College Students and the New Paradigm

I’ve talked to people at various institutions, and this problem, or at least some form of it, seems to be universal.

Students behave irresponsibly, and then cast around to find someone else to blame for it.

Some stories from the trenches:

They don’t write down what the assignment is: the teacher did not communicate it effectively. They don’t prepare sufficiently for a quiz: the material was covered too quickly or not thoroughly enough. (I actually had a student tell me once that it was my job that he learn the material.) They don’t note the date, time, and place of the final exam, or show up 45 minutes too late, and report to your director that you were not present as arranged. They cheat on a test, deny it, and are allowed to continue their studies. They fail to show up 50% of the time, are given a poor grade, and have their tuition-paying parents call the provost, who instructs the instructor to give the student a B.

Too many students take too little accountability for their lives, education, actions. Too many parents, teachers, administrators are too willing to enable these irresponsible behaviors. Too many students are too eager to cast the nearest scapegoat under the wheels of the bus in order to attempt to save their own skin.

Too many colleges/universities employ too many adjuncts, who have too little power to fight this trend with confidence of protection by the administration. Too many tenure-track faculty fear the result to their application for tenure if they try to uphold academic and integrity standards.

Meanwhile the students who behave responsibly and with integrity receive degrees from institutions who risk losing credibility if these practices were widely known.

It’s too scary, any way you look at it.

1 Response to “College Students and the New Paradigm”

  1. November 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I don’t think my parents would ever blame the teacher for a bad grade; they always considered it my responsibility to get good grades. What really bothers me about this situation is that there are teachers who are actually bad, but all of this fake complaining about nothing hides the real problems that are underneath it. Also, I’ve read a few of your posts today and am really enjoying it, so I’ve decided to subscribe to your blog.

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