access & success & reality cheques

Posted on October 1, 2015

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Today we had a meeting of our Developmental Education Council — except that to attend it meant leaving the 8 students studying for a math test to their own devices, and their own devices are what they’re trying to hone.
So I saw parts of it… ducked out to answer questions (the meeting is just across the hall fro the lab…) but appreciated the review of data about our current developmental education students and our goals for improving their outcomes.
Then I got home an remembered a little thing that happened earlier in the day.
Student tried to go online for access to stuff she needed for class. No, it’s not an online class but yes, you’d better have access to a computer and the INternet.
OH, and you’d better have a mobile phone *with you.* BEcause gosh, we have a new password system and it wouldn’t even let her *attempt* to do “password one” without an authorization code that they’d send to her mobile ;phone which, thank you, was currently out of minutes.
Of course, Parkland already has her tuition money.
Now, possibly there was fine print and a work around… I told her we’d head to the tech folks … and helped another student and she packed up and left. When I caught up with her she said that yes, she knew where she was going…
… I realize now that there’s a pretty good chance that where she was going was out of Parkland. What a slap in the face — click here! We’ll send you a code to your mobile phone! (Let’s not even talk about the bizarre password requirements…)
Our stats showed a slight — not statistically significant — decrease in retention for our dev ed folks this past year… except it was a decrease from the nationally typical abysmally low.
Hey, we can fill out great papers and get great grants and feel really good about all the THings We Do To Help STudents but if we also throw caltrops in their paths then who are we kidding?

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