When students discuss the option of dropping courses to family members and or friends, the topic is always quite controversial because the reasoning behind it will always differ for everyone.
According to Richard Diguette, college instructor at Georgia State University, he states in the “Get Schooled” blog, that college students sometimes choose to fail a class rather than drop a course because they feel it is easier to explain to family members and friends, such that they can just fault the professors for making the class too difficult. It takes courage to drop a course and speak about it openly.
PCC recently had an open panel where students volunteered to speak out about why they dropped a certain class. The declarations made by the students, Amaris Jacobs, Frankie Castro, Judy Jackson, and Alexis Corine McGowan, were stated very clearly in the piece “Students to faculty: why I dropped your class.” The reoccurring theme throughout the panel were students claiming that they felt like there was a loss of individuality within specific class environments.
“As faculty, if we can make some small tweaks and changes in our classrooms to help increase course completion, we should do that,” stated Dr. Valerie Foster, President of the Academic Senate, at the ‘Why I dropped your class’ panel. I definitely agree with her statement, but actions speak louder than words.
Community colleges are meant to be very community based, hence the name. I always hear professors emphasize how fortunate we are as community college students to have small class sizes, because it helps the students gain more direct access to the faculty staff.
I can’t confirm whether or not the student-to-professor communication is a forte at our campus without further statistic research but I myself have dropped a few classes in the past due to professors projecting an intimidating profile.
To further explain what this “intimidating profile” is, here’s the scenario. You walk into class the first day of school, everyone’s quiet,nervous, and busy claiming unreserved seats. Then the professors walks in without any introduction and starts off by stating the consequences of slacking off, no late work, no extra credit and basically stating all negative stereotypical college student actions. How would that make you feel? It made me feel very unwelcomed and I felt like I couldn’t approach the professor without being judged as a “typical college student.” We are not all the same, we are all going through different things, and we all came to PCC due to various reasons.
The moment I decided to drop this course was when the professor asked the classroom a specific question somewhere around the lines of why do we want to read the textbook? The class answered in various ways, including “to gain knowledge”. The professor corrected us, and said it’s to pass the class.
I feel like professors at PCC should really take in consideration that just because they’re in a higher position, it does not give them the right to feel superior and neglect any one-to-one meetings with students. Unfortunately I have forced myself to attend certain classes so my academic status wouldn’t be affected, but in all honesty it has been quite rare when I’ve encountered myself with a humble professor and or student assistants.
There needs to be a psychological aspect to the way professors teach, we are all humans and need to feel like a classroom is a safe environment to express, question, and learn.
As mentioned in the fable “The Animal School” written by George Reavis, Assistant Superintendent of the Cincinnati Public Schools back in the 1940s, the educational system can be very corrupt because it wants to shape students to fit into one mold.
Staff at PCC needs to wake up and face reality, as the song would say “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and us millennials are on another level of intelligence. It seems like some educators in the current system haven’t updated their mindset to be open to distinct ways of targeting lesson plans.