Fightin’ Words: Should students be required to enroll in College Success?

Con

Amber Gilliland, Senior Reporter and Online Team

As of summer quarter, Pierce College is requiring all incoming students to take the introduction to college success class.

Forcing students to take COLLG110 is a waste of their time.

I took college success my first quarter in 2013 because it was suggested to me by a former student. That student had been out of school for about 20 years and said the class really helped him get acclimated.

Being fresh out of high school, the assignments in the class felt pointless. It was the same things I’d been doing the past three years in high school.

The curriculum was mostly focused on time management and writing papers. While these are useful skills to have, I’d already had this information drilled into me by my high school teachers.

We also did scavenger hunts and had to find where certain things were on campus. Yes, it’s important to know where things are on campus, but I’d been shown where all these things were about two weeks before at the new student orientation. I left that class angry because of wasting about $300.

Besides forcing students to pay for a class they may not need, requiring COLLG110 takes away the freedom that students have to explore different types of classes. Those three or five credits can’t be used to take something else they enjoy.

For example, the business degree only has five elective credits. If a business student takes the five-credit elective COLLG110 class, they’ve used up all elective credits.  If students planned to use those credits to take something else, they will either have to take a larger course load, stay an extra quarter or give up taking the class altogether.

If students are unaware of the new requirement or try to skip this class, Pierce will change the students schedule to include COLLG110.

A passing grade of 2.0 or higher is required to pass the course. If this isn’t achieved, the student must retake it the next quarter or an administrative block will be put on their record.

This is a ridiculous rule. To earn a degree, students are required to take a number of other classes. Students aren’t told when they must take these courses, they just have to take them.  Students shouldn’t have an academic block placed on them because of COLLG110 if other required classes aren’t that way.

Exceptions can be made for certain students to not take the class, such as those that have already attended college. Despite these exemptions, there are some students who don’t meet the criteria or simply don’t need this course.

I see the validity in taking the course for some students. I’ve heard mixed things from my peers; some loved the class and others felt that they threw away a few hundred dollars. I feel that the course is an amazing resource for those who truly need it, but it should be up to the student to decide whether it’s necessary or not.

Pro

CJ Robinson, Reporter

For many students starting their first year at Pierce College, the prospect of entering the college world can be intimidating. With the addition of college success courses, many students can feel more at ease with time to plan for the future.

While the idea of a required class to prepare students can bring out strong opinions, it’s important to see why the college decided to make this class necessary.

Multiple studies have found that any kind of college success class is beneficial to students in their studies, and this especially applies to those at community colleges. According to Tulsa Community College, the 1,000 students in college success courses have a 20 percent greater chance of remaining at the college. At Durham Community College, students taking this course retained information 30 percent better than those who didn’t.

Many students fail to take these statistics into account. Although they may not have the greatest time attending this class, it’s in the best interest for themselves and the college.

Many Running Start students may come into their first year not expecting what college is like. Not accustomed to the fast pace and dense material, the class can help prevent stress and promote effective learning.

Planning, another vital portion of both college and life after school, is emphasized for the duration of COLLG 110. A class dedicated to help students plan for their future can be useful in many situations.

A common argument against this class is that by requiring it, Pierce is wasting both the students’ and college’s resources. Time and money often come up in discussions, but the college has tried its best to be flexible. Exemptions come with some conditions including certain transfer students and certificate programs that are 25-credits or less. Also, with three and five-credit options, students wishing to receive a certificate or degree can plan their requirements for their field adequately around the class. This system gives better options for tuition and payment options.

Skills such as study habits, work ethic and time management are essential to excelling in school. COLLG 110 gives students the ability to be confident in themselves and their skills as they move forward in their path through higher education.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Fightin’ Words: Should students be required to enroll in College Success?

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