Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Point of View; Many College Students Need More Time

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Point of View; Many College Students Need More Time

Article excerpt

Byline: Harvey Slentz

The recent editorial "Scott's idea misses student realities" spotlights a problem facing higher education in Florida's higher education system today, an unnecessary problem.

Someone in state government decided that students were not graduating fast enough, and that the colleges should push them to move through their degree programs faster.

As the editorial pointed out, there are many reasons why students don't graduate within four or six years with a bachelor's degree.

I teach in FSCJ's School of Business, and I would like to tell you about some of my students who are not viewed as successful under the "speed 'em up" philosophy.

I teach nearly 400 students each year. Most are in the 25-40 age range, are married and have children. They work full time and take classes around their work schedule, have to get their kids to and from school and day care and pick them up before 6 p.m. and do all the other things that the rest of us do.

They often attend classes in the evening a couple of nights a week while their spouse is with the children. They do part of their class work online, and I know when they put their kids to bed because that's when the online classroom begins to chatter usually about 9 p.m., seven days a week.

THE MILITARY FACTOR

Those who I encounter are serious students who are working their way through college. Many have finished time in the military right here in the metro area and are adding degrees and skills to move up in the civilian world.

Others are on active duty, taking courses to advance in their military career. Every semester I have students who are deployed in the Middle East and aboard Navy vessels.

I've had students who couldn't contact me for a couple of days because one of their fellow soldiers was killed in action, and the internet was shut down at that location so the family would not hear about it accidentally until they received formal notification. …

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