Open Admissions Harms Everyone at the University
These days almost everything is measured by the “almighty” dollar. Money is always the first value when considering health, children, war, epidemics, development of drugs to save people, and more. It seems as if our society has lost its care for human beings.
Presidents of Universities and Admissions Directors have also lost or never had any care for human beings. Presidents want to look like they are successful and each percentage point they can eek out of new students puts a star on their crown. They can negotiate for more salary for themselves because they are “SOOOOOO successful.” Yet percentages do not reveal the harm that they have done to the educational environment and to the people all around them.
Their march toward success in their own careers harms both faculty and student.
For most of my career at my recent employment at a state university, I taught General Education classes. These classes students must take in order to obtain a degree. They have choices, but they are still required. I would say, in all of my decades at teaching at this university, that ninety percent of the students in the classes were not prepared to take a college class.
After all, even though the university had standards for admission, they did not seem to be applied. It was more important to get the “bodies” to the university than to evaluate whether the students would be successful.
This type of greedy strategy harms both students and faculty. Students cannot compete on the college level and often fail classes. They do not learn because they do not know how to learn. Over the course of a semester, students would complain about grades and some of them even complained to administrators. But it did not change the fact that they could not read, could not write, nor could they analyze material for class. I am sure that this type of environment does permanent psychological harm to those students who fail. And that harm can lead to frustrated violence aimed at faculty and students who are on the front lines of a university.
These problems were especially problematic in online classes. Many students think that online classes are easier. After all, they do not have to show up for class. But, these students do not have the computer skills they need to use Blackboard software. In fact, some of them did not have a computer and often attempted to do their assignments on their phone.
For instance, when students do their assignments according to the guidelines, a professor does not have to spend a lot of time correcting the work. I would receive papers that had no capital letters, no punctuation, and grammatically incorrect. Those papers would take ten times as long to correct as a “good” paper. Many students could not write a single sentence correctly. Part of the problem was that they were texting the assignments on their phones. They were told that this was unacceptable, but still continued to send their assignments using their phones. And, the other side of the story is that their education to this point in their lives was less than poor. Elementary and high school never prepared them for anything. They were cheated!
Many students, who are admitted to a university, use state and Federal loans and grants. They don’t own cars, and as I said above, they don’t own computers. They think that they can do their assignments from home. But many could not go to a library to access a computer. So they were caught, but their grant money was in the hands of the greedy administrators who validated them on the first day of class.
The trend was to enroll students as much as a week late into classes. This harms both faculty and student also. There is chaos in the classroom (online and face-to-face) with people coming and going. Students don’t know how to analyze a syllabus and are lost. Most do not catch up with the assignments or reading material. This was especially troublesome during summer classes when students would miss one week out of a six-week class.
Faculty have students coming and going all the time. Administrators regularly would pull students from class who did not pay their bills, did not receive their grants, or failed the previous semester. Then they would come back to the professor and ask for re-admission to the class. Order cannot be maintained. An orderly succession of assignments cannot be maintained. Most of my days lasted twelve hours because of student problems and administrative decisions regarding who would be allowed into the classroom. How can anyone learn in that environment?
Presidents and Admission Directors seem to be oblivious to the fact that they destroy academic integrity and create chaos in the classroom. Their greedy decisions may enhance their own careers but harm the careers of faculty (the herd they manage) because they cannot attend to publications or national conferences. They are too busy trying to manage uncontrollable students and classes.
Students often become uncontrollable in the classroom and online when they realize that they are going to fail. They lash out at everyone. It is impossible for a faculty member to tutor all of the students. We cannot save them. There is not enough time or energy in the world to help them.
So greedy administrators use all of us in their quest for personal achievement and recognition. Can anyone tell me how to send these greedy people to Siberia? I would like to send them to jail for stealing from students, faculty, the Federal Government, and the State.