Print

Print


In reply to Mary Jenness's and Maggie's assertion that no student ever came
to college to flunk out:

It must be that I work in an atmosphere much different than you and others
who have yet to meet a student who did not care one way or the other if
they succeeded in college or not.

Since I have been to a number of recruiting sessions conducted by our
Office of Minority Affairs and since the students who respond to these
recruiting efforts become my clientele, I can tell you that indeed some
students come to college for all the wrong reasons.

When discussing the poor grades and generally dismal performance of nearly
half of these students I learn that many of them had little or no
orientation to college study, took few if any college prep courses
(although offered in their respective high schools), do not attend class
regularly (by report of their instructors and by their own admission), do
not do required reading, do not take sufficient notes, disrupt class, sleep
in class, do not take advantage of professors who not only offer
consultations outside of class but plead for students to converse with
them, do not attend or participate in study groups paid for and organized
by our office (only students on campus to receive free tutoring), do not
meet with any of the free individual tutors, etc. etc. etc.

When after learning all of the above depressing info I ask, "Why did you
come to college?" They typically answer, "For the scholarship." To the tune
of $3,000/yr. on average per student, the majority of whom did not meet
standard admissions criteria, and the majority of whom will be continued on
scholarship for at least 5 semesters (if not the full 5 years) despite
their failure to meet the stated 2.5 GPA minimum.

Now do you better understand my disillusionment with programs similar to
the one in which I am mired, which purport to help students who have
historically been denied access to higher education? But, please do not
misinterpret my statements as racist or elitist; I simply want each and
every student, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status to take
responsibility for her/his success and failure and to cease and desist with
"helping" programs that only perpetuate the current malaise where
individuals are stripped of personal responsibility to make the mark or not.
****************************************
Walt Barlow
Learning Services Center
University of Kentucky
660 S. Limestone
Lexington, KY 40506-0417
Phone: (606)323-6347
FAX: (606)257-2425