

PBA Home > Institutional Research & Analysis > Courses > Freshman Academic Preparation Analyses Freshman Academic Preparation Analyses In the spring of 1999, PBA was asked by Elizabeth Guertin, Director of Advising and Assistant Dean in Arts and Sciences, to attempt to estimate difficulty levels for courses typically taken by freshmen. This information could potentially be useful in advising; for example, a student who was planning to take several extremely difficult courses in one semester might be counseled to consider spreading them out a bit, or could at least be forewarned about what to expect. The product we ultimately produced was a form tailored to each student, listing nearly 100 courses commonly taken by freshmen and their anticipated difficulty for that student, based on the student's high school GPA, SAT or ACT scores, and high school preparation. Unfortunately, for various reasons Arts and Sciences decided not to use the forms in either 1999 or 2000; however, after some minor changes, including a change in name from Course Difficulty Profile to Academic Preparation Analysis, as well as training/informational sessions for the advisors by Dr. Guertin and by PBA, the forms were incorporated into the advising process for Fall 2001 freshmen. Here is a sample of the revamped form: 
Student Name: BUFFALO, RALPHIE xxxxx0861 College: AS Major: EPOB Academic Preparation Analysis HSGPA: 2.86 SATV: 470 SATM: 490 ACTE: na ACTM: na ACTR: na ACTSR: na HS Credits: Chem: 1.0 Physics: 0.0 Geog: 0.0 Foreign Lang: 3.0 Spanish: 3.0 French: 0.0 The following codes are used to indicate the level of preparation that students with academic backgrounds similar to yours found that they had in relation to each of the courses listed below when they took these courses in their first term at CU. You should discuss these ratings with your advisor before deciding on a schedule for your first term. These are courses that many freshmen take. However, you may not meet prerequisites for all courses listed. "S" = Standard college course for students with academic backgrounds similar to yours "M" = Moderately challenging course for students with academic backgrounds similar to yours "X" = eXtremely challenging course for students with academic backgrounds similar to yours COURSE PREPARATION COURSE PREPARATION COURSE PREPARATION  AMST 2000 S ENVD 1002 S MATH 1010 X AMST 2010 S ENVD 1014 S MATH 1050 M ANTH 2010 X ENVD 2003 M MATH 1060 M APPM 1350 X ENVS 1000 X MATH 1070 X APPM 1360 X EPOB 1030 X MATH 1150 X APPM 2350 X EPOB 1050 X MATH 1300 X ARSC 1080 S EPOB 1210 X MCDB 1150 X ASTR 1010 M EPOB 1230 X MCDB 1151 M ASTR 1110 X EPOB 2050 X MUSC 1101 X ASTR 1120 X FILM 1502 M MUSC 1121 X ATOC 1050 X FINE 1309 M MUSC 1802 M BCOR 1000 S FREN 1010 X PHIL 1000 M BCOR 1100 S GEEN 1300 X PHIL 1010 X CHEM 1021 X GEEN 1400 S PHIL 1100 M CHEM 1111 X GEEN 1500 S PHIL 1200 M CHEM 1211 X GEOG 1001 X PHIL 1600 S CHEN 1221 X GEOG 1982 X PHYS 1010 X CLAS 1100 X GEOG 1992 M PHYS 1110 X COMM 1300 M GEOG 2002 X PSCI 1101 X COMM 1600 M GEOG 2412 M PSCI 2223 X CSCI 1300 X GEOL 1010 X PSYC 1001 X CSCI 2830 M GEOL 1060 X QRMS 1010*** M ECEN 1000 S GEOL 1080 S SEWL 2020 S ECON 1000 X HIST 1010 X SOCY 1001 X ECON 1078 X HIST 1015 M SOCY 1003 M ECON 2010 X HIST 1020 M SOCY 1004 M ECON 2020 X HIST 1025 M SOCY 1016**** M EMUS 1832 M HUMN 1010 M SPAN 1010 M ENGL 1001 S JOUR 1001 M SPAN 1020 X ENGL 1191 S KAPH 1010 X SPAN 2110 M ENGL 1260* S LING 1000 S SPAN 2120 X ENGL 1500 S MATH 1000 X THTR 1009 M ENGL 1600 X MATH 1001 M UWRP 1150 X ENGL 1800** S * Also listed as WMST 1260 ** Also listed as ETHN 1800 *** Also listed as MATH 1012 **** Also listed as WMST 1016
In the process of producing the analyses for individual students, we also generated some summary data that we feel is interesting in its own right, and that is presented in this document. The method for producing the analyses was as follows: We chose the 100 courses with the highest graded enrollments of firstsemester freshmen, combined across the fall semesters of 1998, 1999, and 2000, and not including passfail and PLC courses. Then, for 13,819 freshmen entering in those three falls, we assembled the following potential statistical predictors of grades in the 100 courses:
The potential predictors were then entered into a regression procedure in order to derive arithmetic weights for each predictor in relating to grades in each course. The mathematical models thus derived from the performance of 19982000 freshmen were then used to predict grades in each course for each incoming 2001 freshman, with each course assigned a challenge rating of "standard," "moderate," or "extreme," for each student based on this predicted grade. A course's challenge is considered to be "standard" for a particular student if the model predicts the student has a 70% chance or better of earning at least a C in the course; a "moderate" if the model predicts a 5069% chance of a C or better, and "extreme" if the model predicts a less than 50% chance of a C or better. Overall, for the average entering freshman 72% of courses were rated Standard difficulty (ranging as low as 3% for some students, as high as 100% for others), 16% were rated Moderate (range 0% to 49%), and 12% were rated Extreme (range 0% to 97%). The table below shows, for 5,548 prospective freshmen who had confirmed enrollment as of June 11, 2000 (not all of whom will actually show up), the percentage for whom each course was rated Standard, Moderate, and Extreme. For example, Anthropology 2010 was rated Standard for 71% of incoming freshmen Moderate for 23%, and Extreme for 7% (sums do not always equal 100% due to rounding).
Acknowledgments: Our approach to this project drew heavily on similar work done earlier at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and described in: Eno, D., Brozovsky, P., & McLaughlin, G. (1997). Predicting freshman success based on high school record and other measures (IRPA Vol. 9697, No. 51). Blacksburg: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Institutional Research and Planning Analysis. Thanks to Anna C. Karplus for doing most of the SAS programming and data analysis in the early stages of this project. PBA: PS  w:pba\records\crsdiff.htm 

Last revision 09/10/04 PBA Home  Strategic Planning  Institutional Research & Analysis  Budget & Finances  Questions? Comments?  Legal & Trademarks  Privacy 15 UCB, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 803090015, (303)4928631 © Regents of the University of Colorado 