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Years-old credits affect current GPAs

Some non-traditional students won’t be achieving the latin honors — cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude — at graduation they expect to because their cumulative grade point averages are being dropped by decades-old transfer credits.

Dr. Michelle Brodke, a professor of business management at BGSU Firelands, explained that “if students transfer credits from anywhere, even (College Credit Plus) students, they are counted as transfer students.”

Many transfer students do not even realize their old transcripts are affecting their cumulative GPAs until they graduate because it isn’t made explicitly clear to them, Brodke said.

BGSU defines a transfer student based on the student’s cumulative grade point average, how many credit hours they completed at another university and if the student was at the university for at least one academic year.

Johnny Hackathorn and Miah Pearson are Technical and Applied Studies majors at Firelands.

They both have full-time jobs, families to take care of and school work to complete, making it hard for them to give all their time to school.

“It was a little bit of a rough start with my home life and things like that but as time progressed I persevered and worked hard and got to where I am today,” Hackathorn said.

Both came from a rough background and after many years in and out of college, they have finally decided to complete a Bachelor’s degree with Latin Honors.

Brodke said Pearson “won’t graduate with Latin honors because of grades she received from the three other institutions she attended from 2009 to 2018.”

Pearson struggled with motivation and finding a college that she felt suited her, until she found a home at BGSU, she said.

Hackathorn left college after receiving two associate’s degrees in the mid-2000s in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

Pearson and Hackathorn both came back to college in 2018 in order to further themselves within the companies they are currently employed at.

Hackathorn said “there are a lot of people that I work with (at Ventra Plastics) that I like working with and moving at this point just really doesn’t make sense.”

When Brodke told Pearson and Hackathorn they would not be receiving Latin Honors due to past credits, they were confused about how the decades-old classes could still be affecting them.

“I know I made mistakes in my past but I’ve tried so hard. This has been a journey for me being at Bowling Green. I pushed myself to keep my grades up, I worked hard in my job and I’ve also been raising my son as a single mother. I really felt like I’ve done this. It’s something that I didn’t think I could do. I did it and then for them to say no, I was disappointed,” Pearson said.

It took a lot of effort for Hackathorn to get where he’s at too. And with five children, a wife and commitments outside of school and work, keeping his current grades up to his standard is no easy feat, he said.

Hackathorn said, “these (credits) were from ten years ago and people change a lot in ten years.”

BG Falcon Media reached out to BGSU’s nontraditional and military student admissions to inquire about the policy that makes years-old transfer credits affect current GPAs.

This article will be updated as more information is learned.

Miah Pearson

Growing up, Pearson spent most of her time around family and still relies on them to help raise her son, so when choosing a college to attend she made sure to look for something closer to home.

“It has its ups and downs. Those little time periods that I found, I was able to concentrate on what I needed to do, but my family did help me a lot and now that (my son) is older, he’s very understanding that I’ve got stuff to do and he gives me that time to do it,” Pearson said.

In the future, Pearson plans on growing within her Ford Motor Co. organization in either management or marketing. She is also in the beginning phases of her“entrepreneurial journey which will be centered around children.”

Johnny Hackathorn

Growing up, Hackathorn’s dad died in 2000, leaving him to take care of his family at 15 years old.

Hackathorn worked through the obstacles he faced early on in life and decided to complete college courses at Firelands in a college technology preparatory program.

Hackathorn lives with his high school sweetheart and wife Sabrina, and his five children. His goals always center around his family “making sure the kids were fed, make sure the kids could do everything they could do, take care of the family.”

By returning to school, Hackathorn plans to continue to climb the chain of command within Ventra Plastics.

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