Friday piece | Confession of the Dean of a Community College

This week has come up with an interesting discussion on which I hope my wise and worldly readers can shed some light.

As a matter of principle, should we limit how much credit an ‘visiting’ student can take here in the summer?

A ‘visiting’ student is a student who has matriculated elsewhere – usually a four-year school – and who takes a class or class with us to calculate the credits in their degree. Traditionally, many of them leave for college and come home for the summer; When taking a summer job they will take a class with us as a way to save money or keep the expected lower grades (usually in math or science) from their GPA.

We have a long-standing policy of limiting student visits to eight credits at any one time, although we are receiving more requests to exceed the limit. At a cross-functional meeting earlier this week, it became clear that there were multiple schools of thought on the question.

One school of thought says that visiting students tend to be intelligent, often high-achieving, and not really our responsibility. They are adults; If they think they can handle three summer classes at the same time, who are we to say no? Also, they can always take third class online from another community college, so it’s not like we can completely shut them down even with a policy.

Another camp says that we have a moral obligation to enforce the rules for the common good, even if those rules sometimes put the high achievers at a disadvantage.

A third camp suggests that we may need intensive counseling before allowing exceptions, although it was generally accepted that visits with students enrolled online are likely to be unrealistic.

Wise and secular readers, especially those who attend community colleges, what do you think? Is there a compelling argument that we did not consider?

An epidemic side effect that I didn’t expect: our college softball team qualified for the national finals about five hours away. It has struggled to find a bus company with drivers available.

At normal times, this was not a problem. Now it’s too.

The girl’s IB exams are over, but her school year ends in June.

I was a little surprised at how foolishly his teachers left now that the exams were over. Most of them are showing movies. Even the gym teacher seems to have given up, “fitness walking” (defined as walking around the track with your friends all the time).

I’ve seen how hard the IB people have worked over the last two years – it’s a two year program – so I really can’t help but regret spending the last month of their high school days in a kind of (slow) victory. But I expected at least some effort to maintain the presence.

TG doesn’t mind. She knows a big change in life is about to happen, and she is waiting for it. There seems to be a bit of decompression now, a humane response to the test, while his friends are around.

Still, the academic in me can’t help but wince a little.

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