Reject Student's Feelings of Entitlement
By John Scolaro
In fact, a much higher percentage of incoming students now, than when my career at the college began 23 years ago, are mandated into remedial courses without the benefit of college credit.
What I have described is driven by what I call the mentality of entitlement. Students today want something for nothing. This mentality is reflected in Professor Roberta Borkat's timeless Newsweek article, "A Liberating Curriculum," in 1993. In this article, she referenced her plan to increase student happiness.
She wrote that at the end of the second week of the semester, she would announce that all students enrolled in each course would receive a final grade of A. Here are the obvious benefits of her plan: high grade-point averages would be assured; students would be required to read and write next to nothing; students' complaints about their bad grades would radically decline; their professors would have a lot more free time to devote to their own diverse interests instead of reading countless exams and papers; and college graduation rates would soar.
According to Borkat, she should have faced these facts about the true purpose of education a lot earlier instead of wasting her years of teaching on trivia.
Like Borkat, my own plan to increase student happiness will continue to maintain high standards. I will continue to fend off the statements students send my way, such as:
"I wrote something down. So, don't I get any credit?"
"Are there any extra-credit options so that I might be able to earn a higher grade?"
"Why are rewrites not permitted?"
"Why do you penalize us for our poor writing skills?"
The mentality of entitlement must be rejected on all counts. Students will succeed only when high standards are maintained.