UCSB students looking for easy As may now have a new tool at their disposal following the creation of a new site which rates teachers based on the average grades they give.
According to site representative Jaime Sutton, Pick-A-Prof – a service similar to ratemyprofessors.com – provides students details essential to course planning. In addition to containing official professor grade histories, the site offers such features as student reviews, a class schedule planner, Facebook integration and a textbook exchange service.
Texas A&M University alumni John Cunningham and Chris Chilek started the site in 2000. According to a press release, Pick-A-Prof.com currently serves about 300 colleges and universities nationwide.
Sutton said that the site is an important resource due to its multiple services.
“Pick-A-Prof is a necessary tool for college students,” Sutton said. “It aids in registration, organization, socialization and more. It really proves to be a one-stop academic Web site for college students in that they can plan upcoming semesters, take classes with their friends, organize their academic career and make good decisions about their futures.”
According to the press release, the site’s grade histories make use of official UCSB records to show the percentage of A through F grades assigned and the average drop rate for each professor.
Additionally, UCSB public records coordinator Mari Tyrrell-Simpson said Pick-A-Prof does not constitute an invasion of student privacy, as every effort is taken to make sure that the information submitted is kept private.
“Names of students are never public,” Tyrell-Simpson said. “Information that is provided to Pick-A-Prof is grade distribution for a class with an enrollment of more than 10 students. We take a report that the Office of the Registrar runs and we redact any class that has less than 10 students so that Pick-A-Prof cannot post that information.”
Although Pick-A-Prof is still new to UCSB’s students and staff, geography professor Tommy Dickey said he found it a promising resource.
“It seems to be a good idea for students in principle,” Dickey said. “It might be a bit of a scary idea for professors, but as long as they’ve been doing a good job, it shouldn’t be a big deal for them.”
While Pick-A-Prof is relatively unknown on campus, Sutton said it is a hit at other universities and believes it will become popular amongst UCSB students.
“We believe Pick-A-Prof is a huge success and it has definitely exceeded the expectations of our founders,” Sutton said. “We constantly receive [positive] feedback from students across the country. Our services are continuing to expand and our success will continue for years to come.”