Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

The Big Q Blog

Making the Grade

Alejandro is a junior economics major who wants to go into business. Right now, he needs to choose his classes for next quarter.  He’s interested in “Mathematical Economics and Optimization,” but it has the reputation of being a killer course. Instead, maybe he should take a class in Spanish, his native language. That would certainly help his GPA.

Should Alejandro challenge himself with the mathematical economics class knowing he will learn a lot? Or is he better off just taking the Spanish class, knowing he will get an A, which will help him toward his eventual goal of grad school or a business career?

Useful Resources

Framework for Ethical Decision Making
Does Your GPA Really Matter?
When the Tail Wags the Dog: Perceptions of Learning and Grade Orientation in, and by, Contemporary College Students and Faculty

Photo by Jose Kevo used under a Creative Commons license.


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