I'm writing a complaint against Charter Oak, the college I did got my BA from, because their inaccurate and unreasonable QPA (GPA/Grade Point Average) system averaged me with a QPA of 2.5, while my real QPA - the average of ALL the credits I earned - is actually aprox 3.5. Why the disparity between what my QPA is per the college and what it should be if it were accurate? Because Charter Oak has an outrageous, irrational "system" (if you can call it that!) when it comes to which credits they include in the average grading system and which they don't average in. Some they do, some they don't --- at complete random! The result of this "system" is that my academic history SEEMS below average when judged by my QPA, and my prospect of being accepted into the PhD program of my choice (with fellowship) is ruined.
I am a hard working student with good academic performance. I did well with my work in Charter Oak. Declaring me a below average is nothing short of an unnecessary lie.
Charter Oak State College is one of the colleges that grant degrees for credits that are earned mostly through unconventional venues (via exams, life experience, transfer credits etc). I decided to pursue my BA with Charter Oak when I needed a bachelors degree for a job. At the time, I was a member of the ultra orthodox Jewish community in NY, the faith I was born into, a community in which secular education is prohibited and internet access is highly limited. Logistically, I was faced with the choice of a correspondence degree or degree by exam. I settled on earning credit by exam from the College Board and other institutions, and transferring the credit to Charter Oak. I was informed that the credits I earn from the exams will not be calculated into my QPA, and that my QPA will consist of the courses I take directly with the college.
Turned out, there was more to it. Some of my exams, the exams I took with CLEP and DSST, on which I did very well, were not calculated into my QPA. But the exam I took with a religious organization for MUSIC, on which I got a C-, were included in my QPA. I had no way of knowing before transferring these credits that they will be handled differently!
As a result: my QPA is a lopsided calculation of "A"s for courses I took with the college plus my weak performance on music. No mention of my many exams on English, Math, Science etc.
When I realized I am graduating with a QPA that:
- Reflects only half my course load
- Reflects my music exams for a non music major
- Does not reflect my core requirements exams
- Reflects the exams I transferred in in which I got a C- but not the exams I transferred with an A
I was completely surprised. I wrote to the college immediately and told them that discriminating among which exams they calculate in a supposed average is unacceptable. They responded by saying: "our QPA means nothing because it's this way often - it's inaccurate. It's only for internal use". Well, it means a lot. It is important to colleges and universities that are serious about education, not just charging tuition and fees. It means the possible end to my academic journey. I asked the college to set a consistent policy as to which exams they include - all exams or none of the exams - but they didn't care about any of it.
If you are considering enrolling with Charter Oak, I urge you not to. The work is lonely, the help is nonexistent, the staff is uninformed, and they do not educate. To the contrary. They may hinder your education.