Like many of the responses, I see the hearts of teachers looking for pathways to help the student who as I understand, due to her obligations
as a single parent, she cannot make it to class on time.

I have not heard what is and should be the first question, at least to me, as a professor, how is the student doing in the class?  My reason for asking,
is there is a growing movement of Competency Based Education.  I know we for decades have used all the terms associated with pedagogy, including
Carnegie Credit Hour, seat time, face to face time, minimum instruction time, but the real question that should be asked, is the student, keeping up 
with the work load, and demonstrating understanding of the body of knowledge.  If she is, then, it would seem she is displaying understanding of
the subject matter being taught. (Competency)  If that is the case, perhaps some accommodation could be made for the tardiness.  Also, just curious if the lectures are recorded or is the same course offered on line?

It would be easy for the teacher to to ascribe some formula to give the student the opportunity to do extra work, to compensate for the class tardiness.  Further
she could inform the class, that she feels it is important that they do not feel one student is receiving "special treatment".

One last thing, higher education has to be more than learning the subject matter, it also involves communication, collaboration, accountability, responsibility,
respect, tolerance, consideration and many other soft skills.  

I do enjoy the intellect, insight and wisdom of all of you that weight in.  My favorite part of the ListServ is when Teachers teach Teachers, and although I rarely comment, I learn a great deal

Happy New Year to all!

Ken White, MaED, MBA
Graduate Programs
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC



On Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 5:45 PM Debbie Malewicki <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
It is an interesting thread with some great, diverse points of view.  I'd like to add some thoughts to it.

I spent a decade teaching English, while tutoring part time, before moving into administration. I was one of those faculty members who occasionally allowed a child into the classroom for a hard-pressed parent. I was also the child sitting outside of my mother's classroom when she was in graduate school and occasionally allowed to participate in one of her art classes.

The problems I ran into, in allowing the occasional child into my classroom, were the legitimate complaints of the other students who kindly but honestly shared privately that the child was disruptive to their learning process.  My act of kindness put them at a disadvantage, as would, in this case, a student consistently arriving 15 minutes or more into the class. It also creates an obvious and unequal playing field for other students when it's clear the professor isn't requiring equal levels of commitment and accountability.

As administrators in learning support services, we often try to bend over backwards to help students succeed, and, as we're often paired with Retention these days, it becomes the over-arching objective in ways that sometimes I admire and sometimes I find frustrating and not always in the immediate best interest of the students. "Success" means different outcomes for different students and does not always equal graduation or immediate enrollment.

The faculty members' definition means providing a quality experience for all students that entails equal obligations on both ends. I think long and hard before even considering approaching the issue of the professor's autonomy in teaching a class unless I see something very worrisome on an ethical and/or legal level, which don't apply here.

Sometimes what I think we have become afraid to acknowledge, in this era of student retention at all costs, is that just because a student has impediments to succeeding in higher education at this moment doesn't mean they won't do wonderfully a year or even a handful of years from now when their personal situation is more settled. When you talk with many non-traditional students, they're the first ones to tell you that college wasn't the right fit for them because of obligations, attitudes, or general life paths when they were younger.

Somehow, along the way, many of us, myself included at times, have become hesitant to have open discussions with students about whether or not their choice to pursue higher education is the right fit for them at that moment.

Bringing it back around to the original poster's scenario, the conversation I would love to have with this young lady is similar to what a few other people have mentioned about what's happening in her life, what obligations she's juggling, what support system she has in place (and maybe helping her improve it), and what she's trying to achieve over time. I don't know if this is a scenario of a single class conflict or if it's indicative of a larger issue stemming from her overall situation.

If it's a single class conflict, then it can be resolved in some of the ways we have discussed. If it's a larger issue with insufficient support and the young lady being pulled in too many directions, then maybe the real conversation needs to be about finding her that better support network and potentially taking a leave of absence from school until it's in place and she can give a reasonable amount of time to her studies without feeling like she's not able to care well for her child.

"Not now" doesn't need to mean "never," and she may be the better for waiting a semester or even a year or two to stabilize her home life before pursuing academic success.

Sincerely,
Debbie Malewicki, M.A.
President
Integrity 1st Learning Support Solutions, LLC
www.Integrity1stLSS.com
Email: [log in to unmask]
Cell:  (475) 238-5635
Office: (203) 800-4100

On Feb 6, 2019 4:18 PM, Roz Bethke <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

This thread has been interesting. As a faculty member in Student Support Services. I believe Debbie Malewicki's advice is the best "What I might do, in terms of an accommodation here, is promptly help her move to another section where she does not have a conflict or, if it does not exist for this semester, work with your registrar and bursar's offices to grant her a full refund for the class until she can take it without a conflict."


The issue isn't whether the professor can/could/should "accommodate," but about how the student can solve her problem to meet the course's reasonable expectation/requirement that she attend the whole class every day to receive credit or an appropriate grade. No matter how much the professor can sympathize with this student's issue, the student must devote this time to doing something deemed important. The syllabus is a work contract.


Roz Bethke

Professor Emeritus AAC/RDG

[log in to unmask]




From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Laurie Hazard <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 2:40 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Not normally handled in my office
 

Janet,

 

I completely support this approach (the phenomenological approach). Thanks for sharing. As Carl Rogers would argue, it’s about finding out what is in the student’s phenomenal field  that is creating roadblocks to growth and development. I often encourage my faculty and staff to consistently think about both internal barriers to student success (the individual’s stress, anxiety, self-efficacy, etc.) and external barriers to success (the environment--home life, finances, an outside job, transportation, etc.).  As I mentioned before, ask ourselves, “what are our institutional practices, policies and procedures and classroom approaches that may create even more barriers?” Particularly for non-traditional students, we can create access to success by  delivering our practices with a non-traditional (diversity and inclusion) approach. We can help mediate the barriers for our students when access becomes a challenge. We, as educators, can advocate for our students and help them remove these barriers.

 

For instance, this semester, I have a student in my class whose father has a brain tumor.  It turns out he may be absent a lot and won’t meet the requirement stated on my syllabus.  I can still hold him accountable and be flexible, but perhaps not in the traditional way of delivering what he needs.  I’d like to support him through the course so he doesn’t fall behind in his program. I am certain I can figure out a way to “accommodate” this young man without compromising the integrity of my course and its requirements.

 

I think this is a great discussion.  Every student “needs a champion.”  Maybe this student just needs a champion this semester.

 

My Best,

 

Laurie

 

From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Janet Mallen
Sent: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 3:16 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Not normally handled in my office

 

As a solo parent with a disability, and parent of a child with a disability, I know it makes all the difference if someone reaches out to me and compassionately listens, especially when things are going awry.  Along those lines, has anyone talked with the student?  Is the issue unstable childcare, costs for better and more reliable childcare?  Transportation (bus schedules to childcare then to school?  A child that has special needs?  Are there issues at their home that are causing complications?  Does the parent have any assistance to help alleviate issues?  As educators, helping our students prepare for life outside of college, even those with more challenges than most, it would be helpful to gain the trust with students to learn what is behind surface issues, i.e., being consistently late.  Part of the work I do is to help students coaching them to problem-solve issues and to work with them learn about--and access--resources.  I am betting that the student is highly stressed about being late, and maybe at wits end.  I've been there, and it can seem like it is Ground Hog Day every single darn day.

 

So, yes, the faculty should expect students to promptly attend class.  But, locking the door may be unsafe most days.  Using the Yes, And principle, I suggest this: I urge you to walk alongside the student to help them find solutions to whatever is going on.  They probably have a millions strengths, yet need to figure out how to pause and grab one to organize things more productively.

 

--Janet  

 

 

Janet E. Mallen, M.S. and I'm first gen!                                                                                                      
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On Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 11:35 AM Lynn Schmitz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Well said Debbie!

 

Lynn Schmitz

Program Director

 

ACCESS Peer Assisted Learning

Division of Academic Affairs

Williston Hall 100 E | DeKalb, Illinois 60115-2828

815-753-0499 | [log in to unmask]

 

cid:B8B367D6-808F-470A-9A87-1286F00ABAD4

 

 

The secret in education is to respect the learner.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Debbie Malewicki
Sent: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 12:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Not normally handled in my office

 

This view may be less popular, but I would respect the faculty member's very appropriate policy.  I also respect any faculty member who chooses to lock the door more than a few minutes into class time, which we all know is how numerous people in the profession have worked for generations. I find myself a little irritated with the suggestion of treating this situation as a disability, especially as I grew up with one and have increasingly seen faculty push for these types of exceptions for other improper reasons.  The ADA laws and special services are for people dealing with something they have no ability to change--impairments in vision, hearing, mobility, and learning.

 

The student's situation entails choices, however limited.  She chose to register for this section of the class, apparently knowing she lacked childcare for its start time.

 

If you pressure the faculty member to change their policies you create: 

- a climate that will result in many more parents pushing for the same exception

- disruptions to this and other faculty members' classes

- an inevitable expectation that since the students are arriving late for what the school has deemed an "acceptable reason" the faculty members are now responsible for somehow communicating or making up that lost material to them

- an expectation on the part of the student that her situation will be treated similarly as she goes through her program, and 

- the message that in the workforce this kind of situation would be acceptable.

 

To clarify, I'm not unsympathetic, especially as a single mom. However, employers give you a start time and require you to be there and ready to go.  

 

I recall speaking with HR some years back about an employee with a documented situation (OCD) covered under the ADA that he wanted to use to excuse frequent often very late shift arrivals and was told in no uncertain terms that there is no part of these laws that permits someone to show up late to their shifts consistently.

 

Do I think that it's acceptable for this student to show up once or twice during the semester for this reason a little late? Absolutely, but you haven't indicated that the faculty member is dealing with that situation or even that he or she hasn't provided that kind of leeway, albeit with a little damage to the student's grade. There shouldn't be any meaningful impact on her grade if there are fewer than one week's worth of instances in relation to her attendance. Anything more requires the student to step up and recognize that she made an obligation knowing the class start time and that she is responsible for following through.

 

What I might do, in terms of an accommodation here, is promptly help her move to another section where she does not have a conflict or, if it does not exist for this semester, work with your registrar and bursar's offices to grant her a full refund for the class until she can take it without a conflict. I would do it with the caution for her to plan better in the future and that you are making a singular exception.

 

I love parents who are striving to better their lives for themselves and their children. I have nothing but respect for them, including the numerous single parents and even teenage single parents I have taught, especially in my years in the community college system. Almost all of them experienced one or two late arrivals, but they made it to the other classes on time. I encourage you to hold this young lady to the same standard.

Sincerely,
Debbie Malewicki, M.A.
President
Integrity 1st Learning Support Solutions, LLC
www.Integrity1stLSS.com
Email: [log in to unmask]
Cell:  (475) 238-5635
Office: (203) 800-4100

 

On Feb 6, 2019 11:43 AM, Louis Burkwhat <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I received this email this morning.  I want to provide some level of support.  I am not sure there is anything that I can push through other than human kindness.  Thoughts? 

 

Louis,

 

I have a student that arrives to class 15 minutes late every session due to childcare issues.  The adjunct's syllabus docks a drastic amount of points.  This is a life situation that the student can't find a solution for and I was wondering if there is any accommodation that could provide some coverage for the student.

 

Let me know what you think,

 

Paul

 

--

Louis Burkwhat,  M.A.E., M.Div.

Director Academic Success Center

530-226-4979 office

X2979 ext.

530-226-4864 fax

Request an academic mentor here!

Have a concern for a student?  Tell me about it here!

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