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Where's work ethic? We must shoot for degree AND skils

By Traci Ray
On April 15, 2010

One unfortunate saying goes, "If you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book." For at least some students at Dillard, that seems to be true.


People go to college for different reasons – the most common being to earn a degree to find a good-paying job. What some of us apparently fail to realize is that the degree can get you the job, but it will not keep the job. A degree is just a piece of paper, and if you want to pay thousands of dollars for just a piece of paper, be our guest.


It's the information you are expected to retain that you should be paying for. Some Dillard students can probably name all of the parties held last month or who used to date whom last semester, but how many can recall the information taught in class two days ago? And actually expecting these students to read outside of class time – ha! That's like trying to pull chicken teeth.


Some students expect to be treated like adults when they enter college but display the work ethic of a fifth-grader, and that might even be too much credit for some.


College instructors are here to help facilitate learning. They are not here to drill the information into your brain for you, but rather to introduce you to the tools you need to be successful in that discipline. Teachers can only take so much blame for students who perform poorly, especially when the teacher has given ample opportunity to earn a decent grade.


For example, in one class, a teacher was willing to grade a test on a curve, thinking the material might be a little tough for the students; even though a few students passed the test with no problem, the majority did not do as well.


The teacher then gave another opportunity to replace the test grade by retaking the exact same test (which had already been returned and could be utilized as a study guide). When the day came to retake the test, not one student was prepared for the retest. Yet not two minutes later students were asking how they could bring up their grades. Um, hello?! That ship just sailed.


Then that develops into an attitude with the teacher. How do you think the teacher feels? A class that performs poorly often does not equal a bad professor; more often, it equals lazy students.


Being an adult involves being responsible and accountable for the consequences of your actions and decisions. You pay to go to college, so if you want to throw your money away, that's fine. But trust and believe that employers are not as eager to throw their money away on employees who have the credentials but no relevant knowledge to go with it. As the second half of the semester winds down, we must all come to grips with the fact that each of us controls our own destiny.

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