Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Should students be expected to move on by a certain time?

Often people know students who have been at a community college for a long time, who are sometimes referred to as lifelong learners/students. Does that seem right or fair? I have known many people over the years that truly go to college just to take advantage of financial aid or defer student loans. Yet at the same time I know more people who left college or had to reduce from full-time to part-time status because of personal or family reasons. So should there really be a set time frame that students are expected to graduate and move on?

I am constantly asked by faculty, staff, and upper level administrators when I will be transferring. Having been here almost three years now and always being asked when I’ll be moving on or seeing others I know transfer sooner than me, I begin to judge myself in a negative manner; thinking am I one of those people who will be here for life? Then I have to take a step back and see why it’s taking me longer than others. In real life you generally don’t use the math skills taught; in fact I worked in an accounting department for over 5 years before coming back, yet still tested in a lower math because you don’t use algebra in accounting, but it’s a requirement. Then I realize I wasn’t a full-time student my first year, nor did I begin math until my second semester. Even this semester I had to withdraw from most of my classes due to a car accident in December 2012, that resulted in a severe concussion (Post-Concussion Syndrome) effecting my thought process, speech and short-term memory. So I pretty much lost a semester due to something I had no control over.

As one can see just from my situation there are numerous reasons why it could take some students longer than others. Again, I have known those who take advantage of the system; I’m only saying to understand why that person may be taking longer to graduate or transfer. And this goes to faculty, staff, and upper level administrators as well, don’t assume a student is being lazy or trying to be a “lifelong” student; there may be other factors in their life as to why they’re still here after three or four years.

Until next time!

Joey McIntosh

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

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