Graduation date isn’t always guaranteed

By LAURA TAYLOR 

From electives and general education classes to in-major classes, choosing classes is one of the most exciting times in your college experience. The University of Mary Washington offers more than 60 majors and minors with an array of classes, and most students can find flexible accommodations for alternate courses they might have to take. However, for sophomore Nicole Lamb, choosing classes for the fall of 2017 is going to be more frustrating than anticipated and it’s all because of a ballet class she decided to take.

Ballet was offered at UMW to fulfill requirements, yet the class that actually counted for the general education requirement had a prerequisite.

“I took ballet because it fulfilled the arts, literature and process requirement,” Lamb said. She took Ballet 121 in the fall of 2016 with hopes that Ballet 301 would be offered in the spring of 2017. However, she found out that Ballet 301 would not be offered in the spring, so she was never able to fulfill the requirement.

General education courses should not have prerequisites for several reasons. They are designed to be taken during freshman year, but having prerequisites can force freshmen to have to wait until sophomore year to begin them.

“I would be concerned about graduating on time if I had to use a whole year dedicated to prerequisites for general education courses alone,” Lamb said. Not only are prerequisites more of a hassle for students, but they jeopardizes their chance of graduating on time.

Lamb also had a similar experience with her biology class that went towards her quantitative reasoning requirement. She chose to pursue the Biology 260 option yet there were two biology classes that she had to take that would prevent her from taking the Biology 260 course until her junior year.

Some prerequisite courses should remain, for subjects such as language in which students need a fuller vocabulary and more experience with the language. However, prerequisites should be reserved for classes that focus around requirements for the major, not general education courses that everyone has to take. 

Why students flunk classes

Not seeking help, disinterest contribute to failure rates

By Jenna Fracassi
| 3/29/17 10:07pm

fail009



Every year, a portion of Grand Valley State University students fail their classes, and some even fail out of the university entirely.

According to statistics provided by the Office of Institutional Analysis (OIA), from the fall 2015 semester to the winter 2016 semester, there were a total of 26,850 students enrolled at GVSU. Of that number, 2,888, or 10.75 percent, received a failing grade in at least one course.

Caleb Baird, a senior theatre major at GVSU, said throughout his college experience, he has only failed two classes, both being general education requirements.

“In many of my general education classes, I noticed a trend of overpowering busy work and limited cognitive thinking,” Baird said. “I found it very difficult to apply myself to assignments that I felt were not applicable to the curriculum and more designed to give us something to do to fill time.”

Baird said although general education courses were necessary to earn credits, they added little to his college experience.

“They felt more like a continuation of high school classes than college-level classes,” he said. “I couldn’t get interested, partially because the subjects weren’t related to my major but also because the material was not mentally stimulating.”

Every student at GVSU must have a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or higher to be in good standing. Freshman students with a cumulative GPA between 1.501 and 1.999 will be placed on probation, as well as sophomores with a cumulative GPA between 1.801 and 1.999.

Baird said he was placed on academic probation during the 2015-16 academic year, during which time he was taking mostly general education courses.

Freshmen with a cumulative GPA of 1.500 or lower, and sophomores with a cumulative GPA or 1.800 or lower, will be placed in jeopardy of dismissal. Juniors and seniors with a cumulative GPA below 2.000 will also be placed in jeopardy of dismissal.

From the fall of 2015 to the winter of 2016, 568 (2.11 percent) of students were put on academic probation, while 298 students, or 1.11 percent of students, were dismissed.

“There is not a particular major that stands out to have more students that are dismissed or have failed grades,” said Rachael Passarelli, research analyst for the OIA, via email. “It is pretty dispersed among majors.”

Once a student is placed on academic probation, is it recommended that they meet with an academic advisor to complete an assessment plan. This allows students to identify areas where they need extra support.

Len O’Kelly, assistant professor of multimedia journalism at GVSU, said the primary reason students fail is because they don’t ask for help.

“Whether it’s because they don’t know where to go or don’t feel they can ask, I don’t know,” O’Kelly said via email. “I think that in every case where I have had to fail a student in a class, it was a situation that could have been avoided through time spent talking through it during office hours. Help is there if students are willing to seek it.”

GVSU has a variety of campus resources designed to help students succeed. The university offers disability support resources, tutoring centers and learning skills services.

“Take advantage of services such as the Knowledge Market,” O’Kelly said. “Students can get help from other students who are trained to give assistance in writing, speech, research and data.”

Professors are also an important resource for students on campus. O’Kelly said visiting and meeting with professors early on can help to prevent a student from failing.

“Seriously, visiting with and meeting their professors is important,” he said. “Generally, the students that spend the most time talking with me are the ones that need it least, if that makes sense. If by the end of the semester I still have a hard time putting a name to your face, it’s going to be harder for me to understand your circumstances.”

Gen Eds – Are They Worth It?

In addition, cohorts of student Learning Communities at COD focus on two or more courses connected by a common theme. Examples include “Cruise the Caribbean,” a virtual cruise that satisfies GenEd requirements in mathematics, physical science, and social and behavioral science. Service Learning courses, which combine community service with classroom teaching, are also available to fulfill GenEd requirements in sociology, English, health science, humanities and speech.

Gen Eds – Are They Worth It? | The Huffington Post

In addition, cohorts of student Learning Communities at COD focus on two or more courses connected by a common theme. Examples include “Cruise the Caribbean,” a virtual cruise that satisfies GenEd requirements in mathematics, physical science, and social and behavioral science. Service Learning courses, which combine community service with classroom teaching, are also available to fulfill GenEd requirements in sociology, English, health science, humanities and speech.

Students petition to update general education requirements

A group of students are promoting a petition which requests the liberal arts program add a multicultural studies requirement to its core curriculum.

Despite being two months old, Students Against Social Injustice’s petition doubled the number of signatures Tuesday afternoon.

“We propose that UM liberal arts students be required to take 6-9 hours of multicultural courses, as well as an additional 12 hours of diversity-related extracurricular/volunteer hours,” SASI’s petition reads.

The petition points to a section of the UM Diversity Plan written by Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter as reason to support the additional requirements.

“Diversity is a hallmark of education and enriches the environment and experiences of all our campus constituents,” Vitter wrote in the plan.

SASI’s argument claims its suggested course requirements would reach the Diversity Plan’s goal to enhance “the overall curriculum by infusion of content that enhances multicultural awareness and understanding.”

Before noon on Tuesday, the petition had garnered fewer than than 25 signatures. By 6 p.m., the petition had doubled its number of supporters and nearly reached half of its 100-signature goal.

SASI’s petition has picked up alumni support as well, from Rebel graduates in Pontotoc and Memphis, Tennessee.

SASI member Makala McNeil signed the petition Tuesday and said she sees the petition as a way to unlock the university’s potential to achieve the Diversity Plan.

McNeil said integrating a multicultural studies requirement would play an instrumental part in institutionalizing inclusion at the university.

“We’d be doing students a disservice if after four years they leave the institution without exposure to the wide array of multicultural courses the institution offers,” McNeil said.

English major Skylar Sandroni wrote a comment on the petition along with her signature.

“I’m signing because I believe in an education that represents all people,” Sandroni wrote.

If its goal of 100 signatures is met, SASI will send its petition to Interim Provost Noel Wilkin.

Fired Because He Wouldn’t Dumb Down a Course?

Students may complain about courses that are too hard, but could fighting to maintain high standards actually get a professor fired? A new report from the American Association of University Professors alleges that Colorado’s Community College of Aurora terminated an adjunct because he refused to lower his expectations for his introductory philosophy class. The report sets the stage for the AAUP to vote on censuring Aurora for alleged violations of academic freedom later this spring, but the college denies such charges. It blames Nathanial Bork’s termination on his own teaching “difficulties.”

“While it is impossible to say with absolute certainty that Bork’s dismissal was an act of retaliation by the [college] administration,” reads the AAUP report, “we can say with certainty that the timeline of events is suggestive, the circumstances of the dismissal are extraordinary and the administration’s stated rationale is unconvincing. Moreover, even if the administration were not engaging in retaliation against Bork, its actions have convinced many faculty members that it was.”

Bork began teaching at Aurora in 2010. Splitting his time between Arapahoe Community College and Aurora, Bork taught a variety of courses over the next six years, from philosophy to comparative religion. He also served as an outspoken proponent for adjuncts, who make up the overwhelming majority of instructors at Aurora.

Then in September, Bork received a call from his department chair and dean at Aurora, who told him that he was done teaching there — effective immediately. The college eventually blamed the decision on what it called Bork’s “lack of effectiveness in implementing the philosophy curriculum redesign.” But he says he was fired for planning to blow the whistle on a dumbing down of introductory liberal arts “gatekeeper” courses. The college was trying to boost passage rates to demonstrate progress in encouraging student success.

Just days before Bork was terminated, he says, he drafted an email to the state’s Higher Learning Commission, complaining about Aurora’s new Gateway to Success initiative. The goal of the program was to increase pass rates in these gatekeeper courses but, Bork said, in reality, he’d been asked to cut 20 percent of his introductory philosophy course content; require fewer writing assignments, with a new maximum of eight pages per semester; offer small-group activities every other class session; and make works by women and minority thinkers about 30 percent of the course.

Bork said he was told to keep teaching this way until 80 percent of all student demographic groups were passing the course, which in his view violated the spirit of Colorado law on guaranteed transfer courses to a four-year institution.

“Simply put,” he wrote in the draft email, “this class is now much, much easier to get an A in or pass than it was previously. … If the people we’re giving [A-pluses] to in the [guaranteed transfer] courses are only doing the equivalent of high school work at other colleges, I believe that sets up our students for harm later on. Our student success rates will spike through the roof, but we’ll be graduating people who think they’ve received a college education, but in reality have only done high school-level work.”

He asked the commission to investigate some of the college’s inclusive excellence policies and, according to AAUP, attached a letter from a fellow professor at Aurora who said he’d resigned over the changes (that professor could not immediately by reached for comment).

Bork didn’t forward the letter to the commission, he says, but did share it with administrators. Days later, he was observed while teaching with no notice by his department chair and a college “achievement coach.” He eventually learned that both raters — Bobby Pace, the chair for social sciences, and H. Ray Keith, the coach — gave him low marks. That was after six years of consistently positive reviews, he says.

“There was no content being presented during the observation period,” reads Pace’s evaluation, and “the students did not appear to be properly instructed in the specific step[s] of the process.”

Bork maintains that the students were frustrated with the new curriculum, not with him. He reached out to the AAUP after his termination, and the national office contacted the college to say that it recommends faculty members be able to defend themselves against specific charges before a faculty committee.

An AAUP investigating committee visited the campus in December to conduct interviews with administrators, faculty members and a student. The committee found that while Bork, an adjunct, was not entitled to any due process under institutional policies, full-time faculty members at Aurora may only be fired for incompetence “after notice and opportunity to improve.” After six years of strong service, the committee said, it seem that Bork deserved such an opportunity.

Investigators also questioned how Bork’s observed exercise on how to draft a thesis statement could be so bad that he’d been fired virtually on the spot.

“It bears emphasizing that adjunct instructors constitute, by the administration’s reckoning, at least 80 percent of the [college] faculty,” the committee wrote in the report. “Bork’s case highlights the very clear threat that a lack of due process poses for the exercise of academic freedom and underscores the general unacceptability of such policies, at [the college] and elsewhere. Under these conditions, the academic freedom of adjunct faculty members is not universally guaranteed as a matter of institutional policy but selectively bestowed as a function of administrative benevolence. That is to say, it does not exist.”

The committee said that several current and former college faculty members anonymously indicated that administrators also had told them “if they were unwilling to implement the new Gateway to Success curriculum, they should seek employment elsewhere.” The committee took these requests for anonymity as evidence of a “climate of fear” on campus — one inimical to academic freedom.

Pace reportedly told the AAUP investigators that a student in Bork’s class conveyed her concerns about the course to him. But the student in question reportedly told the investigating committee that she approached the department to complain about the Gateway to Success curriculum itself, not Bork’s teaching. She reportedly said she enjoyed Bork’s class, with the exception of the new curriculum.

In sum, the committee wrote, the Aurora administration’s stated rationale for Bork’s summary dismissal “strains credulity.”

Speaking to greater concerns about part-time faculty members and abuses of academic freedom across academe, the committee said that as the proportion of the faculty members employed in adjunct and other contingent positions grows, “the overall academic freedom of America’s faculty shrinks. The private business model of academic employment, in which managers exercise complete control over the working conditions and appointment status of those they oversee, is already a reality for the majority of those who teach at U.S. colleges and universities.”

If higher education wishes to maintain academic freedom for the ever-shrinking proportion of the faculty who enjoy tenure-track and tenured appointments, it said, “we must extend the guarantee of academic freedom — through changes in institutional policies, professional norms and, ultimately, personal attitudes — to those who do not.”

In response to questions about the degree of faculty involvement in developing the Gateway to Success curriculum, Pace reportedly told the investigating committee that meetings were held in February and May 2016 to solicit faculty input. But the AAUP committee concluded that it doesn’t appear faculty members could have refused to go forward “without jeopardizing their future employment at the institution.” That’s based in part on faculty interviewees reportedly saying that the curriculum meetings were really “presentations,” at which Pace and Keith, the achievement coach, shared retention-related data and reportedly declared, “There aren’t enough people passing; we need to get more people passing.”

Betsy Oudenhoven, college president, said in a statement that Aurora disagrees with the AAUP’s conclusions. The college launched the Gateway to Success initiative in collaboration with faculty disciplinary experts to determine how professors’ teaching strategies were either promoting or hindering success in gateway general-education courses, she said.

Gatekeeper courses were updated to better help students learn and “still meet the target learning goals set by the State Faculty Curriculum Committee,” she added, noting that the Colorado Department of Higher Education confirmed that the redesign met state standards for guaranteed transfer to four-year institutions.

In Bork’s case, Oudenhoven said, the department chair and achievement coach who observed him “discovered general instructional problems as well as difficulties in the implementation of the new curriculum they characterized as severe.” Moreover, she said, she didn’t receive any letter of complaint from Bork about the curriculum.

Bork, who is still teaching at Arapahoe Community College, said he did indeed inform administrators of his concerns, including in an email dated July 17. He could not share the Sept. 7 email that allegedly prompted his termination, he said, because he’s lost access to his faculty email account as a result of his termination. Beyond that, Bork said he was a member of several committees that met regularly with the president, making her claims of ignorance all the more implausible.

As to the college’s assertion that he was terminated due to poor teaching, Bork pointed to the AAUP committee’s interview with the student in question.

“Pace did not tell the truth about what happened in my classroom that day and used that falsehood as justification to dismiss me,” he said.

No due process for adjuncts meant no opportunity to defend himself against the charges, he added so, after seven years “of stellar service to the college and its students, I was simply told I’d been fired over the telephone while I was getting an oil change.”

Pace did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Greg Scholtz, director of tenure, academic freedom and governance at AAUP, said he thought Bork’s case was representative of others the association deals with, in that part-time professors typically serve on an at-will basis, making them “entirely disposable.”

“If their administrative superiors are not satisfied with their service, for any reason, they simply do not offer them any course assignments for the next academic term, and there’s usually nothing the part-timer can do about it,” he said. Yet Bork’s case is unusual in that he was dismissed immediately.

Scholtz said he expects such cases to proliferate as colleges try to appeal to students in an increasingly competitive environment, and that even faculty members will feel the retention pinch.

“Bork claimed that he was fired because he criticized the college’s efforts to dumb down courses in order to improve student success,” Scholtz said with a tone of irony. “In this increasingly consumer-oriented higher education environment, we also see a lot of faculty members — full-timers and well as part-timers — get into hot water because of student complaints.”

College tuition proposed to go up by 3.4 percent across Utah

“),
a = o + r;
try {
var i = n.contentDocument || n.contentWindow.document;
i.open(“text/html”, “replace”);
i.write(a)
} catch (c) {}
}
};
r(function() {
window.sovrn.auction.sendBeacon()
});
var reg = new RegExp(“MSIE ([0-9]+[\.0-9]*)”);
reg.exec(navigator.userAgent) ? 10 === parseInt(RegExp.$1) (window.onload = function() {
window.sovrn.auction.sendContainer()
}) : window.onload = function() {
window.sovrn.auction.sendContainer()
};
//]]

Few Clouds
Salt Lake City 46 °
Traffic / Ski Report
Stories from last 36 hours


MAR 28, 2017  |  Salt Lake City
48 °
 |  Traffic / Ski Report
Stories from last 36 hours


“);
}


By BENJAMIN WOOD | The Salt Lake Tribune







Students at Utah’s public colleges and universities will likely pay an extra $80 to $290 in tuition next year.

Agenda materials released Tuesday show the Board of Regents will consider an average 3.4 percent tuition bump at Utah’s eight campuses during the board’s Friday meeting in St. George.

The proposal includes a hike of 2.5 percent at all campuses, known as “tier 1 ” tuition. And four schools are requesting individual, or “tier 2,” increases ranging from an additional 1 percent at Weber State University to 2.5 percent at both Utah State University and Dixie State University.

“);
}



“);
}


If approved, the changes would bring annual undergraduate resident tuition costs to a high of $7,697 at the University of Utah — a $289 increase — and a low of $3,276 at Snow College — an $80 increase.

Commissioner of Higher Education David Buhler praised the work of Utah lawmakers in funding higher education, which allows for a relatively small tuition increase compared to recent years.

“The Board of Regents and institutional presidents continue to work to keep the cost of college among the lowest in the nation,” Buhler said, “so that higher education remains affordable and achievable for all Utahns.”

USU’s 5 percent increase translates to an additional $290 per year, the largest increase in raw dollars among Utah’s public campuses.

Spokesman Tim Vitale said USU has not pursued a tier 2 increase since 2015, but is facing costs for student-led initiatives regarding mental health services and mathematics tutoring, as well as routine updates to faculty salaries, scholarships and software.

“This year we’re just in a position where we had to do something to play catch-up,” Vitale said.

Cathy Anderson, an associate vice president at the University of Utah, said the university’s 1.4 percent tier 2 increase is intended to bolster student support services like academic advising, and to expand online and hybrid course offerings.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure we offer a variety of classes and class choices for students,” Anderson said. “It’s trying to help give them the flexibility that they need to succeed and graduate.”

The University of Utah announced last week the creation of “Block U,” a suite of online general education courses that allow students to complete certain undergraduate degrees fully online.

Several majors were already offered through the school’s UOnline program, including economics, nursing, sustainable tourism and hospitality management. But without a corresponding general education package, online students were not able to complete their degrees without attending some courses in a brick-and-mortor classroom.

Anderson said the university is sensitive to the barrier that tuition cost places in front of prospective students. But she added that while tuition at Utah’s flagship university is the highest in the state, it remains lower than peer institutions around the country.

“We are also the lowest [price] in the Pac-12 and Big 10 when we look at other Research-1 institutions that offer the kind of education we do,” Anderson said.

bwood@sltrib.com

Twitter: @bjaminwood

 







VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

   
Post a Comment


“);
}


“);
}





“);
}



St. Elizabeth nursing, Fort Wayne college partner

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — After cutting ties with St. Joseph’s College earlier this month, the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing has announced its new academic partner.

Pending approval by the appropriate accrediting agencies, the nursing school will team up with the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne starting this summer to continue to offer a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree.

“We’re blessed really to have this partnership because it provides an opportunity for our students to continue in a cooperative nursing program,” said Michelle Gerrety, administrative director of academic services and director of the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing.

Since 2004, St. Joe’s and St. Elizabeth have held a cooperative program that allows nursing students to earn a bachelor’s of science from St. Joe’s and a diploma in nursing from St. Elizabeth. But the relationship was in flux after St. Joe’s announced in early February its intention to suspend operations at the end of this semester.

College officials initially said they planned to keep the nursing program active during the suspension because it operates off its Rensselaer campus. Questions surrounding the indebted college’s ability to reopen and retain its accreditation, however, caused the entities to announce an end to their arrangement after graduation in May.

Seeking a new academic partner, St. Elizabeth reached out to the University of St. Francis, a private Catholic school that has a rich history in Lafayette and, coincidentally, with the nursing school.

The university got its start in Lafayette more than 125 years ago by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, of Mishawaka, who in 1890 opened a school that became known as St. Francis College. The college, in fact, was located in the building that now houses the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing. The college moved to Fort Wayne in 1944 and changed its name to the University of St. Francis in 1998.

“St. Francis College” is even written in stone above the nursing school’s building, said Andrew Prall, vice president for academic affairs at the University of St. Francis.

“For us, it’s quite a connection,” he said.

The new partnership is a natural fit, Prall said, because the university’s expertise is in nursing and health care. Half of its students are pursuing health care-related degrees.

Although the university is in Fort Wayne, students in the St. Elizabeth nursing program won’t need to leave Lafayette for their general education courses. University classes will be offered mainly online, Prall said, and some will be taught by university faculty at the nursing school.

“It makes it really flexible for our students,” Gerrety said.

Contact JC higher education reporter Meghan Holden at mholden@jconline.com. Follow her on Twitter: @MeghanHolden.

CWU Math Professor Awarded Prestigious MAA Prize for Exceptional Teaching

Once again, the Mathematics Department has been recognized for its outstanding faculty. Central Washington University Professor Aaron Montgomery recently received the Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics Award. The honor, given by the Pacific Northwest section of the Mathematical Association of America, is bestowed on “teachers of mathematics who are widely recognized as extraordinarily successful.”

Montgomery, who has been teaching math at CWU for 16 years, stands out as “one of the best with respect to his devotion to teaching and exploring ways to support students,” according to department chair Stuart Boersma (also an MAA award recipient).

Known as a versatile instructor—he teaches everything from 100 level general education math classes to graduate courses—Montgomery also has a knack for creating comprehensive courses that combine everything from mathematical modeling to anthropology. His very popular “Games and Politics” course that he teaches through the William O. Douglas Honors College, draws from philosophy, psychology, and economics as well as political science and game theory. According to Boersma, these courses are usually only taught once or twice—”but Aaron has taught this course eight times for the DHC since the fall of 2010.”

One of Montgomery’s main interests is in the field of quantitative literacy.

“This is really the goal of applied mathematics,” Montgomery explained. “This is the ability to work with the numbers that we encounter on a daily basis — percentages, that kind of thing. And it is applicable both professionally and personally.

“For example, if you are asked to take a 10 percent pay cut, with the promise of a 10 percent pay increase later, is your situation stable or are you losing money?”

Montgomery enjoys creating puzzles to educate students in these and other mathematical principles.

He has also made meaningful contributions to mathematics teaching on a national level, authoring innovative curriculum, and developing assessment tools to better understand students’ reasoning abilities.

Montgomery will receive the MAA award this June at the annual meeting in Spokane. By winning the regional honor, he has been nominated for the national Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award.

This is the third award that CWU’s Math department has received for outstanding teaching. In 2014, Professor Dominic Klyve received the MAA National Distinguished Teaching Award.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu
March 28, 2017

Readers’ Forum

Explore now, GEs later

College is for discovering passions and interests. Students should take at least one major introduction course during their first year to jump-start their career decision.

In a recent survey*, 95 percent of college student respondents agree it is the norm to take a high concentration of general education courses their first year of college. About 62 percent of the respondents took GEs their first year to “get them over with,” 42 percent took them as prerequisites for their major and 30 percent took GEs because they didn’t know what else to take.

Professors in limited-enrollment programs are watching as students waste away their first year taking courses they could take later in their education. About 58 majors at BYU are limited enrollment. If students wait too long to apply for a limited-enrollment program, spending their time and credits on GE courses instead of major introductory courses, they are less likely to get accepted. Limited-enrollment programs are more likely to take students with fewer credits because those students will be in their program longer because they’re further away from graduation.

Students may be saying, “What if I don’t know what I want to do? So I am taking GEs to fill my time.” There are better ways to fill time. If students even have an inkling of interest in a certain major, they should take the introductory course for that major. Students will learn more from that class than they will from a course such as American Heritage, a popular GE to take during the first year.

When students decide their major early on in their education, it allows for a head start in seeking out volunteer and internship opportunities. So, in addition to having a higher chance of acceptance to limited-enrollment programs, early decision making allows for more chances to build up work resumes.

Students may argue that instead of changing the norm to taking more major introductory courses their first year, colleges simply need to make all majors open enrollment. If students are passionate about a certain field of study, they should be able to study it. Why let the university determine what students can and cannot study based on students’ GPAs?

While it may prompt discussions, this process would take many years. For now, encouraging students to take at least one introductory class their first year may be the best solution to helping students figure out a career for themselves.

Major introductory courses show first-year students a wide spectrum of career opportunities, helping them discover their potential. If more students used such courses and completed GE courses later in their college education, students would have a clearer sense of their career path, have a better chance of being admitted to limited-enrollment programs and jump-start their experiences with volunteer positions and internships.

*Survey conducted with more than 200 BYU student respondents, February 2017.

Eliza Smith-Driggs

Salt Lake City, UT

End stereotype of men

Negative qualities of men are overemphasized by a stereotype inaccurately representing men as crude and ignorant. Would you think of your father or brother this way? Probably not. And yet this hurtful lens is considered normal and is passed by without a second thought. People need to be aware that this stereotype exists all around us, and start taking steps to subdue it.

In many television shows, commercials and advertisements, the men featured can barely tie their own shoes, while other people have to fix their mistakes and make up for their unintelligence. Because society tells everyone that men are ignorant and indecent, then we might just start to accept this as “normal” male behavior.

Just because the rough side of men is highlighted in the media does not mean all men participate in vulgar things like “locker room talk.” No one party in particular is to blame for this shameful shift, but everyone can make an effort to stop degrading men. We need to focus more on the moral and polite behavior of men, so they don’t turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we are able to change this damaging image and get closer to how men actually are, it will benefit society and future generations as we aspire to fill the roles that we see promoted around us.

Josh Snyder

Dallas, Texas

Universe Staff