Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
This is the dumbest political science class I have ever taken. The professor is extremely unclear, egotistical, and unengaging for the most part. The first day of class, he spoke for literally an hour about how he founded this Latino research organization, which is actually really cool if he didn't constantly toot his own horn about it. He also bragged for 30 min about how he was close personal friends with every presidential candidate and that he was planning to bring multiple of them in to talk to us, which is honestly the main reason I stayed in the class. However, he never brought any of them despite giving us specific dates and candidates who were supposed to come. His lectures are extremely boring and overly broad, yet the final contained ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE questions about specific percentages and numbers. It was just a regurgitation of extremely specific facts, and you could tell he wrote the test quickly and without much thought because there were many typos. Many of the questions didn't even make sense or were worded confusingly, so people had to consistently ask the TAs for clarification. Furthermore, his final project requires you to use STATA, make graphs, and put it in a powerpoint. There was literally no good reason for us to use STATA for this project, and the day he was supposed to teach us how to use it he had reserved the wrong rooms and literally 100 people didn't have a seat and couldn't learn how to use it. He was EXTREMELY unclear about instructions for the final project and only gave 2 sentences of clarification on his syllabus. My TA didn't give us any extra information, but apparently a different TA provided their group with examples, so it was uneven across the board. Lastly, for the deadline, he extended it without letting my TA know, so everyone was really confused for a day during finals week when we all have other stuff going on. He provides a lot of extra credit opportunities, which is rare at UCLA, however most of them are in DTLA or further and on weekdays, so they're hard to get to when you're a student and working. I enrolled in this class because I was interested in learning about Latino politics, and all I got was a bunch of graphs, his boring ass voice lecturing over and over, and and a test/project that had nothing to do with knowledge that would be useful in the future.
Barreto's class is great, he does a lot to get everyone engaged and connect the material to current events. The current events that he takes at the beginning of class do show up on the final exam so it's important to keep track of those. The hardest part about this class is probably the final data project because of the program you use. My TA was extremely helpful though so overall it was a great class. I'm selling "Latino America," email me if interested: email@example.com
The only slightly tricky thing about the course is the final data project. Its actually pretty basic and easy, its just the computer program that is difficult, but he is helpful if youre having any issues. Tests are pretty easy and if you attend and pay attention in lecture, reading isnt really necessary
Great class! Amazing professor, someone who knows what they're talking about, and is engaging. I was fortunate enough to obtain an A+ in this class. I really enjoyed the class, and content. John Ray was my TA and I have to give him a shout out also! The class consisted of an in-class final, and final project in which you can use R studio, or Stata. Intimating at first, but definitely worth it!
Professor Barreto is a very good lecturer. His lectures are engaging and there is no quizzes or midterms. Only participation, a project, and final make up the grade. The project is a coding one where you can use Stat or R but it is not that bad. It may look intimidating at first but once it is explained better its pretty easy. The directions for the project are a bit vague and you will most likely need a lot of clarification but if you get a good TA you're solid. Final was longer than I expected and was very specific, had 90 MC questions and 8 free response.
This has to be one of the easiest polisci classes I have taken in awhile. If you're thinking about taking this class, Professor Barreto usually teaches it in the spring but he taught it this fall bc of the 2020 presidential elections. Btw I got into this class by emailing Prof. Barreto about a PTE number weeks before the fall quarter started and he responded very quickly!
Either way, here is a breakdown of the grading:
25% participation (section attendance)
25% final project
50% final exam
+a ton of extra credit opportunities
I'll give you my take on each part of the grading.
First, the 25% participation is basically a freebie. If you attend every discussion section and at least say something, you'll definitely receive full points. It does somewhat depend on what TA you get but that just depends on your enrollment. Every student also gets 1 pass to skip section. My TA was Sam and she was a really cool TA. We mostly did group work or talked in groups during section. She was very easy-going about the final project and helpful.
Secondly, the 25% final project is frustrating at first but pls have hope. I had never ever even touched STATA before this class and the project was easy to complete. There is a learning curve, but Prof. Barreto did provide a nice PDF that explained how to use the program for the project with a lot of examples. Yes, the computer lab was chaotic and not everyone got a seat in the first session, but Prof. Barreto and the TAs stayed for 3 total sessions that day. He explained in the previous lecture how there was not enough space for the whole class so people would have to split up between 2 computer labs. Anyways, it took approx. 2-3 days including the coding on STATA to finish the project. The final project is just at least 12 slides with your research question, info from readings, graphs from the coding data and conclusion. I think 90%+ of the class got full credit for their presentations.
Lastly, the final exam worth 50% was actually not that bad. It was 104 questions if I remember correctly and I kid you not, all the answers are from the lecture slides. There weren't even that many stats or numbers questions so I am not sure what the person who wrote that other review was talking about??? I studied for the final by reading my lecture notes which were like 50 pages--read them out loud once and read them again while annotating. It took me about 4 hrs the night before the final exam. I did attend every lecture, but I did not do all the readings. TRUST ME when I tell you the lectures are EXACTLY the same as the readings so you don't necessarily have to do both. You can skip lecture and just do the readings or attend lecture and skip the readings. Anyways, the final exam was multiple choice so it was less stressful.
Also, there were at least 10 extra credit opportunities. I did 3 of them and while most were off-campus, there was at least 1 on campus.
Some important parts about the class are that Prof. Barreto does not put up his lecture slides. But he posts half of the readings on the course website and I found a free pdf of the other book online. Pls save ur money and don't pay for the "required readings."
It was kinda wack that Prof. Barreto promised he would bring some of the dem candidates to our class but he never did. If you really wanted to get involved, he could set you up with the candidates' campaign bc he had a lot of political connections. Overall, Prof. Barreto is a very straightforward dude; not the most exciting lectures cos there's lots of stats but it's a good class and very doable. It was also refreshing taking a class about your own community and analyzing the Latinx community through a political lens.
This is one of the most frustrating courses I've taken at UCLA.
I want to establish that I went to every single lecture and did every single reading. I participated in my discussion section. I did everything the professor said we need to do to do well, and I'm not sure that I will do well in this class at all.
First, the final project. What an absolute disaster. The professor held an information session on how to use the coding program so we could use it, but half of the class wasn't even able to pay attention or follow along because the computer lab didn't have enough seats. The instructions were extremely unclear, and he provided no assignment guidelines to help students figure out what they were supposed to do. For the things he did provide, they weren't even true. For example, on the syllabus, it said the presentation had to be 12 slides long, but my TA said it could be however long you wanted. If you had a good TA, you were probably fine on this. If you didn't though, you got screwed over.
The final exam. An even bigger disaster. He emailed beforehand and said if we paid attention in lectures and did the readings we would get an A because it wasn't a hard exam. I felt reassured, but I still studied a lot. He then proceeded to give us the hardest exam I've taken at UCLA. The 104 multiple choice questions were ultra-specific and very poorly-worded. There were a lot of trick questions and ones that had more than 1 answer that could be right. I worked very hard in this class and did all of the work, and I feel like I probably got a C on that exam AT BEST. The final is half of our grade, so I guess I'm screwed
I would not recommend this class to anyone. Take literally anything else if getting a good grade is important to you.
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