Letter: Exploration necessary to education

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Photography professor expresses his frustration with transfer degrees.


It seems the ACCD administration and the State of Texas is going to a counseling module that will not allow incoming freshman to take various courses other than courses that will not allow incoming freshman to take various courses other than courses that will transfer into a university to satisfy a given degree.

Many entering freshman do not have the slightest idea for a career choice. They need to shop around to discover their niche.

We have successful photography graduates who discovered their love for photography by taking COMM 1318, Photography 1, on a whim. Within that first course they realized they had an eye for composition and skills to succeed as a professional photographer.

One of my daughters took a beginning American Sign Language course and simply fell in love with interpreting. She now teaches American Sign Language at a Katy high school. When she entered SAC she had no idea what she wanted to do for a career. I encouraged her to take various courses in different disciplines. Although she did have courses that did not transfer, she was allowed to discover what she enjoyed. It seems with the current philosophy this would not be a success story because she took additional course work.

Limiting students to only core classes and expecting them to guess their emphasis without trying carious classes is ludicrious.

I have had students in my photography class tell me that they did not enjoy the class. My response was, “Great! Now go try something else and discover what you will enjoy doing for the rest of your life.”

It is not a waste of tax money or tuition to have students with a few classes that do not count for their bachelor’s degree verses students that become discouraged and drop out because they were never allowed to discover their vocation. The administration and the State of Texas should think twice about the direction they are going with this.

James P. “Buzz” McBride

photography professor


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