Letter: District should make time for student surveys

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Editor:

 
In regards to the article “Tuition schedule moved forward for board approval,” what the Associate Vice Chancellor Diane Snyder said irritated me. She was paraphrased as saying that “there wasn’t a lot of time for the survey to begin with.”

While it is never mentioned, you have to assume that an idea like this didn’t come up for the first time at this board meeting.

It was researched and put together before making it to that committee. How can district officials say there “wasn’t enough time to begin with” on surveying students?

The chancellor voiced his concern that if it’s not passed soon, they can’t go through with the plan until the next academic year. Perhaps that’s for the best!

If you’re making decisions for students without their consent, how can you know for sure that this is what is best?

The Student Government Association president at Northeast Lakeview College, Richard Wells, had a wonderful point when he brought up the students who will have to pay for this service but will not use it because they will be graduating in the spring. The student trustee, Emmanuel Nyong, went above and beyond by asking to push the vote back but two weeks is not enough time to gather enough data.

For instance, according to the survey statistics by Zachary-Taylor Wright, there was only enough time to survey 264 students at San Antonio College. While that is an impressive number in a small amount of time, there are 20,270 students who are enrolled for the fall 2016 regular and Flex I terms at that campus. How can we let 1.3% of that population make a decision? That’s almost as bad as not even letting them have input at all.

Let’s talk about what happens in the summer courses currently:

  • less services available
  • condensed classes are more challenging
  • not much variety of classes offered
  • affordability is but one reason for low summer enrollment.

I would be OK if tuition was raised to solve these issues, not to offer ‘free summer courses’.

If you want students to graduate, then help them understand the benefits and how it can be achieved through individual sessions.

If you want more students to be full-time, figure out the main reasons for that instead of incentivizing it.

If you want students to finish in two or three years, don’t make them feel guilty when they aren’t able to.

Instead, work with those students struggling and find out why.

The Alamo Colleges cannot start to go down this path of incentivizing student success. The Alamo Colleges cannot treat their students as statistics. They are people who want a higher education putting themselves in the hands of those who should truly care.

 
Jami Keeton

Pubic Administration graduate

San Antonio College and UTSA Junior

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