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Old 01-23-2008, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
957 posts, read 3,096,103 times
Reputation: 139

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hello13685 View Post
The U.S. News and World Reports ranks Trinity #1, but in a completely different category than it ranks the truly best schools in the country. Trinity is ranked in the REGIONAL category, so the #1 distinction is quite misleading indeed. In other words, it's number one among a much lower tier of schools. I'm not saying that it is not a prestigious school--it is--but this needs to be put in perspective.
You are wrong in saying it's ranked #1 among a much lower tier. Trinity is a Tier 1 school and is ranked with others in its category (Masters). It is not ranked #1 against Tier 2 and 3 schools as that would be unfair. It is however ranked #1 in the "West" since like you said they are broken out by region.

Last edited by LookingtoLeave; 01-23-2008 at 11:51 PM..
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:08 AM
 
81 posts, read 198,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hello13685 View Post
The U.S. News and World Reports ranks Trinity #1, but in a completely different category than it ranks the truly best schools in the country. Trinity is ranked in the REGIONAL category, so the #1 distinction is quite misleading indeed. In other words, it's number one among a much lower tier of schools. I'm not saying that it is not a prestigious school--it is--but this needs to be put in perspective.

I would suggest you review how schools are grouped. The link below explains. Trinity is with other non-research schools that offer few, if any, Phd programs. You must offer everything to be considered a national school.


America's Best Colleges 2008: Ranking Category Definitions -- U.S.News & World Report (http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/about/cornkdfs_brief.php - broken link)
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:56 AM
 
454 posts, read 373,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingtoLeave View Post
I'm sure being taught by one of the greats would be awesome, and I do believe a TA at an Ivy League would be VERY well educated. However, at other state research schools not highly regarded, this may not be the case. With that being said, I'd be pissed if my tuition $$ went to a school where I was being taught by one of them.

The TA at an IVY would be bright enough and sufficiently educated to be admitted to the graduate program, but they may have their undergrad degree from a far less prestigious school and be no more educated than a TA at a state school.

So if you're basing 'well educated' on prestige of school, then that TA may not fit your criteria. Furthermore, the TA does not get admitted based on his/her teaching skills but on their research potential.

On the plus side, at a major research institution you're more likely to receive better information/a better education from your TA than from your professor. Grad students tend to put a lot of time into TA'ing at the beginning, whereas professors, esp. those who have been teaching the same class for years, don't even bother to update their notes. That's a gross generalization, and I know plenty of exceptions on both accounts, but it has been my experience at 3 very different types of universities.

I would echo WorldTexan's comments 100%, so I've nothing to add on that front.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:00 AM
 
454 posts, read 373,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingtoLeave View Post
In regards to Dr. Brazil, you are correct. He has strict guidelines as to who he will hire as a professor and does not bend them. I know this for a fact as one of my favorite adjunct professors did not get hired on full-time as amazing as she was. The first thing he did when he was brought on boards was literally fire anyone without a PhD. As a matter of fact, in one of the reports I read (not published by TU), TU has one of the nation's highest professor rates with PhDs. I believe it was literally 99% and the other 1% are the few adjunct professors needed to teach foreign languages.

I'm not sure I would consider firing non-PhDs as a good thing in a non-research university. What is the reasoning? Is he trying to move towards a heavier focus on research than on teaching/liberal arts?

While you do get some PhDs who are happy to teach and not do research, the way to attract most PhDs is by bringing them into a high-quality research environment. I've found people who have masters degrees are often better teachers than those with PhDs, because they haven't spent their time focusing on research but rather on teaching.

I'd think hiring more non-PhDs would be the preference for a small liberal arts college.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:11 AM
 
454 posts, read 373,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingtoLeave View Post
I'm just curious as to why a research school would be more highly regarded that say one that focuses on academics? In order to turn out bright students, don't you need to actually teach them? I truly don't know, but I would think that like you said they focus on their own research and not the student. As a student myself, this is exactly what I would want to avoid. I don't want to be taught by a TA, nor would I like have my professor somewhat assessable should I need help. I'm not saying students at research schools are not bright or they're neglected, but it just seems a bit backwards to me. Just my thoughts.
I don't blame you. As an undergrad I'd aim for a smaller, liberal arts college than a major research institution precisely for that reason (instead I went to a UC, but now I know better). At the graduate level it's a different story. That said, not all TAs are bad teachers.

As far as I know, Trinity is a well-respected, excellent undergraduate school. That it is not known amongst the international academe is not a *bad* thing from a student's perspective, but it may be for a professor wishing to establish him/herself in the academic world of research.

FWIW - most Americans know University of Notre Dame - if for it's football if not it's excellent academics. Students there are under the impression it's world-reknown. It's not. *Now*, in some fields, it is, but that's because of the caliber of research being done there in recent years. Internationally, it's known more for individuals in certain fields than as a major university, unlike Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley or Stanford which get immediate international recognition regardless of field. But don't tell that to a student there, they're all convinced if they go overseas and say they're from Notre Dame, people will praise them. In reality most people think of the Cathedral in Paris ;-). The point is that students often have a different perspective of how their institute is perceived. That's not to say ND isn't a high quality school, it is, like Trinity, and for undergrad education was ranked very highly. It's only very recently it's become recognized in the international academic world (beyond football!), and that's due to its push into research.

So by saying Trinity isn't internationally recognized, that's not a jab at its academic quality for a student.

Apologies for 3 separate posts, it was easier to respond to each individually.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
957 posts, read 3,096,103 times
Reputation: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chakapu View Post
I'm not sure I would consider firing non-PhDs as a good thing in a non-research university. What is the reasoning? Is he trying to move towards a heavier focus on research than on teaching/liberal arts?

While you do get some PhDs who are happy to teach and not do research, the way to attract most PhDs is by bringing them into a high-quality research environment. I've found people who have masters degrees are often better teachers than those with PhDs, because they haven't spent their time focusing on research but rather on teaching.

I'd think hiring more non-PhDs would be the preference for a small liberal arts college.
He did this many years ago, so I don't think it has anything to do with heading in the research school direction. From my understanding it was to up the prestige of the school. I'm not saying one is a better teacher over the other, but one does have more education and it looks better from the outside imo. He did a great job of hiring quite a few ivy leaguers too.

While I do understand someone with a PhD would perhaps rather do research, I guess he's just looking for those that don't mind not being in that environment. However, many professors there also keep occupied with other projects and research, but they will always be the ones teaching.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
957 posts, read 3,096,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chakapu View Post
FWIW - most Americans know University of Notre Dame - if for it's football if not it's excellent academics. Students there are under the impression it's world-reknown. It's not. *Now*, in some fields, it is, but that's because of the caliber of research being done there in recent years. Internationally, it's known more for individuals in certain fields than as a major university, unlike Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley or Stanford which get immediate international recognition regardless of field. But don't tell that to a student there, they're all convinced if they go overseas and say they're from Notre Dame, people will praise them. In reality most people think of the Cathedral in Paris ;-). The point is that students often have a different perspective of how their institute is perceived. That's not to say ND isn't a high quality school, it is, like Trinity, and for undergrad education was ranked very highly. It's only very recently it's become recognized in the international academic world (beyond football!), and that's due to its push into research.

So by saying Trinity isn't internationally recognized, that's not a jab at its academic quality for a student.

Apologies for 3 separate posts, it was easier to respond to each individually.
I don't think I'd mind going to a research university if it was a prestigious school that had high admittance criteria. Again, I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence or the school, but to me a state school (not all of course) does not always fit that criteria. For example, UTSA's admittance rate is 98% give or take, so while I trust the professor would not be dumb enough to choose an idiot as his TA, I'd still rather not chance it. I think you see what I'm getting at.

I actually don't mind that Trinity isn't worldly in that way. It's a very small school and does little to put itself out there. I've even seen people in SA that haven't heard of it. Granted they may be a waitress at IHOP or something, it's just not as common as other school's here.

Don't apologize-I usually respond individually as well or I leave things out.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:42 AM
 
454 posts, read 373,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingtoLeave View Post
I don't think I'd mind going to a research university if it was a prestigious school that had high admittance criteria. Again, I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence or the school, but to me a state school (not all of course) does not always fit that criteria. For example, UTSA's admittance rate is 98% give or take, so while I trust the professor would not be dumb enough to choose an idiot as his TA, I'd still rather not chance it. I think you see what I'm getting at.
At a large institute, the TA is typically a grad student with a speciality in that area, vary rarely will it be an undergraduate and if so, it would be an exceptional undergrad to TA an undergrad class.

I don't know the admittance rate for graduate school at UTSA overall, I do know that in some departments it's nowhere near 98% and I'd be shocked if it was that high for any graduate programs (MS/PhD),even if it is that high for undergraduate. One advantage for an undergrad at such a place, though, is that they get more exposure to research.

Remember graduate school and undergraduate school are two very different things.


DOn't knock state schools. Not all are created equal, but many provide an excellent opportunity for a quality education that they may not otherwise afford. Having gone to a state school, and Ivy and an elite private non-Ivy, I can honestly say I don't think the quality of education I received - or gave - was a lot different in each place. So much depended upon the individual teachers and the academic community of which I became a part. Now none of these places were small liberal arts colleges, although one was comparatively smaller than the others. However even at these large institutions, as both an undergrad and a graduate student, I had as much interaction with my professors as I chose to have, which was extensive in some cases. I don't regret my state school BA at all, although I agree a small liberal arts school has its merits and I would highly encourage any student to consider all their options. In retrospect, the small liberal arts school I considered back then - one of the Claremont Colleges, a highly respected place, I chose not to attend because it had a very specific focus and I wasn't certain of my chosen major (indeed, I switched between International Relations and Biological Sciences. My BA is in PS/IR, my PhD is in Biology) so I'm glad I chose a larger school which provided that opportunity.

Frankly, I don't get excited when I hear someone has a higher degree from one of the Ivies. I'm more concerned with what they've done with that degree. I don't think it makes one any better or worse than a degree from UTSA.

It's very important to respect that all institutions provide something to the student, and that may be different depending upon which level the student is- undergrad, graduate (masters), graduate (PhD), or professional school (MPH,MBA, MD, etc), and different still for a professor/instructor.

Last edited by Chakapu; 01-24-2008 at 12:16 PM..
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
957 posts, read 3,096,103 times
Reputation: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chakapu View Post
At a large institute, the TA is typically a grad student with a speciality in that area, vary rarely will it be an undergraduate and if so, it would be an exceptional undergrad to TA an undergrad class.

I don't know the admittance rate for graduate school at UTSA overall, I do know that in some departments it's nowhere near 98% and I'd be shocked if it was that high for any graduate programs (MS/PhD),even if it is that high for undergraduate. One advantage for an undergrad at such a place, though, is that they get more exposure to research.

Remember graduate school and undergraduate school are two very different things.


DOn't knock state schools. Not all are created equal, but many provide an excellent opportunity for a quality education that they may not otherwise afford. Having gone to a state school, and Ivy and an elite private non-Ivy, I can honestly say I don't think the quality of education I received - or gave - was a lot different in each place. So much depended upon the individual teachers and the academic community of which I became a part. Now none of these places were small liberal arts colleges, although one was comparatively smaller than the others. However even at these large institutions, as both an undergrad and a graduate student, I had as much interaction with my professors as I chose to have, which was extensive in some cases. I don't regret my state school BA at all, although I agree a small liberal arts school has its merits and I would highly encourage any student to consider all their options. In retrospect, the small liberal arts school I considered back then - one of the Claremont Colleges, a highly respected place, I chose not to attend because it had a very specific focus and I wasn't certain of my chosen major (indeed, I switched between International Relations and Biological Sciences. My BA is in PS/IR, my PhD is in Biology) so I'm glad I chose a larger school which provided that opportunity.

Frankly, I don't get excited when I hear someone has a higher degree from one of the Ivies. I'm more concerned with what they've done with that degree. I don't think it makes one any better or worse than a degree from UTSA.

It's very important to respect that all institutions provide something to the student, and that may be different depending upon which level the student is- undergrad, graduate (masters), graduate (PhD), or professional school (MPH,MBA, MD, etc), and different still for a professor/instructor.
I don't at all think all state schools are created equal, and I know some pretty crappy private schools as well. I really think some reputations can be fairly accurate. Either way, SA doesn't have a hand full to choose from so you pretty much have UTSA or one of the A&M satellite campuses. The acceptance rates for UTSA are a mean across the undergraduate body as a whole-they don't break it up per department and like I have said they have some great undergrad programs but overall they just in general have a bad rep. The last CPA firm I worked at had tons of applicants from UTSA and I weeded through their resumes. Majority of the students all had a 4.0 or at least around a 3.8. This is not very common at TU or even St. Mary's for that matter. One of my ex-classmates who was amazingly bright had a mere 3.4 (keeping in mind our grading scale is different.) Anyways, I asked my co-worker, "What, do they just hand out A's at UTSA like Halloween candy?" Believe it or not, he said yes and I have heard this many times before. Now granted, your GPA looks phenomenal, but to me it doesn't hold as much weight if the curriculum isn't as rigorous. Who knows, I could be totally off. I have after all heard of the same problem at Harvard.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:28 PM
 
81 posts, read 198,131 times
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I hear UTSA is changing admission requirements to improve their image and curtail growth.
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