Highest 2013 average GPA among colleges belongs to Health Professions

Editors Note: Rene Shingle's title has been corrected to properly reflect her official position.

The students in the College of Health Professions collectively have earned a higher GPA than students in the other colleges at Central Michigan University.

According to a report from the Office of Institutional Research, as of Spring 2013, the College of Health Professions had the highest average cumulative grade point average among authorized majors, at 3.18, of all academic colleges on campus.

Reneé Castellon, communications and marketing coordinator for the College of Health Professions, credits the high average GPA to students who work hard to do well in their classes both inside and outside of the program.

“We have looked to really bring in a lot of very qualified students,” Castellon said. “The students who do get into our programs really want to succeed, so they are working hard to do well in all of their classes.”

The college houses health-related programs including athletic training, health sciences and physical therapy.

Rene Shingles, director of the school of rehabilitation and medical sciences, agrees with Castellon, and said that despite the difficulty of many courses in the college, students still strive to succeed.

“I think we have some great students who come into our program,” Shingles said. “Our programs are academically challenging. Our students in athletic training and, I presume, in other majors have to do very well in some very tough courses, such as anatomy and physiology and also chemistry and statistics."

The College of Business Administration was listed on the report as having the lowest cumulative average GPA, at 2.97, among authorized majors.

Accounting Department Chair Chad Stefaniak thinks the mark is pretty standard for the college.

“The three-point GPA seems to be the magic number that recruiters look for,” Stefaniak said. “I would say that number makes sense for the average student.”

According to Stefaniak, many CBA majors have fairly heavy course loads.

He said the majority of accounting majors, if they want to become a certified public accountant, are mandated by the state to take 150 credit hours. Some students, he said, try to finish these hours as quickly as possible, which leads to a very heavy workload.

“For our students, there are some who try to finish these credits in four years, because of the financial benefits of finishing quickly,” Stefaniak said. “So they would have a pretty intense time getting through, especially with some of the higher end courses, which can be challenging for accounting students.”

Both Stefaniak and Castellon agree that GPA is an important factor when it comes to working in the outside world.

Castellon said the combination of a high GPA and excellent communication skills are critical in finding work in health professions.

“A high GPA is fairly important,” Castellon said. “People skills are also very important in the world of health professions, but a high GPA is definitely a plus. A higher GPA is definitely going to get you more looks.”

While GPA is important, Stefaniak said accounting firms are looking for more than impressive academic performance in college.

“Accounting firms are no longer just looking for the 4.0 student,” Stefaniak said. “They would rather see a lower GPA student who has work experience, who has well rounded transformational experiences, who has some sort of passion outside of school. In years past, the GPA used to be a substantial indicator, now it is like the barrier to entry.”