Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I think she got it backwards.

And for the life of me, I don't understand why.

“Most institutions of higher learning are not prepared to serve tomorrow’s college-going population,” said Tessa Martinez Pollack, OLLU’s president. “We possess considerable expertise to share, but we don’t have all the answers.”
I read the whole story and I understand the challenges that Latino/Hispanic students face, but I can't help but think this is a fool's errand. The challenges detailed here are more cultural than anything else, and addressing those challenges is something that Latinos and Hispanics are going to have to do on their own. The schools need to focus their skills on their particular areas of expertise, and that includes getting ALL students -- not just those of any certain race -- better prepared academically to succeed in their pursuits of higher education. Just yesterday I was talking with Sabra about certain education-related matters, and she was telling me a familiar story. San Antonio College has one of the best math programs in the country; if you can get through math classes at SAC, you can get through them anywhere. However, the school has to do what she described as a "shameful" amount of remediation before the students are ready to take those advanced math courses. It strikes me that the colleges would be much better served by putting pressure on lower-level institutions, administrators and educators to do their part to make it easier on the students than to address things that would be better addressed by the people themselves.