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On Tue, 5 Jan 1999, Bev Krieger wrote:
  Unfortunately, our institution has an open door policy and
> also the philosophy that everyone has the right to fail.  Often these
> folks are given false hopes, and simply set themselves up for failure.
> If you have a limited number of lights to turn on, you cannot create more
> outlets if the potential has already been reached.  How would others
> define what is required to be successful in a college developmental
> program?> > > >

Although this may be a small problem in terms of the nuymber of students,
I think it looms large in its impact. We too are an open door college, and
in the past several years have dealt with a number of students who were
indeed of low-level intelligence (often compounded with other problems of
emotional or mental disturbance).  Like it or not, they really are
*incapable* of learning or progressing beyond a certain level.

I gnash my teeth over instructors who pass such students because they try
hard, or have made progress (one instructor told me the class was doing
the student good because the student was showing up cleaner and better
dressed.  A good thing surely, but the goal of college classes?)

Plus parents who enable, or don't understand the differences in what can
be done with a legal adult as opposed to a minor in K-12.  Or advisors who
encourage students to keep trying when they have failed repeatedly,
without addressing the reasons for failure.

And how such students can impact a class, or use the limited resources of
financial aid, tutoring, etc. etc.

Thiry or forty years ago such students in this area could get out of high
school and get a blue collar job with a living wage.  Those jobs have
disappeared or transformed into jobs that demand more skills.

And we have sold everyone that college is the only route to success-- job
education has not kept up with the changing economy.

Pardon the diatribe-- this is a topic we've hit before but it pushes MY
buttons.

Elizabeth Dewey  517-686-9275
Teaching/Learning Center   Delta College
University Center, MI  48710