WHY ARE SO MANY OF OUR STUDENTS NOT INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN GRADUATION THIS YEAR?
The spring semester at the City Colleges of Chicago has historically been a time of student excitement and anticipation. In the past students had something of great importance to look forward to, the culmination of years of struggle, study and effort; The Spring Commencement Ceremony!
Today students have to be incentivized, almost bribed to participate in what should be a momentous occasion, celebrating the STUDENT, not the egomaniacal dictates of an individual who has no clue about higher education. The high price consulting firm that came up with the “It’s all about U” tagline, the Commonwealth Edison knock off Reinvention logo, and the “new” City Colleges of Chicago logo needs to go back to the drawing board.
FYI- our students are not buying it.
So why is it so difficult to get our students to participate in graduation 2011?
Could it be that the decision to have a District wide ceremony was a unilateral one made by the Chancellor at the total exclusion of the student’s opinion?
Could it be that the consulting firm that is earning over $500,000 to plan this “District Graduation” failed to consult with the students about moving their graduation from their campus?
Could it be that moving the graduation from the campuses has put an undue burden on those families who will now have to travel from the far north and far south sides to participate in the celebration? (Families, who unlike the Chancellor, do not have the benefit of an eight passenger SUV paid for by taxpayer’s money)
Could it be that when given the opportunity to meet with our students and engage them in a thoughtful dialogue the students reported that the Chancellor was “rude”, “obnoxious”, “eye rolling” “nasty”, and yelled at them?
Could it be that the students are disgruntled about the Chancellor’s mass firing of their college Presidents, many who have fostered unique relationships and offered great support in ensuring that our students are successful?
Could it be that our students are more informed and more savvy then our Chancellor and District Office administrators give them credit for being?
Could it be that our students watch the news and read the newspapers and know that the “Reinvention” has not yielded any improvements impacting their matriculation, but rather five million dollars in jobs for the Chancellor’s friends and those who are politically connected?
Could it be that this perceived student apathy surrounding graduation participation is not apathy at all; but instead a silent protest on the part of our students?
Could it be that the Chancellor’s commitment to telling anyone who will listen that CCC has a low graduation rate, and that students often don’t complete the program that brought them to CCC has had the unintended effect of making students feel that a degree from CCC is not worthy of celebrating?
It could be many things. It is certainly regrettable, ridiculous, rotten, and ruinous.