The Value of College Education

 

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The value of a college education seems to have depleted dramatically over the last few years, leaving many college graduates disgruntled without a job and in debt with no money to offer to their student loans. I, myself, believe I am wasting my money every day I go to class. Let me explain why.

Maybe your college experience was/is different. For me, I find myself sitting in classes wondering what the point of higher education is. Maybe it’s because I’m at a community college rather than a university, but I can sure tell you the quality of  my education has gone down hill.

I graduated from my local community college in 2012 with an Associates of Applied Science in Journalism and Media Writing. When I was taking classes for that degree in 2008-2010, I really saw the value in the education I was receiving for my core classes. Maybe it’s because I really cared about what I was doing. However, that all changed in 2011 when I went back part time to finish my degree’s general education courses.

Teachers were dry, lackluster, and didn’t show interest in helping a student struggling. I had an economics class that I struggled in very much. The problem was, when I approached my teacher with any problem or confusion, he didn’t care to help me. That’s the problem with two of  my teachers this semester (I am now a general studies with a concentration in nursing student). I’m not saying they won’t help you. I’m saying that they make you feel like it’s a burden for them when you don’t understand something the first time around.

Now, before people who are teachers and what not start getting all defensive, not all teachers are this way. I have two teachers this semester who are very wonderful when it comes to helping students with questions. My other two teachers however, are not so helpful. I have an online chemistry class this semester which is difficult enough in itself. I had a question on our first assignment so I emailed my professor. I have yet to get a reply. I sent that email in the beginning of September and it is now the middle of October.

My other teacher seems like a very nice person, but she’s just way too busy to be a teacher. Clearly she has too much on her plate. Every class she is between 10-20 minutes late. Also, every class she spends some unreasonable amount of time on her phone whether it be texting or an actual phone call. For example, last night during our test review, she took a 15  minute phone call after coming to class 20 minutes late and taking an additional 10 minutes to settle in and start class.  Not to mention, she has a really unconventional way of teaching. She uses examples to try to make learning concepts easier, but it usually is just more confusing. And she seems very “I’m just here to supplement my income”, which is why I think she has such a poor teaching style. Did I mention she’s very young, as well?

All of this makes me wonder why I took out a loan for school and why I have developed a bad attitude towards my classes. Why am I paying for this?  What kills me is that I want to learn. I could see if I was just filling a seat, but I truly love learning and want to learn. The problem is that I don’t feel I’m given the opportunity to in some classes. I feel like I’m only responsible for getting a grade rather than learning the information presented. Perhaps, that’s just my school, although, I didn’t have this type of problem in my journalism classes.

I think that the teachers see me as one of those kids who doesn’t about education. They have me all wrong. When they show me they don’t care, that’s when I see red and decide not caring is better for me. Caring when they don’t results in me being even more frustrated and unhappy. So what do I do? Just pretend I understand concepts and try to skate through the tests the best I can.

In my opinion, that’s very sad. I’m a student who wants to learn. Instead, I’m left disgusted by this and disappointed my decision to re-enroll at my local community college. For next semester, I’m looking into transferring to a state university to finish my degree in journalism rather than continue what I’m doing at the community college. Maybe I’ll have a different experience with a new school.

In retrospect, I see that I am very upset about the price I pay vs the actual education I’m receiving. Have any of you felt like this or similar? Or maybe you have had the complete opposite experience I have had. Either way, I’d love to hear your story and your perspective on this topic!

 

Photo by Angel Walck

 

 

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