RateMyProfessors.com ranks Georgia Perimeter math professor tops in nation. UGA ranked fifth top campus

I don’t like online teacher rating sites as I think they draw the unhappiest students, but here’s  some more upbeat news from the mega player in the student ratings universe, RateMyProfessors.com.

The site ranked the highest rated college professors and universities based on student ratings. The highest rated community college professor this year is Margie Lewkowicz, a mathematics instructor at Georgia Perimeter College.

One of the posts that pushed Dr. Lewkowicz to the top in the nation was:   “She is such a great teacher. Very passionate about what she teaches…undoubtedly one of the best prof I’ve ever had…highly recommended.”

For the first time, the ranking list includes university rankings, based on professor and campus ratings. While the top campuses used to be determined by how well their professors ranked, students decided campus ratings this year on additional factors, reputation, location, career opportunities, school library, campus grounds and common areas, Internet speed on campus, campus food, clubs and events, social activities and whether or not students are happy with their decision to attend the school.

In the list of the top 25 four-year universities, the University of Georgia nabbed the fifth spot, behind No. 1 Brigham Young, No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 University of Wisconsin-Madison and No. 4 University of Michigan.

Georgia Perimeter ranked 18th among community colleges, according to the student rankings.

RateMyProfessors.com has a long explanation on its methodology in these awards:  Each individual professor’s rating is first standardized and subsequently the standardized scores for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 are weighted, putting more weight on recent years and fewer weight on ratings from the past (15% for 2008, 25% for 2009  and 60% for 2010).  It should also be noted that school size does not affect the outcome of the lists nor does it give professors from larger schools an advantage over their corollaries from smaller schools. We performed a regression analysis on school size vs. number of ratings and found no noteworthy correlation.

I still admit reservations about these sites. My daughter talked about a UGA classmate who hardly ever came to a philosophy class and, when he did, he never paid attention. When the student did poorly on the final exam, he used class time to go to RateMyProfessors.com. and post a blistering attack of the professor as incompetent.

--From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

25 comments Add your comment

Yankee Prof

April 25th, 2011
3:17 pm

It should go without saying that most students (particularly freshman and sophomores, who tend to be the highest users of such services) are not yet prepared to pass judgment on their professors’ knowledge or abilities with reliable accuracy. But sites like RateMyProfessor do offer accurate indicators of instructor personality, and that can be an important element for students shopping for the right kind of professor for their own learning styles or habits. I don’t see anything wrong with using the sites that way.

J

April 25th, 2011
4:25 pm

JIMBOB (aka James Robert)

April 25th, 2011
4:25 pm

She may be good, but Bob Koff over there kicks butt!

MannyT

April 25th, 2011
5:18 pm

Rating categories include helpfulness, clarity, easiness, & hotness. I think I’ll pass on this site & ask the colleges for information about their student ratings of instructors.

…and I missed out on coolprofs.com to some folks that publish in Dutch.

oh well, on to next get rich plan :-)

David Sims

April 25th, 2011
5:32 pm

I had two really good physics teachers. One in high school, Mr. Davis. The other in college, Dr. Marks. These are two of the rare fellows who can make the most complicated stuff seem bell-clear. Although, despite that virtue, they tend to give out some of the most devilishly difficult homework assignments. I rated Mr. Davis some time ago, but Dr. Marks retired before I could get my rev– er, give him the praise he deserved.

Progressive Humanist

April 25th, 2011
5:41 pm

I hate to say this, and I hope Dr. Lewkowicz is a great professor, but I personally would not trust the assessment of any student whose best college option was Georgia Perimeter. Most Perimeter students are on a high school level and the majority of students at that level have notoriously bad executive function (i.e. judgment, metacognition, etc.). But if she serves those students well, then kudos to her; I’m just skeptical of the process for compiling this type of info.

Nicole

April 25th, 2011
5:54 pm

Actually, most of the students I’ve met at GPC are adults who are returning to school and using GPC because it offers a convenient schedule, easy transfer to another university, and several locations. I’ve met many bright (i.e., above average) adults who attend school there.

Educator

April 25th, 2011
7:43 pm

Dr. Lewkowicz is a great professor and this is one time that Rate My Professor was actually successful in reporting an accurate statistical report.

JacketFan

April 25th, 2011
7:44 pm

@Progressive: Pretentious much?

talkin board

April 26th, 2011
4:29 am

More than forty percent of all students in the state who transfer, transfer from Georgia Perimeter and on average they perform better at their four-year college as juniors and seniors then the students who were at those schools as freshmen. Because of this fact, Perimeter has seamless transfer agreements with just about every college in the state including UGA and Ga. Tech and some outside the state including Syracuse University.

As a former school board member, I know a little about Perimeter. Don’t sleep on what’s happening over there.

the prof

April 26th, 2011
8:21 am

Wow, there is some nasty stuff on there about me……must be doing my job!

Old School

April 26th, 2011
8:30 am

I know for a fact that a colleague rated me on Rate My Teacher. That colleague had never seen me in action and had never been a student in the high school where I was teaching much less in my class. Pretty much anyone can rate a teacher or professor and I would even suspect there are parents out there who put in their own two cents based on what their darling children say at home.

Warrior Woman

April 26th, 2011
9:38 am

To echo what others are saying, RateMyProfessor.com is a meaningless site in terms of assessing faculty instructional quality, although it may tell you something about personality or ease of grading.

GPC Student

April 26th, 2011
10:45 am

@Progressive
So, are you trying to say that the students who attend GPC are dumb? Just because GPC was their “best” option does not necessarily have to do with their intelligence level. For one GPC is a cheap school which would provide anybody an incentive to go there. Second, when you make the TAG agreement, you can transfer anywhere almost seamlessly which is yet another reason to go. Yes, I admit that GPC has easier classes than most 4 year universities, but to imply that GPC students as a whole are incompetent is just plain stupid. As mentioned before, almost all the students I know have different reasons for attending GPC, and doesn’t have to do with their intelligence level.

Business as usual

April 26th, 2011
10:53 am

I looked up some of my former faculty colleagues from University of Georgia on Rate My Professor. The ratings were highest for those who gave nearly all As, did not require classroom attendance, and gave lots of extra credit, including credit for showing up for class. The comments even stated “nice guy, gives all As, easy to make an A if you just read the book before the test, don’t need to go to class as lectures are verbatim from the book.” And this is what you WANT from the University of Georgia? I’d say if you are the type to buy into this rating system, then you are part of the problem with public education in Georgia.

GPC Prof

April 26th, 2011
4:53 pm

While some students at Georgia Perimeter College are excellent students, the majority of students at this open admissions school are not capable of doing college level work. Two semesters of Learning Support (Remedial) courses in English, Reading, and Math can not transform students performing at the sixth grade level into college students. Taxpayers should be outraged that some of these students are attending GPC in order to get federal Pell Grants of $5500.00 for two semesters. With GPC’s relatively low tuition, these students spend about $2500.00 for two semesters, clearing about $3000.00 which they can spend however they please. As more and more students who cannot perform at the college level are recruited to GPC for the money (tuition and state allotments per student), academic standards are being lowered by some faculty who are not willing to deal with the consequences (poor student evaluations, student complaints to the administration, student aggression, etc.) of low grade distributions in their classes. “Higher education” at GPC has serious problems, the least of which is the validity of “RateMyProfessors.com.”

Jennifer

April 26th, 2011
5:07 pm

here is an idea. Ask them what they think about high school math.

s h

April 27th, 2011
10:01 am

Bob Koff is the best!

GPC Student

April 28th, 2011
11:43 am

@GPC Prof

Do I sense some animosity? I bet if you were the one getting recognized for a being a “good” teacher then you wouldn’t be saying anything. Yet, I agree with you to a point. I believe that GPC provides numerous students who otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to attend college a chance to continue their education. That is what it should be boiling down to in the end. To say that we should be outraged by providing an education to these underprivileged students is disgraceful and you should be ashamed of yourself.

GPC Student

April 28th, 2011
11:46 am

Also, read “talking board’s” comment again.

Non Tradiditional Student

April 28th, 2011
1:13 pm

GPC Prof,
Many of those taking learning support are students like myself, who are returning to college after many years in the workforce or after raising a family. I am not functioning on a sixth grade level I just need a refresher course on the basics. What’s wrong with that? It is your job to help me and others like me so stop looking down your snout at us. We are, after all, the reason you are employed at GPC. Here is a question I would like you to present to the administration at GPC, why is Math a requirement for an English major? Beyond basic Math, I have no use for linear equations in two variables, rational exponents or quadratic formulas in my life EVER. Why make us struggle through these classes when we are otherwise performing well in our areas of study? Learning support Math should only be a requirement for students who are interested in a Math-related career.

Jovan Miles

April 28th, 2011
3:16 pm

I attended Georgia State University for both my undergraduate and graduate studies. My undergrad studies were completed at the Robinson College of Business and my graduate coursework was completed at the Educational Policy studies department with a focus in quantitative and qualitative educational research.

That being said, I took college algebra, statistics, geometry, mathematics for elementary teachers, pre-calculus, calculus 1, and calculus 2 at Georgia State to earn my teaching certificate in mathematics.

I attended Georgia Perimeter for 1 semester because the courses I needed were available there that semester and they cost less. I took both Linear Algebra and Calculus 3 at the Dunwoody Campus.

The Linear Algebra course was lackluster but the Calculus 3 course and professor were incredibly engaging. The Professor, his name is Albert Lu, made mathematics come alive in a way I had never experienced before. His pedagogical practices informed and influenced my own and I credit him with helping me become a better mathematics teacher.

GPC and other 2 years universities have quality teachers with a lot to prove so they often go above and beyond what is required and outperform their 4 year university counterparts on a regular basis.

Milan Moravec

April 28th, 2011
10:20 pm

We have rated the Chancellor’s leadership at the University of California Berkeley where out of state and foreign student tuition is $50,000 and rising, See what you think. (The author who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture & the way senior management work)

Cal. Chancellor’s gross over spending, inept decisions: recruits (using California tax $) out of state $50,000 tuition students that displace qualified Californians; spends $7,000,000 for consultants to do his & many vice chancellors jobs (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same at 0 cost); pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures; Latino enrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010; tuition to Return on Investment (ROI) drops below top 10; NCAA places basketball program on probation.

Chancellor Birgeneau’s ($500,000 salary) fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar asked for, & the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.

A competent chancellor would have been on top of identifying inefficiencies & then crafting a plan to fix them. Able oversight by the UC Board of Regents and the legislature would have required him to provide data on inefficiencies and on what steps he was taking to solve them during his 8 year reign. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the timid regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, & the problems just piled up to $150 million of inefficiencies….until there was no money left.

It’s not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste & inefficiencies during his 8 year reign. Faculty & staff raised issues with Birgeneau & Breslauer ($400,000 salary), but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged some expensive ($7,000,000) consultants to tell him & the Provost what they should have known as leaders or been able to find out from the bright, engaged people. (Prominent east-coast University accomplishing same at 0 costs)

Cal. and Californians have been badly damaged by Chancellor Birgeneau. Good people are loosing their jobs. Cal’s leadership is either incompetent or culpable. Merely cutting out inefficiencies does not have the effect desired. But you never want a crisis to go to waste.

Increasing Cal’s budget is not enough; we believe the best course of action for University of California is to honorably retire Cal Chancellor Birgeneau ($500,000 salary)

Butterflygal

April 29th, 2011
7:29 pm

I’m offended by some of the ignorant comments about GPC’s students. First off, let me start by saying GPC is a great school. I enrolled in the fall of 2008 and I graduate in two weeks with a degree in nursing. The nursing program has a 99% NCLEX pass rate so we’re not too dumb and a lot of Atlanta hospitals prefer to hire a GPC grads because we’re so well prepared. This school offers a lot and for Progressive to say that he/she would not trust the judgement of a GPC student because they are on a high school level, shows us that he/she has been terribly misinformed. When I first enrolled, I had to start off in remedial math, not because I’m dumb but because I had been out of school for a while and needed to be refreshed. Let me tell you, the math instructors are awesome and because I read the reviews on ratemyprofessors.com, I chose Mrs. Lewkowicz for my statistics class. Math is not my best subject as a matter of fact, it used to be my worst but because she is such an excellent teacher, I made an A in her class as well as my remedial courses and my college algebra class. These teachers are not just passing you to let you get by, they are passionate about what they do and truly care about the students by working closely with you to help you to understand and succeed in math. So, if you’re going to bash my school, get your facts straight first. If you can’t do that, shut up and sit down. Sounds to me like you’re a little bitter. Maybe you failed out of GPC. Oh, GPC Prof: What are you ranting about??? Isn’t it your job to teach? This school gives people who are not the best students a chance at college. Are you saying that they don’t. By the way, I definitely did not come in with a sixth grade education so don’t make that generalization..

Former Student

April 30th, 2011
2:40 pm

Butterflygal,
Congratulations on earning a degree in nursing at GPC! The nursing program has very selective admission standards and high academic standards in the program so a large percentage of students will pass the state boards. Otherwise, the program would lose accreditation.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the majors at GPC have open admissions and students are recruited who have no chance of succeeding in college. Some of the students in my classes expected to pass courses by simply attending occasionally with no preparation for classes and tests. In some cases, they did pass due to a lot of extra credit and curving of grades by professors. What happened to academic standards? These students are being mislead into thinking that college is for everyone. The administration of the college seems only concerned about increasing enrollment in order to get more money from students and the state of GA. I am concerned about the direction my former college is taking!