Monday, November 08, 2010

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

We have some programs on campus that are pretty competitive and some that require some state mandated tests before you can enter, even.

I saw a student today who's been told several times to take the state mandated test before he can take the entry level courses in this program, but he doesn't quite seem to have gotten around to it. And that means he can't take the entry level courses, and that means he can't take the mid-level courses, and that means he'll be delayed in actually applying to get into the program.

But then, this same student also has a GPA that's close to minimal for the program. The student talked about what a mistake he'd made in transferring a grade of B from another institution. And I said, trust me when I say, that B you got in X class is NOT what dropped your GPA into the C range. Seriously.

We talked a little about the GPA being dangerously low for a competitive problem. To me, it seems like the student is shooting himself in the foot, and maybe that means that student really doesn't want to do that program? Or just isn't as focused on it as the people who get in and succeed are?

An additional aspect of this problem is that the program is in another college, but if the student doesn't get accepted into the program, he'll have to choose a major in a second college, and that college has some additional requirements that the student won't have. (Most students who are on top of things listen when we advise them to fill the harder requirement early on, so that they can opt out of the program if they want to, and that's a very good thing.)

And can I just say, it always worries me when a student comes in and doesn't know what he's taking this term or whose teaching those classes. It's not like I'm asking who your third grade teacher was. Don't you know who's standing in front of your face 3 or more hours a week blabbing? Really? You have, what, five, six instructors, and you can't remember their names or what classes you're taking?

There is not enough bourbon, is there?


  1. you're just one of the messengers. some people only really get their act together after they learn the hard way.

  2. I hope the program they are trying to get into doesn't involve arithmetic. Because if they think a B grade decreased their GPA to a C average, not knowing the names of their teachers is the least of their problems.

  3. Of course there's enough bourbon. Most people, though, aren't willing to take delivery of a full cask of whisky at home, since it's essentially a new piece of furniture that can get you blotto as a bonus. Students like this? Not worth more than a double shot, I'd say. I could tell you stories that would curl your hair, Bardiac — curl it, I say!