All too often people treat community college students are inferior to students of large universities, even believing that community college students are expected to be less successful. Doing this lowers students’ morale and makes them feel they are unworthy of obtaining gainful employment or even raising their own standards. Though this lowers morale, having a hard life absolutely is no excuse for having excessive absences, rewrites, late papers, plagiarized work, or instructors with low standards who do not require the students to adjust as needed to succeed. As a community college student, the education I am working so hard to gain has been scoffed at and even mocked. Once while having a casual conversation with a co-worker, he asked what college I attend. I told him Spartanburg Community College and he replied “that isn’t a college, it’s a technical school.” This is a prime example of how students from community colleges are treated as inferior to students of a large university.
Students from every institution can suffer hardships and handle their hardships in their own way. I have seen a student who was battling cancer and still holding a B average. On the other hand, there are also students who are just lazy and that lackadaisical attitude shows in their academics. In the article “The Myth of Inferiority” T. Allen Culpepper stated: At both kinds of institutions, I have also found students who manage to complete a full load of classes successfully while working three jobs, rearing multiple children alone, caring for elderly relatives, and coping with chronic illness or disability, as well as students who take a relatively light load of courses and don’t do much else (except illicit drugs) but still manage to fail all their classes, despite considerable intelligence and ability. (330)
What this all comes down to is how hard a student is willing to work on their education. The more students see instructors accepting lackluster work from lackadaisical students, the more the attitude spreads. This is where the instructor comes in. Accepting students’ excuses and excessive absences, allowing rewrites, late papers, and plagiarized work gives the instructor and in turn the institution a bad reputation. With the world literally at everyone’s finger tips, thanks to the internet, no one has the excuse that they weren’t able to at least attempt to complete and submit assignments on time and without plagiarism. Thankfully, there are instructors who don’t believe this is helpful.
If asked why he would do well as a community college instructor Culpepper said he would reply, “I have learned to maintain high standards, expect students to meet them, and do whatever I can to help students meet those expectations.” After which he goes on to explain, “To lower our standards is to accept the false assumption that students “here” are inferior to students “there.”(331) In any college, students may have to adjust to a different form of learning than they are familiar with, but to change a teaching style to appease students is ridiculous. “In my experience, most students respond favorably to professors who teach well and respond negatively to professors who teach badly, regardless of the teaching methods employed.”(331)
Treating someone as though they are beneath you is disrespectful and, if in a position of power, may be considered discriminatory. Though negative words don’t leave visible scars they do leave emotional scars that can turn a once successful student into a struggling, hopeless student. We are all equal and should treat each other as we would like to be treated. The sooner the world as a whole practices this, the sooner bias and discrimination can become a thing of the past.
Culpepper, T. Allen. “The Myth of Inferiority.” The Norton Mix. Ed. Judy Sieg. New York; Norton, 2012. 327-31. Print.
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Topic: A Hard Life is No Excuse for Poor Academics
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