Our friend, Maria, graduated in 5.5 years with degree in Accounting. She is the first person in her family to obtain a degree. She was our housekeeper for 4 years and her brother, Juan, has been our Gardner for 25 years. They both own their own homes and share ownership of a 3rd house in which their parents live. They also own land in Mexico and are legally in the USA, as is the rest of their family.
She started at Fullerton JC and transferred to CSUF.
At the end of the 5.5 years in college she had taken out ONLY $6,000.00 in college loans. She worked several jobs and also took care of her son, who was ages 7-12 while Maria went to college.
During her last year at CSUF, she had me review her written work. It was very, very poor. Although her spoken English was very good, her ability to write was not up to "professional standards."
She asked for and received assistance from her professors. They all willingly helped her as she is one of those "magnetic" people that one just wants to help her succeed. She received mostly B's, a few A's and a few C's. and, she was so proud to have a degree in Accounting.
BUT HERE'S THE BOTTOM LINE: She failed to obtain a job (or many, if any) interviews in Accounting. Only AFTER she received her degree, and failed to obtain a job in her field, did any one "in authority at CSUF or elsewhere" tell Maria that to get an interview in the Accounting Field, she needed to have almost ALL A's and it sure would be helpful if she could write English a "bit better...IMHO, a lot better).
MARIA, HAD BEEN TOLD (by all in "the know") GET A DEGREE AND THE WORLD WILL BE YOUR OYSTER. She worked part time jobs, supported her child, passed her classes and obtained her Bachelors quickly and without incurring unmanageable debt. But, her GPA was not a 4.0, largely due to a lack of time....NOT ABILITY.
Maria told me she would gladly have spent more time in college, taking fewer classes and obtaining A's, as she was capable of doing the work. (I know she and her brother are very, very smart).
So, now Maria has a job in both Real Estate and with a medical related company where she works for a very shady owner, who cheats all his employees as best he can.....
Yes, Maria, has a degree from CSUF. But, it hasn't helped her very much, because obtaining "womanly C's and B's) did not qualify her for a job in her chosen field.
Sparky is right, IMO, if the CSU's push the students out quickly, the perception will be that all students are a bit unqualified. Lowered standards for some, lower outcomes for all.
Ian Welsh (you can look up his blog) recently wrote a prescient post about the success rate the "upper and elite classes" have as a result of connections, better HS and other advantages that are not available to the majority of Americans.
Better paying jobs are being grabbed by those "who know people, who know people"....and, those, who don't know "the right people" are having a very hard time turning their hard work in college into a job that moves them "up the social and economic ladder."
A CSU education worked well for many of us in the 50's, '60's, 70's, but, today, the world is very, very different.
Finally, it is people our age (60-80) who IMHO seem to forget the help we were given in the way of a tax subsidized college education. It seems our generation votes against any tax increase, clings to our Proposition 13 Tax Break for dear life and, then frequently tell The Millenials, et al, "If only you'd worked harder, smarter or better, the world would be your oyster!"
: If we, as an institution, value a quick degree
: over a high quality degree, then I see three
: ways to achieve a quicker degree.
: One is to admit a more qualified student.
: One that does not require remedial
: education. President Connolly has made it
: clear she is unlikely to go this direction
: as she sees being more selective as being
: exclusionary and not matching with our
: Another option is to significantly increase
: resources to assist less prepared students
: and to increase the number of sections of
: classes offered. I know we are financially
: struggling too much as an institution to do
: enough in this area to really make an
: The third way is for faculty to decrease
: standards to a point that less prepared
: students can pass and stay on track to
: graduate sooner. From discussions with
: faculty members who teach at other CSU
: campuses, I know this is common practice
: within the system. I believe that this is
: the most likely solution and will have the
: greatest impact on getting students through
: quickly. The problem is that it devalues the
: degree. As employers hire our graduates and
: find too many of them unprepared, the value
: of a Long Beach State degree is harmed. The
: most prepared students are hurt the most by
: this as they are actually able to perform at
: jobs and may not get the credit they
: --Previous Message--
: There needs to be an equitable situation for
: all students. Not all students come in the
: same and cane be taught the same - compare a
: student from Newport HS and someone from a
: south central HS. I do not see how students
: 'willing to put in the work' will be hurt
: the most, nor do I see getting a degree in a
: 4 year time frame is any different than a 5
: - 7 year time frame.
: --Previous Message--
: If I was King (nobody is pushing for that),
: would eliminate remedial education and send
: students that require it through the junior
: College system.
: But, all of the classes I teach regularly
: are Senior level or Graduate level.
: Unprepared students seldom get that far.
: I think pushing towards faster graduation
: has the potential to end up encouraging
: faculty to pass students even if work is
: failing level. We, as an institution, are to
: be judged by how fast students get their
: degree rather than the quality of learning
: the degree implies. Therefore, the logical
: outcome is more degrees quicker; but, each
: one of less value. I understand Gov. Brown's
: intentions may be good, but students that
: are willing to put in the work will be hurt
: the most.
: --Previous Message--
: Looking forward to Sparky and BF's comments,
: as they may be insiders and may be able to
: inform us of how much of a problem
: unprepared incoming students pose for the
: University's mission.
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