Education is pricey; treat it that way

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Sergio Medina

Give honest feedback about your classes in end-of-semester survey.

I don’t believe any student has gone through college without having at least one instructor who derailed completely from class material for most of the class.

Those memories are coming back, aren’t they?

As a student myself, I’ve had a few experiences.

I took a few history classes at Palo Alto College with an instructor, who will not be named, who would go off topic during every single class.

We wouldn’t spend more than 10-15 minutes per class talking about class material before the instructor began talking about his life — his son, his motorcycle or his political views — and that would go on for far longer.

One of those courses was HIST 1301, United States History, a core class that you would think would be a good refresher for content learned in high school. Not for me.

It was the easiest class I have taken thus far in my collegiate journey, not because the homework was a piece of cake but because there was no homework.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fine to occasionally take small breaks and build teacher-student relationships through conversation, not just classwork, but there is a point where that becomes excessive.

That is why instructors must remember we are paying thousands of dollars to get a degree.

I would have a much different tone if my education was free, but it’s not.

Students want to get as much value as possible because higher education is an enormous investment, in money and time.

Not to mention, these are community colleges I’m talking about. Imagine students who are experiencing wasted time at public and private universities — the tens of thousands of dollars poured into their education for potentially nothing.

It’s a scary and angering thought.

If you have ever wondered why you bothered to pay for a course where you had a similar experience, speak up.

Let’s be honest, many of us ignore the end-of-course surveys we’re emailed to evaluate our courses and instructors.

Let’s not, anymore. Fill them out and give honest feedback.

If you use, be constructive with your criticism.

Instead of “don’t take this class” or “this class is hard,” explain in detail why students shouldn’t take a class or why it’s hard.

The things you didn’t like may be what someone else is looking for, so be specific.

We must make the effort to let administrators know when something is not to our benefit, and we need to communicate among ourselves to take care of our wallets and our futures.


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