Place emphasis on learning, not grades

The honor roll is a tool used to show appreciation for students who excel in their academic endeavors.

It acts as an incentive for them to continue to strive to do their best and also gives less academically inclined students something to strive towards.

However, a problem arises when students begin to place more importance on achieving high grade-point averages than they do on learning.

According to Shica Lewis, a 20-year-old criminal justice student from Miami, one of the main reasons that students become so obsessed with their grade point averages is that they believe this is something that employers place great importance on.

“I believe that being on the honor roll is important,” Lewis said. “They (honor roll students) are always an employer’s first choice.”

Lewis is not alone in her thinking.

According many college students feel that their grades will give them an edge in the job market.

But exactly how much importance do employers place on grades? According to Delores Dean, the Career Center’s director and an adjunct professor, the answer to this question is that, “It depends.” There are a number of factors that employers consider and Dean agrees that good grades are one of those factors.

“It does give you a competitive edge,” Dean said. “It shows you are committed to what you are doing.” But Dean stipulated good grades alone are not a deciding factor in the eyes of an employer.

“Employers also pay attention to things like volunteer work and community service,” Dean said. “You should be about the business of helping others; that’s the kind of thing that really impresses employers.”

According to Raymond Pandley, the Career Center’s assistant director and adjunct professor, employers are also becoming increasingly more interested in what job experience a student has acquired prior to graduation.

“Real work experience is as important if not more important than grade point average,” Pandley said.

“I would hire an applicant who has a 2.0 GPA, internship experience and who is also involved in extracurricular activities before I would hire an applicant with a 4.0 GPA and no work experience or extracurricular activities at all.

Pandley also emphasized that it is the depth of knowledge gained and the ability to apply what has been learned to the real world that counts in the end.

“Being on the honor roll may help to get your foot in the door with employers,” Pandley said. “But being able to demonstrate your talent and knowledge are what will help you to keep the job.”

Lisa McIntosh can be reached at