Procedures with Data
This document outlines policies, procedures, and practices for the handling
of data for CSC 499: Placement of Incoming Students in Computer Science,
Statistics, and Mathematics for Summer 2010.
Status of this Document
This document outlines the official poicies, procedures, and practices to
be followed for this project.
This document was approved by Cherly Chase, Registrar, Grinnell College, on
23 May 2010.
In addition, on 1 June 2010, Grinnell's Institutional Review Board found no
objections to these procedures.
Scope of Project
The aim of this project is to reorganize and rethink the current software
for placing incoming students in computer science, statistics, and
mathematics courses. This work also will include a careful analysis of
past placements, identifying where students were placed, what they actually
took, and how they performed in their first course.
The current software system includes about 120 rules that yield placements
for incoming students. This system will be expanded somewhat to include
options related to placement statistics that have not be available
previously. Data required for placement will be as follows:
First and last name
Standardized scores: SAT (CR, Math), ACT (Math and comprehensive)
AP Scores: Math AB, Math BC, CS A, Statistics
IB Scores: Math, CS, Statistics
A-Level Scores: Math (F) and (P)
High school transcript data:
School name, city, state, country, graduation date
total semesters on transcript
total semesters of math and math GPA
total semesters of precalculus and precalculus GPA
total semesters of calculus and calculus GPA
total semesters of computer science and computer science calculus GPA
total semesters of statistics and statistics GPA
In addition, to evaluate the effective of the placement rules, the
following data are required:
Student ID (needed to connect transcript information with course performance)
First Grinnell course taken in Math, CS, and Statistics
Grade earned in first Grinnell course in Math, CS, and Statistics
Policies, Procedures, and Practices
In developing a revised system, access is needed for the developers and
evaluators. However, since these data involve information about specific
students, confidentiality is essential. The following policies,
procedures, and practices are established to maintain needed
Data received from the Registrar's Office will be stored on a local,
isolated copy of a MySQL database in Science 3812. This machine will be
configured, so that MySQL data cannot be accessed through other machines on
MathLAN or elsewhere.
When any printouts are required, a worker on this project will monitor the
relevant printer during the printing process.
Any printouts, other paper copies of data, or scripts will be kept in
the lab, Science 3812; and the room will be kept locked when workers are
All hard copy materials will be shredded when they are no longer needed.
Faculty involved in system development or placement review process will
follow normal faculty requirements involving confidentiality. Thus, only
faculty in computer science or statistics departments will have access to
these data, and then access to individual data will be possible only to
accomplish the development and review process.
Any access to confidential data for faculty will be limited to
hand-delivered paper copies or to a password-protected Web interface.
Following procedures established in the Registrar's Office for student
workers, the two students involved in this project will be expected to sign
confidentiality agreements. For the purposes of this project, these
students will be considered as having the same obligations as students
working for the Registrar.
At the end of the project, reporting of this project in posters or articles
may involve summary statistics regarding placements. However, in any
report, placement statistics will not be released unless there are at least
10 students in each disclosed category.