Monday, September 7, 2009
The writer who states there are no first generation college students obviously has never taught at a community college, or a small rural regional state college. You can't imagine how many students I encounter who have not only have no idea what a PhD stands for, but they don't understand the process. They often remark to me that they are asking these questions because their parents don't know how it works.
Your writer has lived in his ivory tower too long. The writer has forgotten that college graduates are still in the elite.
The writer needs to do some volunteer work in the inner city, where many students think college is for everyone, but them. He needs to meet students who refuse to goto college because it would mean they will leave the security of their world, and their friends, who will make fun of them for daring to improve their lives. He needs to meet students who struggle because they haven't been exposed to the culture which teaches them how to do independent work, or how to organize time. People learn from imitation. He needs to meet students who come from families where the parents didn't graduate from elementary school. Or immigrants whose system of higher education radically differs from the one in the states.
We work in a highly specialized profession. And no, not everyone knows how it works.