After reading a Newsday editorial admonishing Nassau Community College for their poor graduation rates, I wrote this letter. They didn't publish it, so I am putting it up here.
I don't know anything about NCC but I work at a different Community College and see similarities in graduation rates. I say kudos to both schools for keeping their standards and not giving diplomas to students who have not earned them.
Not all, but many students come into class expecting to do nothing, and pass, just like they did in high school. They want extra credit and seat credit time. They expect review sheets where the teacher does every problem for them. They are so used to the teacher being admonished if they fail, they expect this to continue in college. They don't buy books and they don't do homework or study. They can't sit in class for two hours without being on their cell phone, texting or using Facebook. Aside from this, their skills are appalling. They can barely multiply. Division and fractions do not exist in their worlds and decoding is a lost skill.
I am thrilled to work for an institution, that offers help to students, offers a softer path to college than four year institutions do, but doesn't give away anything. A degree from this school means something. I am sure NCC has the same population and the same policy.
Stop pushing the college to graduate more. You will only end up creating college graduates prepared for nothing, similar to what the public schools do today. Kudos to these institutions for keeping education real.