Posted at 12:45 p.m. Feb. 15, 2016

College success course condescending, redundant

Higher education should be about challenging students

This is my second semester at Laramie County Community College after a very long hiatus. I am the very definition of a non-traditional student. Upon registering for last semester’s classes I found out that I had to take a class called COLS 1000, or College Success. When I asked what this class was for, my advisor told me it was a new requirement for new students. Even though it was technically my second semester, I was required to take the class.

After the first class period I quickly realized I was dealing with something closer to a high school-level course than a college course.

The bulk of the course is designed around preparing young men and women for life outside the high school classroom. Financial planning, organization and basic use of college resources are highly emphasized. The organization and resources sections can be helpful to any student of any age, but the financial planning section is essentially a class on how to be an adult. For someone like me, the epitome of a non-traditional student, it was extremely redundant at times and also felt very condescending. As a 32-year-old man, I do not need to be told how to budget money, how to meet deadlines or how to use an academic database.

Shorten course length

Although I make it sound like doom and gloom it was not entirely unhelpful. The sections on how to use EaglesEye and D2L were very useful for me and my instructor, Teresa Authier, was excellent and very tolerant of my unending criticism. Perhaps it could be shortened to an eight-week course or have a test-out option for non-traditional students.

While COLS 1000 has valid uses for young students that are not very experienced in the real world, it is redundant and condescending to anyone over the age of 25. It is an extremely easy class for anyone that already has an understanding of basic life skills and can essentially be passed with minimal effort. That is not what higher education should be about. Higher education should be about challenging students and learning through baptism by fire. Instead of this being a requirement for non-traditional students it should have a more focused version, be a shortened class or have a test-out option. Those three hours per week could be spent in classes pertaining to a student’s major.

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