This is an experimental podcast/powerpoint presentation for an Intro. to Soc. class. It takes a long time to download–two or three minutes. Please be patient!
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I teach sociological theory through “recipes,” single sentences that students can use to capture the gist of the theory. Here’s a quiz I made to help students remember the recipes:
How do you teach theory in your Intro. class?
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The ASA commissioned a report about articulation between schools, which necessarily includes a focus on 2- and 4-year schools. You can read the whole report here:
One part of the report discussed the articulation perspectives from several positions, pasted here:
Community College Perspective
The pertinent issues here are:
- elitism; they face persistently negative perceptions from four-year schools.
- inequality; their students face differential treatment as transfers.
- neglect; they are ignored in the process of curriculum change.
- rigidity; emphasis on lower/upper division creates frustrating limits.
- raiding; four-year institutions encouraging early student exit by transfer.
- transfer shock; poor transfer reception causes poor student performance.
- access; they must plan to maximize opportunity for college enrollments.
- multiple goals; they teach very diverse students with very diverse plans, from completing a 4 year degree to following a vocational program to taking courses solely for personal interest
Four-Year College Perspective
Many concerns here are counterparts to the issues above:
- quality; transfers are perceived as less well prepared.
- non-uniformity; transfer diversity strains pre-requisites, etc.
- conflicted purpose; vocationalism undermines transferability.
- neglect; they are uninformed about relevant two-year curriculum changes.
- invasion; two-year colleges are offering upper division courses.
- waste; transfers are viewed as high work / low success.
- access; two-year schools are to handle this role for difficult cases.
- heterogeneity; for some 4 year schools, transfers come from many different institutions, incl. 4-year institutions, making it hard to collaborate with colleagues in the “feeder” schools
In recent years, student voices have claimed:
- inflexibility; curricula are excessively structured by institutions.
- red tape; transfer is unnecessarily difficult.
- confusion; transfer policies are unclear or meaningless.
- unfairness; differential transfer treatment is presumptive and unjust.
- duplicity; credit loss, repeating courses, extended time to degree are suspiciously expensive.
- access; all colleges should aim to maximize opportunity.
- tax burden; unwarranted costs for education must be eliminated.
- coordination; system segments must be managed effectively.
- accountability; effectiveness must be demonstrated.
- standards; agreement on high standards is necessary for assessment.
- remediation; deficiencies must be addressed throughout systems.
- access; opportunity should be maximized by cooperation at all levels.
What do you think?
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Here it is, my first-ever blog! I’m interested in creating a space where we community college teachers can talk about our discipline, our students, our joys, and our challenges. I used to be a full-time adjunct at a 4-year university and now I’m full time at a community college. The similarities in the two experiences are striking; the differences are jarring. While we community college teachers are often the gateway into the discipline, we are also at the bottom of the discipline’s hierarchy of professionals. While we are college faculty, we are often subject to the intense bureaucracy of grammar and high schools. While we love to teach, we are often tired after our 5-class load! While we love our discipline (at least, some of us), we are not always connected. Let’s talk!
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