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Marks on a scale of five are assigned on daily recitations and examinations. Different professors have different estimates of the comparative values of these marks - one considering recitation and examination marks of equal value, and another counting examination marks of less value than recitation marks, etc. For commencement speakers ten "honor-girls" are chosen, on the basis of "general scholarship, literary ability and good conduct throughout the college course."
The class of '83 have risen against the entire system, declaring "that their consciences will not allow them to appear upon the commencement stage as the recipients of "honors" based on a system which they believe to be injurious to the moral and intellectual tone of the college and unworthy of the dignity of college students." As their request for the doing away with honors was not granted, they have asked that, in their case, the usual commencement exercises be omitted.
AMHERST.Amherst professors mark on the scale of five and make four grades, which appear on the diploma and certify to the actual average work the student has accomplished. The lowest grade corresponds to two, on the scale of five. A mark of three gives one cum laude; four, magna cum laude, and five, summa cum laude. The aim of this marking system is to make the nominal mark correspond to the actual work done. The six or eight in the class who attain the highest average ranks appear on the commencement stage, thus general ability is encouraged rather than proficiency in special lines of study. The best four men in the class are monitors.
BROWN.Marks are given on a scale of twenty. Ex means that the student has nearly reached the maximum, though how near it does not show. V. G. comes next, then G., which is followed by M., which signifies moderate success in the study. D. stands for deficient, and covers all marks below ten. Commencement honors are four in number - valedictory, salutatory, classical and philosophical orations. These are awarded according to standing. There is a strong feeling at Brown against the system.
WILLIAMS.Marks are given on recitations and examinations, and on the basis of these marks honors are assigned. In the two last years the marks are largely determined by examinations and the professor's personal estimate of the man's work. The marks given at the end of each term are expressed, not in number, but by certain adjectives as very high, low, medium, etc. These correspond to fixed grades, so that one can tell approximately his numerical work as very high means nine-tenths on a scale of ten. For the awarding of prize scholarships the class average for the year is considered alone. To decide about prizes usually special examinations are held, involving extra work. or special examinations may be held without assigning additional work. The results of these examinations are combined with the class-room rank in the study, to determine the final decision. Or it is often the case, notably in mathematical honors and the Cordon medal that the prizes are given solely on the basis of regular class work and examinations. Commencement appointments are made on the same basis, i. e., that of the entire average of the course in curriculum work. Ilitherto those appointed for rank have always appeared on the commencement stage, but by the new laws of the college (in effect this year for the first time) the number of speakers is limited. They are chosen as at Harvard. The names of those who do not speak appear on the commencement programmes as at Harvard.
COLUMBIA.The marking system of Columbia College is not complex; the maximum mark is 100 per cent. in the college and school of mines. The minimum or passing mark for freshmen and sophomores is 50 per cent.; for juniors and seniors, 60 per cent. The honor classes are made up of students whose standing for the four years has been above 80 per cent. First class those having total mark 95-100 per cent. Second class, those having a total mark of 90-95 per cent. Third class, those having a total mark of 80-90 per cent.
The marks given are published semiannually, unless the professor chooses to make them known monthly. The monthly mark of the student in every department counts 50 per cent. The remaining 50 per cent. is made up by the semi-annual examinations, the two together making the maximum work for the term. The chief honor on commencement day is the Greek salutatory. Number two delivers a Latin oration. Others in second honor class have English orations. The Valedictory address is delivered by a student whose only requirements are that he shall be an honor man, he shall be nominated by the faculty, and be elected by the class.
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