We received permission from SAC student Rhonda Jones to repost her story which originally appeared on Trustee Clint Kingsbery’s Facebook page. Thank you for sharing, Rhonda. And readers, please show up at Tuesday night’s Board meeting like your hair is on fire. Students like Rhonda need your support!
My opinion on what is happening, as well as quotes from Sprague in support of these decisions recently published in The Ranger:
San Antonio College has been taking strides to streamline the transfer process, with the goal of making it easier (and with less credit loss) to transfer to a university. However, that goal is accomplished with the 2+2 programs that require public universities to accept associate degrees from certain community colleges (like SAC) to satisfy their core. The students left out of this arrangement are students that transfer to private schools or schools out of state, which are the same students that would be left out of this ‘genius’ idea, which the article is in support of. SAC has decided to remove Majors from diplomas. So, for example, instead of graduating with an Associates of Arts in English, a student would merely graduate with an Associates of Arts for transfer.
For those students who do not want to be restricted by a set degree plan, this option is already available. However, to force it upon all students will have severe consequences. In practice, it will affect acceptance into certain programs and jeopardize scholarship opportunities. For example, I receives scholarships from the English department at St. Mary’s University, based on my success as an English major at SAC. Furthermore, it devalues an associate’s degree (as evidenced below). Personally, my pay increased over 3.00 p/h upon graduating with my A.A. in ENGLISH— that is pretty valuable to me. However, effects like this don’t worry stuffy suits sitting comfortably at the top of the food chain.
And, all of this completely ignores the negative psychological effects. Many students within the SAC community are first generation high school graduates and an even larger population are first time college students. Our inner-city high schools have some of the highest drop-out rates in the nation. We need to promote education and college, rather than deter students from even trying. Deeming them “in the same category as the drop out,” after earning their associate degree, lowers confidence, learning efficacy, and motivation—- tragically stealing away from their amazing accomplishments, and greatly risking the success of their further endeavors.
I take great pride in my A.A. in English. And, I am disgusted by the lack of consideration for student concerns from an institution in place to boost the over-all community it serves.