What I Learned at Today’s Student Success Webinar

Or: Why should I keep all this misery to myself?

1) Students are our customers. You don’t go into a store and expect the cashier to tell you what to do. Similarly, who are we to tell students what to do?

1a) We need to take our students in hand and teach them time management. You know, the way cashiers do.

2) Some students report dropping out because of boredom or lack of motivation. Therefore it’s our responsibility to be more “entertaining” and “inspirational.” Other reasons students gave for dropping out included procrastination, poor sleeping habits, relationship issues, death in the family, addiction, and partying. These can all be fixed if we are “engaging” enough. We must not make lame excuses like “but I’m not a trained addiction counselor.” Anything short of taking full responsibility for students’ progress is tantamount to blaming the students, and we must never blame the students.

3) Many students report dropping out due to financial issues. For some reason this point was passed over quickly and without discussion.

4) Millennials want meaning, not money or job security.

5) Some majors “need to go” because they don’t lead to those high-paying and stable careers that millennials apparently don’t care about. (Also, “everyone knows” which majors should be eliminated: The ones that sound old-fashioned and don’t have “digital” in the name.)

6) Students need to find their passion. We don’t have the right to discourage students from following their passion.

6b) But if they major in something impractical and end up broke and indebted that’s our fault.

7) The presenter thinks we’re idiots. “Look up your institution’s graduation rate on College Navigator. Are you shocked your graduation rate is so low?” Um, no, folks like you have been beating us up about our (entirely predictable) graduation rate for years.

The miserable icing on this cake of despair? The above gems were greeted with coos of appreciation
and mutterings of “we really need to get the faculty involved in this conversation.” [1]

Unfortunately, it’s too early to start drinking. So I’m going to go look at guinea pigs in costumes instead.

[1] Of course there won’t actually be a conversation. If there were, the faculty would trot out  the same old hidebound and unfashionable ideas we’re always banging on about: offering the classes students need to graduate, reducing class size, hiring full-time faculty and paying them a living wage, and providing childcare. BO-ring!

Source: . . . . Zooze the Horse: What I Learned at Today’s Student Success Webinar


Sign up for Frankie’s newsletter and get a free Professor Molly story

Blog  | Facebook  | GoodReads | LinkedIn | Twitter | Mailing List
Advertisements