The other side of the ‘transfer credit’ story
I found the May 12 Focus story on higher ed, “A better path to a bachelor’s?,” to be informative and encouraging. There was a brief section, however, in which the denial of transfer credit to community college students coming to four-year universities by those university departments was painted in a negative light – attributed to bureaucracy and arrogance.
When I was a student hoping to transfer my community college credits to a four-year university, I felt the same way. But with the benefit of hindsight, I’m grateful that none of my credits transferred. My community college was a good one, and I performed well there, but it simply did not provide me with the deep understanding that I gained from taking the university version of the same courses – an understanding that was vital to further courses and my career.
My personal student experience may not be representative, but I have now taught for a few years at a major university with many transfer students. Plenty of these students have been well prepared for this school by their previous institution, but a significant number have not. Unfortunately, they often receive transfer credit for preliminary vital courses, but don’t have what they need from that course. So departments that deny transfer credit may be acting out of tough love.
The article mentions that community college advocates say this view is “generally not supported by research.” That may be (my stories are certainly anecdotal), but to blame something on “the department[s]” at four-year universities and not even present their perspective (a perspective without which I could never have succeeded), gives a limited view of the issue. Still, I am grateful for the constructive reporting that has become almost unique to the Monitor.
Loving your enemies: practical wisdom
Sally Kohn’s April 21 & 28 commentary, “What I learned as a liberal talking head on Fox News,” makes crystal clear the practical wisdom on why every individual and nation should make an effort to love their so-called enemies.