First and foremost, if you have found this to be useful please share the spreadsheets/the link to this repository around. I hope it does help any one who uses it.
My negative feelings toward the A&M administration has been slowly growing the longer I attend the university. I have found that the administration has put money over the interests of the students and for most of these things I have to bite my tongue and deal with but in this instance I can make a difference. What has in this instance should be illegal. In case you don't know, there is a website myEDU that allows students to see the grades of their professors and has great tools like custom schedule making and job opportunities using their profiles. Overall, a better site than the garbage alternative that A&M is now recommending the students to use. I won't mention it because I don't even want to give them web traffic. You may have gotten the email recently. Basically they charge you $1 per course to see the grade distribution. A service that was previously provided for free and it offered so much more. It's silly having to spend $5,500 a year on tuition and then spend more money just so I can take a good professor because that is what college is all about. You can put the brightest student in a hard class with a terrible professor and they may make an A but at what cost? The hours they have to spend teaching themselves how to do the work because they want the A? Isn't that such a silly concept? We pay the school just so we can spend most of our time learning the degree ourselves. Ridiculous.
A&M continues to show that money is more important to them than the actual students at least from my perspective. From keeping freshman on campus, to expanding the size of the campus even though the CITY's infrastructure, let alone the college's, can't handle it, to limiting the amount of transfer credits a student can bring in, and probably others that I can't think of that others can. Like I said I can't do much in regards to a lot of those things but I can try to help out in this aspect. I can bet you anything that A&M is getting a cut of the money from the silly website. The most ironic thing is at the bottom is states "Made by the Students, For the students."
Marcus Salinas 4-11-2016
This project is done in three parts. I have finished all three parts enough to get them to work.
1) Download all the usable pdfs and store them in folders
2) Use OCR applications to get text from pdfs
3) Manipulate data to present in a workable format.
Something to work on in the future, besides eliminating bugs, are:
Go back 3 or 5 years and create a master file for each college that holds all of that data
Eliminate some of the manual work and make it all autonomous.
Side note before the how-to: This project took me around 6 hours to complete. This could easily be the back-end to a server that a front end application can pull it's data from. I don't say that to gloat. I say that for how ridiculously easy this can be for one person let alone a whole team of people. This program is not perfect and it still needs lots of hours to get perfect but it get's the job done and I don't even have direct access to the data like I'm sure that other website does. Just a thought.
(The College Student Who Just Wants to See Grades)
If you just want to have a grade distribution to look at, go to the outputs folder and download the one with your college. The keys are:
"AG", # AGRICULTURE AND LIFE SCIENCES "AR", # ARCHITECTURE "BA", # BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION "ED", # EDUCATION "EL", # ENGLISH LANGUAGE INSTITUTE "EN", # ENGINEERING "GB", # GEORGE BUSH SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT "GE", # GEOSCIENCES "LA", # LIBERAL ARTS "MD", # MEDICINE <---- No longer allowed access "MS", # MILITARY SCIENCE "SC", # SCIENCE "VM" # VETERINARY MEDICINE
Then once you have it downloaded just use Ctrl+F (Command+F for Mac I think) and then search for the class. This only has 2015 (as you might have guessed based on the names of the files) so you might not find your professor. To that I say I'm sorry and hopefully you make the right choice. I may or may not work on this more to make it better.
(The Hey This Is Pretty Cool And I Want To Help Expand On This Person)
First off, great.
Second off, once you downloaded it I apologize for my poor commenting. Some things to know are:
Forget all that stuff about a lot of manual work! This latest version only requires you to have a google account with drive and that's it! It should work all the way through. All you need is the year and it will do it's thing. There are some bugs with selenium when it only only downloads .part files of the pdfs and I don't know why it happens because it only happens sometimes. Other than that it should run smoothly.
I tried to make this as universal as possible but then I realized that most people who would want to help me are probably using Linux because it's "So much better man you don't understand" and to that I say you're entitled to your own opinion, but I made this on Windows so you will have to probably change the file paths format to UNIX. Same for the Mac folk.
The comments although poor in quality should help you out enough. I apologize if they don't. You can always reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly I don't really care what you do to the code as long as my name is credited and whatever you do is freely available to the students. That being said, I know very little about legal things and I am putting this on the Internet (screw you newspaper people it's capitalized) so you could probably do whatever you want even not give me credit. I just hope it helps people.
Hope it helps. <3