not 'cut it'; also, I found Howard to be, in many cases, more demanding (or do I mean demeaning lol), more competetive and more requiring of academic rigor, than I found at the 'other' schools. So, any perceptions that HBCU's are less than academically rigorous, are huge fallacies in judgment.
I think because of the elites stigma placed on such institutions that are not, the 'Havad's', and the M.I.T's and the Yales, the Carnegie-Melon's, etc. many HBCU's, go 'over-the-line' to impress academic excellence upon it's student's. I can't tell you of the countless undergrad students who I was literally consoling in my office, on the 'quad', because of some professor's stringent and strident approach to education. There were some prof's who were every bit as 'intimidating' as that prof. who was characterized in 'The Paper Chase'. I took a class from this one Nigerian prof, who was legendary for demanding respect and complete obesiance(sp), to himself, as well as publicly denouncing your work (if true) as sophmoric.

Based on the original tenets of this thread, many colleges that are not in the 'elite' are every bit as challenging and excellent. I attended a 'prestigious' undergrad, and there was plenty permissive behavior in my classes; not so at Howard U.
I feel ya Nayo,

I went to Prairie View A&M who had went to black public magnet schools for the engineering and nursing professions and they were as sharp if not sharper than anyone who went to that integrated BS that was supposed to be so highly ranked in Texas like I went to.......it was a public school also....just the only one in a little town that was 50/50 black and white population-wise. It would be interesting to see the percentage of black students from HBCU's that go on to successfully complete graduate-level work as opposed to black students who did their undergrad work elsewhere. Black Issues in Higher Education has an annual edition where they outline the degree-producing schools (HBCU & Others) by race, gender and major...My school was mostly known for engineering, nursing and education. It has really grown since my day and offers Ph.D.'s in engineering and Ed.D. and a few others.....that is why Texas A&M tried to take it over and eliminate its HBCU status....it is amazing how we were segregated to our own...it was fine as long as it appeared to be substandard....but once excellence was acheived and PV started getting accredited in areas the big schools (A&M, UT) did not....then it is time to try and take it back from us......whites are starting to go to the graduate schools in large numbers....and UT is trying to absorb TSU the same way......simply amazing......
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
I feel ya Nayo,

I went to Prairie View A&M who had went to black public magnet schools for the engineering and nursing professions and they were as sharp if not sharper than anyone who went to that integrated BS that was supposed to be so highly ranked in Texas like I went to.......it was a public school also....just the only one in a little town that was 50/50 black and white population-wise. It would be interesting to see the percentage of black students from HBCU's that go on to successfully complete graduate-level work as opposed to black students who did their undergrad work elsewhere. Black Issues in Higher Education has an annual edition where they outline the degree-producing schools (HBCU & Others) by race, gender and major...My school was mostly known for engineering, nursing and education. It has really grown since my day and offers Ph.D.'s in engineering and Ed.D. and a few others.....that is why Texas A&M tried to take it over and eliminate its HBCU status....it is amazing how we were segregated to our own...it was fine as long as it appeared to be substandard....but once excellence was acheived and PV started getting accredited in areas the big schools (A&M, UT) did not....then it is time to try and take it back from us......whites are starting to go to the graduate schools in large numbers....and UT is trying to absorb TSU the same way......simply amazing......


I have not heard that UT was starting to absorb Texas Southern, must be part of a master plan because for years there were rumors that Mississippi wanted to eliminate or combine Jackson State, Alcorn State and MS Valley State. Whats really f***** up is that little Delta State (majority white) wasn't going to be touched. Seems that there were just too many black colleges in Mississippi for the white folks to handle.
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
I feel ya Nayo,

I went to Prairie View A&M who had went to black public magnet schools for the engineering and nursing professions and they were as sharp if not sharper than anyone who went to that integrated BS that was supposed to be so highly ranked in Texas like I went to.......it was a public school also....just the only one in a little town that was 50/50 black and white population-wise. It would be interesting to see the percentage of black students from HBCU's that go on to successfully complete graduate-level work as opposed to black students who did their undergrad work elsewhere. Black Issues in Higher Education has an annual edition where they outline the degree-producing schools (HBCU & Others) by race, gender and major...My school was mostly known for engineering, nursing and education. It has really grown since my day and offers Ph.D.'s in engineering and Ed.D. and a few others.....that is why Texas A&M tried to take it over and eliminate its HBCU status....it is amazing how we were segregated to our own...it was fine as long as it appeared to be substandard....but once excellence was acheived and PV started getting accredited in areas the big schools (A&M, UT) did not....then it is time to try and take it back from us......whites are starting to go to the graduate schools in large numbers....and UT is trying to absorb TSU the same way......simply amazing......


Howard University's School of Social Work, is top of the line, and is predominantly 'peopled' by whites! I would see Bill and Camille Cosby in the halls many times; they are huge contributors to this department. Also, HU's school of dentistry is 30/30/30/10, black, white, hispanic and other. I was on a jury for a medical malpractice, and five of the doctors, all caucasian and some other type of 'exotic' white, were grads from HU's med school. The person who actually committed the 'error' had graduated from another school.
Also, Hampton is another HBCU that is highly respected and turns out 'crackerjack' students' with ego, taller than the empire state building.
The arrogance of the Hampton students, is amazing, thrilling and actually great to witness. I attended a speech debate that included Howard, Hampton, and many other non-HBCU institutions,ie. Georgetwon, G.W. University, Trinity and Catholic and other schools; and, those two HBCU's, were 'right....there.' They 'represented'. ok.

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