Posted at 12:45 p.m., Feb. 15, 2016
COLS 1000 well-intended
Making course mandatory creates frustration among students
Beginning in the fall 2015 semester, Laramie County Community College mandated that all full-time students have to complete a college success course titled COLS 1000. As a traditional student I think the class is a good idea and can be useful for other students like me, although it wasn’t executed well. While some lessons, like learning how to plan and follow a monthly budget were helpful, others — such as learning how to use D2L three weeks into the semester — were a waste of time.
For a class that was meant to help students transition into college, I was definitely within the target demographic, but it still seemed to try and coddle students. I’m not saying that at 18 years old I want to be left on my own to try and figure out college and adulthood by myself, but rather focus on things that will be applicable after college and that I can’t fully learn on my own. Submitting a paper through D2L or emailing an instructor for help are both things I can figure out just fine, but learning how to budget money or file taxes correctly are both skills that I feel I don’t have a firm grasp on and would like some help with.
Cater to needs of each student
Rather than mandating that every new student participate in a 16-week COLS course, perhaps transitioning the class to an online section that surveys students and then teaches from what they don’t already know would be more successful. This would allow for non-traditional students who already possess the skills the class will teach to test out early, and will skip over the section about budgeting for students who already know about it and instead go directly to a lesson about filing taxes.
The idea behind COLS is well-intentioned and would help a lot of students, but by making it a mandatory 16-week only course rather than catering it for each individual’s needs wastes time and creates unnecessary busy work and frustration among students.