The university students are facing many issues in their lives and some of them include depression, stress, relationship difficulties, academic problems, among others. Some of the students are required to learn and at the same time work, integrating these two is not an easy task for them. Some course notes are very difficult to understand and require much discipline in order to assimilate the content. This has therefore resulted to poor academic performance from the part time students. Even though the time spent in class by these students is normally short, they have little time to read and revise.
Furthermore, the university examination is the same for all the students, both part time and full time. Treating all the students to be equal is not morally right since most of the full time students are young and can assimilate the theories and concepts with much ease, while the adult students take time to assimilate. This is because the adult students have many responsibilities regarding their families and their job tasks which are crowding their minds and therefore cannot focus properly in their studies.
Most of the young students have few responsibilities thereby giving them more time to concentrate on their studies and this leads to good academic results. The class lessons provided by the university usually takes about two hours and can be scheduled to take place in the daytime or at night depending on when the students are available. But in some cases, this does not apply; the academic counselor can change the class schedule to a different day or night without the students’ consent. Sometimes the instructors may not be available and this therefore forces the academic counselor to shift the class to another time.
The academic counselor will inform the students about the class changes, but he or she does not give them an option to refuse or accept. The fact that the counselor can change the class schedule without the students’ consent is unethical. The changes made may sometimes require the students to change their work schedules or miss the classes. Changing the work schedule may not be possible sometimes since it depends on the job type, there are some jobs which are not flexible thereby leaving the students with no option but to miss the classes.
By not attending the class lesson these students are left behind in notes and catching up is really a hard task since the notes usually pile up as they misses more lessons. This therefore may lead to the students failing the final examination since the examination schedule cannot be changed to accommodate them. The university does not allow adult students to skip some courses they have done in the past and this is not ethical. There are some courses a student may have done and passed well in a different college, but this university does not allow them to continue with their studies unless they do these courses again.
To repeat a course requires time and money, therefore the students are forced to pay more and to find extra time to attend the classes. Some students may not have the extra time to attend these classes because their time schedules are full of job tasks, family responsibilities and even other class lessons. In addition, there are those who do not have enough money and because of this requirement they cannot enroll into the university. For these poor students, the opportunity for further studies is therefore taken away by this requirement and is given to rich ones.
The university has put in place the Learning Teams to help the online distance learning students. These teams are usually composed of three to six adult students and every week these students meet for about five hours in order to discuss and analyze problems in the researches done, case studies, among others. Their courses are usually designed to integrate group and individual activities with the help of an instructor whose role is to give guidance and advice.
These learning teams were developed to promote technical and intellectual knowledge, enhance valuable skills in negotiation and teamwork and even to provide a place where new ideas can be developed and utilized (University of Phoenix, 2009). However, when students enroll into the university, they are not told about the Learning Teams and how they work. Most students enroll into the university without a clue about these Learning Teams. They only learn about them when they are already at the university and this has resulted to some ethical problems.
These Learning Teams are only located in the United States of America (U. S. A. ) and their meetings are scheduled at specific times. For distance learning students they have become a burden, since time is not universal it varies depending on the location. Some of their meetings occur during the day while in others at night. This can therefore lead to some students sleeping in their workplace while others are forced to go to work late, yet not considering that the job is paying for the studies.
Sleeping in the workplace or going to work late has some regrettable consequences, it may lead to the students losing their jobs and therefore not being able to afford the university fees. Without their work some students will be forced to drop out of the university because of fees problems. Furthermore, if they do not drop out they will have other problems such as lack of bus fare, among others, which will be due to insufficient funds for their personal needs. In addition, to participate in the Learning Teams requires books and some students cannot afford to purchase them because they are expensive.
Paying the university fees and buying books can be stressful to some people especially when their wages are low and have families to care for. Learning without the required books can lead to poor academic performance from the students since they cannot do their own further learning and even counter check their course notes. Furthermore, for those who can afford they are sometimes required to pay more for shipping expenses since some books are not available in their locality but are found in U. S. A.
The fact that all the books are not provided by the university in the Learning Teams and yet they expect the students to learn and understand like the full time students makes it unethical. It is the obligation of the university to ensure that all the books required for every course are available and accessible online from the library by all the students regardless of where they are. Otherwise, the course should not be provided if the books available are not enough for all the students.
The Learning Teams meetings usually last for four to five hours whether in daytime or at night. Sitting in a meeting for five hours continuously is tiresome especially when someone has been working throughout the day or night. Concentrating for long hours on a topic is not an easy task and the fact that you have no other time to learn makes it worse. There are students who read and understand theories and concepts in a very short time period while others take time to understand them.
The fact that the students have no option but to take part in these teams is not ethical. They should be given an opportunity to choose between long hours or subsequent short hours since people learn and understand things differently. In addition, they should be allowed to choose whether to participate in these teams or not and if they do participate they should be given a chance to choose their teammates. This is because the university can make the mistake of putting a student into a group composed of students who are under-qualified.
For example, a third year student may be grouped with second year students without knowing, only to understand later that his or her teammates are from a lower grade. This mistake can be costly to the student since it will waste his or her time and money and this cannot be recovered. Furthermore, the long sitting hours do not give students enough time to sleep and we understand getting enough sleep is essential for the body. Working for more than eight hours and then attending the meetings for close to five hours, may lead to stress or depression.
In addition, the students are required to do research and case studies before attending the scheduled meetings and this needs time in order to collect the data. In taking part in these meetings and doing research, a student is left with very little time to spend with his family and for other social factors which are important to him such as hanging out with friends, taking your family out for a picnic, and many others. Cases of depression and stress have increased in the university and this can be attributed to the coursework overload experienced by the students.
The university has put in place a counseling department which is dealing with the students affairs. Students facing academic and psychological problems are therefore required to get counseling or advice from this department. However, the counselors are facing some ethical difficulties in their department. Majority of the students do not trust them because they do not ensure confidentiality in their services. Maintaining confidentiality is a difficult task for these counselors, especially when the parents, relatives, or even friends are looking for some information about a certain student they care about.
This has therefore led to very few students using these services since most of them feel their dignity and privacy is not protected and respected. In addition, the counseling department is not composed of counselors from all the cultures at the university. It is therefore not possible for the department to serve all the students effectively since some of the students might be from cultures which are unique and composed of very few people. These students are therefore locked out from accessing the counseling services when facing problems related to their cultures.
Courtney from Study Moose
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