Pharos-Tribune

Columns

August 25, 2013

ANKER: The burden of impossible expectations

I recently read economist Morton Marcus’ piece in this paper, “Ivy Tech: Our Hope, Our Failure.” I was interested in his perspective enough to provide some comments as a local business owner who understands the important role higher education plays in the success of companies here in Indiana.

Marcus’ piece was a response to recent criticism lobbed at Ivy Tech by those who measure the College’s success based on graduation rates alone. While I and my peers agree that graduation rates can and must improve, we also continue to be frustrated by such a limiting definition of student success.

That’s why I was so heartened by Marcus’ piece, in which he accurately accounted for some of the primary considerations often ignored by some. These errors of omission become even more troublesome when they lead to Ivy Tech having placed upon it, in Marcus’ words, “the burden of impossible expectations” Three of his points are especially prescient:

Those who enroll at Ivy Tech often need time and support to ready themselves to do college-level work. As an open-access college, Ivy Tech must accommodate all students who satisfy minimal criteria upon entry, regardless of their preparedness for postsecondary education. This is a part of its mission that it embraces willfully and eagerly, but it often works against the College when students are given an artificial deadline that’s not aligned with their needs. Currently, nearly 70 percent of their students need remediation in one of more areas, which slows their progress toward graduation.

Unfortunately, this is the rule, not the exception. As Marcus accurately notes, “Some high school students are ready by their senior year to take college credit courses. But these are the few, the academic elite.”

A college education is often as much about the journey as the destination. Just as Ivy Tech embraces its role as an open-access college, it also welcomes the opportunity to be known as a catalyst for developing Indiana’s workforce. However, Ivy Tech also accepts that for some students, a college education provides only an indirect path toward a career. As Marcus aptly notes, “The mission of education, in the minds of state government officials, has changed from imparting the wisdom of civilization to preparing youth for that first pay check. A college student without a confirmed career orientation is considered a waste.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • WILLIAMS: America still the dream Is America really in as bad as shape like many people say it is? I’m 67 and when I look around, I don’t see it.Everything isn’t great but believe it or not, there has never been a time when everything was great, not even in those innocent Fifties we

    July 31, 2014

  • WERNER: The mystery of the Indian grave at Dykeman Last summer I contacted Thelma Conrad, executive director of the Cass County Historical Society, to ask her if she had any information on the Indian grave at Dykeman Park. Thelma had heard of it but had never seen the small marker that tells of the I

    July 31, 2014

  • RAMPBELL: Keeping the sick at home Something strange happened here this week: Lots of workers who’ve never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that’s a good thing.The Big Apple, you see, is joining a handful of other trailblazing cities such as Washington, San Francisco

    July 30, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Patacsil was no ordinary Joe Somebody forgot to tell Joe Patacsil that if he wanted to wrestle at a Big Ten university with black and gold as its school colors ... well, most people who know anything about college wrestling today might have said he picked the wrong one -- Purdue

    July 30, 2014

  • MARCUS: The higher education funding mess Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 29, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The state of the reunion “Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 29, 2014

  • COATS: What to do next with Putin, Ukraine The tragic death of 298 people on board Malaysian Airlines flight 17 in a wheat field in eastern Ukraine marks a moment when words of disapproval and expressions of grief are not enough. This is a moment when action must follow the outrage and rhetor

    July 28, 2014

  • LYONS: The most powerful men in the world? Search the phrase “the most powerful man in the world” and what comes up are photos of grotesquely over-developed weightlifters; also Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. Awfully ironic under present circumstances. It’s a cant term TV news anchors use to

    July 28, 2014

  • CEPEDA: What are students to eat now Remember last year’s hysteria over school lunches? Administrators, cafeteria workers, students and parents across the country freaked out when — gasp! — school lunches were made healthier.News reports throughout the 2012-13 school year — when lunch s

    July 27, 2014

  • HOWEY: Rising up to meet Putin’s thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 27, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the U.S. impose a travel ban on three West African nations in response to a growing Ebola virus outbreak?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.