The community college system offers is one of the greatest bargains in education. Yet for many students, it is a waste of everyone’s time.
The students who are wasting their time in a community college fall into several overlapping categories:
- Those who believe attendance is optional. Many students who miss five classes in a semester think they have good attendance. Sorry, if a student misses ten percent of the course without spending at least an hour learning what he missed each time, he is lucky if his grade drops only by 10%. To do a little math, that means if he was getting a comfortable C at 75%, he now has a D at 65%.
- Students who come unprepared to do the mechanics of a class. Students should have paper, pencils, the textbook, and a calculator. Every day. They also should have their glasses so they can see the board, especially if they drive to school. (Yes, this has happened more than once.)
- Students who are don’t spend their full time or attention on the class. They come late, leave early, disappear for a few minutes, text, talk, or sleep. When told to work, they don’t.
- Students who don’t do the work outside the class. It is common for students to ignore homework, even when it is part of their grade. They don’t memorize what needs to be memorized, such as the quadratic formula. They don’t practice material that they were told will be on a test.
- Students who think that last semesters material should be taught to them again. They believe prerequisites are just boxes to be checked off, and not relevant for future courses.
My recommendation to students who fall into any of these categories is to attend an expensive private school. Then you will waste your time at your own expense rather than the taxpayers. Besides, if you are paying for it, perhaps you will decide it is not such a good idea to extend your college education by several semesters.