The term "ivory tower" may be the best description for today's higher education, as implied by an article called "In the Basement of the Ivory Tower." As how Merriam-Webster points it out, the term would mean "an impractical, often escapist attitude marked by aloof lack of concern with or interest in practical matters or urgent problems."…
The struggle between quantity and quality is not new to community colleges. Professor X points out different problems concerning education in community colleges and the admissibility of the students for college education. In his experience as an English teacher, he realized that “[their] presence together (Professor X and his students) in these evening classes is evidence that we [they] have screwed up” (2). This could be seen as a desperate remark of a teacher who thinks that he can do nothing to help the students because they lack all basic knowledge; however, this is the truth. On the other hand, it is also given that students pursuing higher education in community colleges have different purposes of participating and basically have lifestyles most adults have (e.g. attend to children’s needs, consider career growth). Because of this, the average performance of community college students may not be comparable to those who are studying in universities. Most of them are returnees of school after many years of being plain workers. With the ambition of attaining degrees, students of higher education take courses “not because they want to but because they must,” just as in the case of Professor X’s class. The diversity of learning needs and generation gap of students made things difficult for Professor X. As a teacher of English, it is a headache for him to learn that most of his students in college could not even write coherent sentences like any high school student. Indeed, it is a great challenge for him to teach. His encounter with Ms. L highlighted the main points of the article. Ms. L represented the people who wants to go to a community college primarily for career growth. She could be one of those 36% of community college students who are able to get an associate or bachelor’s degree (Marklein), or maybe not. In Professor X’s experience, the problem roots from the pre-requisite subjects that students “must” take for them to complete a degree and the management of community colleges as a whole. It is said the community colleges are having “an identity crisis” (Evelyn, qtd. in Inoue and Bell 128). The management and the admission process are leniently addressed in community colleges. Inoue and Bell contend that community colleges are “trying to be all things to all people all the time” (129) which does not sound favorable for mastery of learning. Many of the students are not well-informed about how to use the computer and internet, which are necessary tools for college paper making. Nevada’s state community colleges, however, are beginning to notice this problem by developing quality rather than quantity of their students (Richmond). This can be done by adding the budget for education. This can be feasible, however, it should be noted also that the students of those schools primarily want a brush-up for certain subjects which they failed to take to complete their degree or full time workers in the morning and students in the evening. With these kinds of students, increasing the budget would not be enough; same goes with ...
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