What would students like to change about school? Our series continues.
Today’s post is from Aewl. His perspective? College should be reserved for those who can pay for it.
I’m currently a Freshman at a local Junior College. All my classes are online classes as I work during the day full time as a Carpenter for the local school district. Yes, I’m a bit older than most students as I graduated from High School 28 years ago. I did a semester of college right after High School, but didn’t do well as I was more focused on partying than studying. Times have changed and I’ve matured just a bit.
One thing that I can’t get over about college today is all the remedial and prep classes that are not only offered but usually pretty full. 28 years ago, there were few if any remedial courses offered that I remembered. I’ve never had to take a remedial course, so I can’t comment on whether they are a help to students or not.
If I could change just one thing about college, it would be to get rid of Pell Grants. That may seem a bit outlandish, but let me explain. By making college affordable to many people that years ago would not have been able to go to college, it basically makes it an extension to High School. There are quite a few people that if they had to work to pay for their college would not go. These are the same students that do poorly in college and really have no business being in college. Colleges are obligated to try to teach students that are not prepared and are also under pressure to show decent graduation rates. To achieve this, they have to hire more faculty member to teach remedial courses and also to lower the bar of expectation. There is a real danger of grade inflation going on throughout the nation. Today an “A” doesn’t mean near as much as it did a few decades back.
As I do the work for my classes, I have an incentive to do well which has only come from years of working hard and learning from life’s experiences. Unfortunately, even though I do well in my classes, due to grade inflation, it is not seen as much of a big deal as it used to be.
In my day job at the school district, I get brief glimpses of students from K-12 in classes. I also get to interact and develop friendships with various teachers. For the most part, most are motivated to teach well, but of course there are the bad apples in the system that have forgotten why they are there. The lack of parental involvement is a clear indicator of a student’s future failure in the academic world. Consequentially when these students go on to college because the government is subsidizing their education, they have to go to remedial classes which take up resources from the college that in my opinion could be put to better use for the students that are prepared for college.
What do you think of Aewl’s perspective? Do you agree that students should hold off on college until they have the means to pay for it themselves?
Tomorrow’s post: Katy thinks we should lighten up about grades.
Image by jitheshvv