Decimation

Posted on June 28, 2016

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Decimation is literally losing 1 in 10 people;   if I remember correctly it was a strategy used for discipline in somebody’s army.   The 90% remaining would buck up and behave, in abject fear.

Most usages these days involve losing more than 10%, but I’m thinking our current college situation is similar.   http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2016-06-28/talent-learning.html    is an article about an awesome teacher who’s retiring.   He hadn’t planned on it, but the total budget suckage inspired him to.   Guess what?   When the best people leave, it’s harder on the ones left behind.   He’s pretty honest in the article, too:

“It’s almost every day where there is something that says, ‘I’m glad I’m leaving,” Henrikson admits. “The negative is I’ve got good friends here, who I’m sorry that they are going to be working harder without so much of the benefit as I’ve had.”

Students may not notice it come fall but, he predicts, “a year from now, we’ll have more students who aren’t going to be as satisfied with getting the personal touch, the personal interaction.

“Now, very few people would say, ‘I’m just a number at Parkland College.’ But I fear that is going to change.”

Decimation does that.   We can do our best to rise to the occasion and rally ’round, but  the consistent message from admins is ‘where’s the data?’   with the not-so-subtle emphasis on serving the easiest to serve with the quickest results.   Dudes, we are actually a lot better than average at getting the “post-traditional” student on board, and we could get better… if the efforts are valued and supported.   These are the students who aren’t being served elsewhere, so this is how we can grow our enrollment.   A mess of glitzy marketing to try to get the basically-ready-for-the-major-leagues folks in our door has a certain appeal.   However,  it’s worth considering the bad marketing that happens when the diamonds-in-the-rough who came here because they’d heard we had good support find out we’re evolving into another Sink or Swim Central. There are online for-profits who’d gladly take their dough.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled attempts to create instructional materials…

 

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