As Morehouse and Spelman graduate, consider fate and funding of HBCUs

Carolyn Ash, Ed.D. is Managing Director of Ash Consulting Group, which helps guide the efforts of schools and other organizations committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Darrick Hamilton, Ph.D. is in the Milano School for International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy and the Department of Economics at The New School, and president-elect of the National Economic Association. Alan A. Aja, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor and Deputy Chair in the Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College (CUNY).  William Darity, Jr., Ph.D. is in the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Departments of African and African American Studies and Economics at Duke University.

In this essay, the four explore the status of Historically Black Colleges and Universities:

By Carolyn Ash,  Darrick Hamilton, Alan A. Aja and William Darity, Jr.

Today, hundreds of students completed their undergraduate studies and became Morehouse Men and Spelman Women. It was only two years ago, during the same occasion, President Barack Obama delivered the Morehouse College commencement address. But by August of that year, Morehouse was in a state of serious financial crisis.

morehouse

Morehouse College graduated nearly 400 students today. (Morehouse College Photo)

John S. Wilson, then the newly elected Morehouse president and former executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, announced a $2.5 million cut from the school’s operating budget and the elimination or downgrading of 75 administrative positions.

Many public HBCUs were founded under the insidious Jim Crow system intended to enable historically white institutions to avoid desegregation. HBCUs have continued to disproportionately serve many low-income and first-generation college students well into the post-civil rights era. The schools have been a vital source of black professionals, including physicians and scholars.

While most state colleges can experience ebbs and flows of financial challenges tied to federal funding cuts in higher education, HBCUs have been particularly vulnerable in the era of austerity politics. Their situation has become grim over the last five years.

After the U.S. Department of Education made changes in 2011 to the length of time Pell Grants can be used by college students, followed by more stringent parameters attached to the Parent Plus Loan program in 2012, the damage to HBCUs had already been done. Not only were enrollment figures adversely affected, with some students forced to drop out mid-semester, but the changes may end up costing HBCUs’ limited school endowments hundreds of millions of dollars.

As punitive reforms continue to permeate U.S. education policy, the general attitude seems to be if HBCUs cannot support themselves independently, they should just be eliminated entirely. If they are to survive, the underlying sentiment is to rely on alumni giving to avoid financial disaster.

But a look at the top 10 HBCU versus endowments at historically white colleges reveals staggering differences. The top 10 HBCU endowments range from $38 million to $586 million, while the top 10 historically white college endowments range from $6 billion to $32 billion. The endowment gap between historically white colleges and universities and HBCUs has doubled in the last 20 years.

The overwhelmingly black alumni base does not have the wealth capacity to “save” HBCUs. The typical black family holds about $7,113 in net worth, more than $100,000 less than the typical white family and a mere 6 cents for every dollar of wealth held by the average white family.

In his aptly titled book, “When Affirmative Action Was White,” historian Ira Katznelson documents the great political compromise that led to the wide-scale, intentional exclusion of blacks from New Deal Post-Depression and World War II public policies that were largely responsible for the asset development of the white American middle class.

The compromise to persuade white Southern Democratic legislators to vote for transformative New Deal policies while maintaining a system of apartheid and white privilege included the exclusion of overwhelmingly black-dominated agricultural and domestic occupations from eligibility, the placement of benefit administration in the hands of local authorities hostile toward blacks, and the refusal of Congress to include anti-discrimination clauses in the administration of benefits.

As long as the dramatic racial wealth gap persists, enhanced black alumni-giving will not solve the HBCU financial crisis. Rather than empty rhetorical devices that burden low-resourced blacks to give more than they actually have, what is needed is a reversal of financial austerity policies that divert resources away from HBCUs, including punitive No Child Left Behind-like reform and more rigid eligibility standards in Pell Grants and Parent Plus Loans.

Indeed, full restoration of the Pell Grants alone would have a far greater positive impact on the health of HBCUs than placing a still harsher strain on their alumni’s limited resources.

 

Reader Comments 0

78 comments
newsphile
newsphile

It's been more than fifty years since we started working to integrate our country. It's painfully evident that select funding has not been the answer.  And here we are still fighting to keep some of our segregated colleges.  Until we merge the "black college" and the "white college" we are not going to move forward. Combining the two schools enables students of both colors to get to know each other better through shared classes and results in opportunities and progress.  If two neighbor colleges offer the same degrees, there has to be a solution that works in the best interests of the students.   

I find it hypocritical when some of the people who are pushing hardest for total integration are actually fighting to keep their one-race schools and other one-race perks. I've come to realize that some of the "educational leaders" don't want to give up their turf, and politicians are fearful of losing votes if the two schools are combined. The question becomes:  do we really want peace among our races?  If we truly want to move forward as one, merging these single race colleges is a good step to take. 

anothercomment
anothercomment

I was open to hiring graduates of HBCU's at one time. However , I have only had one success story and she attended St. Plus for High school, and would openly tell me that her HBCU experience was the biggest mistake of her life. The other HBCU graduates we had were epic fails. It was as though they taught how to avoid work 101, how to hide 101, make white coworkers do your work. Plus how to run to the EEO office if things don't go your way. I will never take a chance on an HBCU graduate again after making a huge mistake myself and witnessing my peer managers getting stuck with two other career sabatogers. Hiring one of these, bad hires can up end a managers career path as well.

Why do we even need HBCU's ? We don't need them! If you can't get in the regular open access Universities or Ga Perimeter and move up, you have big problems.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

This issue of the survival of today's HBCUs is complex. The private ones have their own concerns, and the best that I noted below are all private. Yes, HBCUs are needed as places where black students may strengthen their own racial identity, learn about the long history of their race, and receive special encouragement. The ones that do not offer a solid education (and there are such) will perish in educational Darwinism. The question is what should be done for the public ones, 51 as I noted below.


I should note here that I have a certain amount of experience with them, though I've never taught in one. Many of my black colleagues have taught in them or have gotten their Ph.D.s from them, and have told me their experiences. I've had many graduate students with B.A.s or M.A.s from them...and many are distinctly under-prepared for graduate school.


There are certainly inferior public HBCUs, although as the poster Audrey Battiste (herself a Spelman graduate) notes below, the same is certainly true for Historically White Colleges and Universities. Should the HBCUs who attract students with low SATs and GPAs, and have low graduation rates and very low student enrollments, continue as state schools? I have mixed thoughts.

One could argue there is a need for such student refuges given the country's past history of social inequality, reflected in K-12 education. (I think here of the APS problems in remediating the students of the Beverly Hall years.) But this could also be the "soft bigotry of low expectations" so often cited. I know that many such HBCU students will have a hard time once graduated...plus a load of student debt, most likely.

 It is a serious thing to close or merge an HBCU, for all have a long proud tradition of educating black students who very often would not have been given a chance by a HWBU. But it needs to be considered, to preserve the best of those left.

bu2
bu2

@OriginalProf 

Again, speaking only of the public HBCUs-Inferior K-12 education is best remediated through integrated 2 year community colleges.  They deal with that population regardless of skin color.


Because HBCUs served an important purpose 50 years ago, doesn't mean they should continue.  Stage coaches served an important purpose at one point in time.  There are schools that serve the same type of academic population that these students can go to.  As I said below, some do still have a purpose.  Florida A&M serves a different type of student than Florida St.  There is, so far as I know, only 1 4 year school- Jackson St.-in Jackson, MS.  Tennessee St. has merged with another local school.  But Albany St. & Darton and Armstrong Atlantic and Savannah St. don't serve that dramatically different a student population.  North Carolina doesn't need 5 state HBCUs.  Southern-New Orleans doesn't serve that much different a population than the University of New Orleans next door, except that Southern-NO hardly graduates any of theirs (four percent!).


OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@bu2 @OriginalProf 

 As you may know, there has been talk of the USG Chancellor merging Georgia's public HBCUs with non-HBCUs nearby, most notably Savannah State (HBCU) with Armstrong State.  If he tries this, I think he will have a huge fight on his hands. It's one thing to merge schools with different academic identities, such as MCG with Augusta State or Georgia State with GPC. But it's something else to try to merge schools with such different racial identities.


Armstrong State is a good liberal arts school near Savannah. But Savannah State is the oldest HBCU in Georgia, founded in 1890 and surviving proudly ever since. I just can't see the two combined for purely practical reasons. And I don't think that Georgia's black politicians will see that either.

popacorn
popacorn

@OriginalProf Careful with the Darwin references. It should be apparent that the laws of nature don't apply to some. 

bu2
bu2

@OriginalProf @bu2 

I haven't heard any talk of that.  Those were more logical than any of the ones already implemented.  And yes there would be a fight from the black politicians which is probably why it hasn't been proposed yet..  Savannah St. a few years back was barely surviving.


It would be more efficient and would be good for the city of Savannah.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

The tentacles of slavery did not end with Jim Crow.  The tentacles of Jim Crow still pollute the minds of many today.  Until the U. S. is free of racist thinking altogether, black students will need the option of black colleges for the nurturing which they provide in fulfilling these black students' innate abilities. Many black students will choose diverse colleges and universities, but those who do not should continue to have the option of black colleges and universities for the reasons I have given.


(Btw, prison peonage in the early 20th century was the result of the mindset of slavery carried over from the 19th century, still for a profit motive. Even today, prison reform needs addressing for the same reasons of the abuse of those without power by those with power, which has been prevalent since America's beginnings, especially regarding racial injustices.)

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2 


Glad you brought that point up.  I take another position.  I think that that is the least that taxpayers should do to help offset the injustices of slavery and Jim Crow in America.  Those were inhumane societal conditions created by Americans.  As this country evolves closer to its ideals of true egalitarianism and freedom for all, the Americans of today should help support these black colleges and universities with public taxes until they are no longer needed.  We are all products of the sins of our collective fathers, and if we do not recognize that we will remain petty in mind, and wanting in spirit. I do not want Americans of our future to be of that limited caliber of mind and spirit.  I want them to fulfill the vision of our brilliant Founding Fathers for all Americans.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

@MaryElizabethSings  Feel free to air your white guilt, but don't presume to speak for me.

If you are really interested in reparations, then I think you owe reparations to the taxpayers of DeKalb County. You told us you taught in DCSS from 1971 to 2000. You came in when DCSS was the best school system in the state and you left after you and your fellow educators had driven it near the bottom where it now resides. You were part of the problem and I cannot conceive of you now being part of any solution.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2


I don't believe in "wallowing" in the past either, but I do believe in enlightened, conscious thought, which will lead to enlightened conscious action of a richer, more substantive, nature. 


 As Southern writer and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, William Faulkner, wrote in his novel,"Requiem for a Nun," "The past is never dead, in fact, it's not even past."


I believe that those who are not aware of that reality are spiritually blind.

bu2
bu2

@MaryElizabethSings @bu2 

Faulkner's idea is an albatross that hangs around the neck of many in the Deep South.  Its one that is best to get rid of.


We live in a very different world than the one he lived in.  We're in a world economy with people from all over the world living in our constantly mobile cities.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2


Faulkner's consciousness of the human spirit was timeless and placeless, like that of all great artists.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2 


The ending of William Faulkner's Nobel Prize for Literature Acceptance Speech:


"Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.


He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed – love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.


Until he relearns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man. I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking.


refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail."

popacorn
popacorn

@MaryElizabethSings

A whole new world has passed you by. Accept it, stop living in the past, and stop hiding behind words. They are just words. May you someday reach a state resembling enlightenment. 

bu2
bu2

@MaryElizabethSings 

That's fine as long as they are private like Spellman and Morehouse.  But the taxpayers shouldn't fund public ones.

bu2
bu2

@MaryElizabethSings @bu2 

I'm sorry, but I don't feel guilt for my African ancestors who left Africa 60,000 years ago and led to the extinction of the Neanderthals and Denisovans.  I don't feel guilty for the Anglo-Saxon side of my family that drove the British out of Britain.  And I don't feel guilty for what the European side of my family did to the American Indians (of whom I also have ancestors).  I don't believe in the sins of the fathers.  I believe in living in the present not wallowing in the past.  Don't treat people differently solely because of the color of their skin.  Don't promote segregation by publically funding it.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

Spelman's endowment was almost $524 million two years ago and is probably much greater today. According to one article, 37.3% of graduates give to Spelman - the second highest of the HBCUs. By contrast, Morehouse is 29.3%, Fort Valley is 17.2%, and Albany State was 2.6%. In another article, Spelman is #2 nationally in size of endowment for HBCUs and Morehouse isn't in the top 10, so its endowment was less than 10% of Spelman's.

The Spelman grads give and have given generously for decades, while many of the other HBCUs don't. Spelman also runs a tight financial operation.There's the difference.

PJ25
PJ25

We have to figure out how to get the blacks to graduate HS first before we can talk about making black colleges viable.  

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@Outer Marker 

Hate to be the one to break the news to you but we have to figure out how to get our young teens how to graduate before we can talk about making ANY colleges viable.  Graduation rates for high school seniors is not just a "black thing".  We are lacking in STEM technology so far behind other countries that it is a shame.  Come with some real solutions about graduation rates across the board and not just about "blacks".  It is time for us to put up some real solutions to how we make sure our teens are prepared for college and on par with the world when it comes to education.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

No mention of the corruption at Morris Brown that cost the HBCU dearly????

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@MiltonMan No mention of the corruption in the sports department that nearly cost UGA serious scholarship reductions in football and men's basketball? (Remember Jan Kemp and the basketball coach--I think his name was Harrick?)

bu2
bu2

@Wascatlady @MiltonMan 

Loss of ability to give scholarships vs. bankruptcy?  Are you really making that comparison?


For whatever reason, there have been a disproportionate number of big scandals at HBCUs.  Texas Southern, for one.  Is the government afraid to do proper oversight because they are HBCUs?  Or are they just ignoring them and unscrupulous leaders loot them?  Savannah St. nearly bankrupted themselves a few years back with their athletic endeavors.

all_i_am_saying_is
all_i_am_saying_is

All colleges have to increasingly justify their existence and HBCUs are no different.


The alumni giving rate is on average less than 25% for all colleges.  


Any college that is poorly run and/or mismanages the administration of government subsidized loans their students may qualify to receive and use to pay their tuition and/or cannot provide data on how well their graduates are doing financially (are they employed or in grad school at graduation or within 90 days after?) is going to have a tough time getting parents to pay for their kids to enroll.


Any school that cannot maintain accreditation doesn't deserve to remain in operation.


OriginalProf
OriginalProf

This has been a continuing problem in higher education. A few observations.


HBCUs were not simply created as a reaction to Jim Crow. Most go back to the days of slavery when black people were not allowed to attend any schools of higher education at all, and are very proud of that heritage. That is a major reason why they fight tenaciously to continue now. They really are a part of black history in this country. (All accept non-black students, btw.)

See http://www.nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id+667 for more details.


There are 100 total, and 51 are public and 49 are private non-profit schools.  The best are quite good--Howard U., the two Atlanta ones noted here, Hampton Institute...I don't mean to anger alum of those I've omitted! But others are weak, some public and some private. I think that some of these should merge to save money, as Georgia's own USG has been doing with its schools. The alternative is that they will just individually have to close their doors.


I have known many colleagues who graduated from and/or taught at HBCUs. I do believe that they have a great value in this society where so many black children are poor and under-taught in  K-12 education. HBCUs have always had as their mission the nurturing as well as the education of their black students. This still is greatly needed. 




Astropig
Astropig

@bu2 @OriginalProf


"My experience with HBCU public graduates has been some really great people, but more that make you wonder how they ever got out of college. "


Unfortunately, that has been an experience that has touched me,also. In my broadcasting days (I knew Guglielmo  Marconi personally), I had the task of teaching interns from Alabama A&M how to do radio news. Kinda tough when they couldn't handle basic English,much less conceptualize that radio is written for the ear(you can't back up and re-read what you didn't understand) and brevity is the coin of the realm with tight program schedules. They all wanted to write for the New York Times and read it over the air. Not on my air,you don't.


I had students that didn't have any of the basics just show up and want to be put right on the air the first day because they had taken a few journalism classes and their profs told them that they were ready. They were no where near ready and we were not some hippie commune (unlike public radio,we had to get ratings and sell advertising), so they copped an attitude when I wouldn't turn 'em loose until they were good enough. I lost a few that way,amidst hard feelings and misunderstood motives (the profit motive). I also coached them that they didn't need to sound "black" (or southern,or Bronx refugee) on the air,to be as "region neutral" as possible.That offended some of them,but too bad,kiddo- this is the real deal-my way or the highway.The students that we worked with from Uof A and Aubarn (misspelling intentional) were pretty (but not universally) good.They were much more willing to be taught.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Astropig 


Thanks for sharing your history so honesty.  Now, who you have shown yourself to be on this blog is easily recognizable to me.  In my youth, in south Georgia, we used to refer to your kind as low class bullies. Ah, I remember that type of white Southerner very well.

GB101
GB101

@OriginalProf @bu2 You call it "self-segregation" when someone goes to a school of his choice.  Interesting perspective.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@Audrey Battiste @bu2 @OriginalProf Are there public HBCUs in danger of closing due to finances?  The only ones I am aware of that are struggling are private.


Spelman has, I believe, a very good endowment when considered among women's colleges.


The problem for all private colleges (except the Harvards, Colombias, etc) is the need for large endowments, and the stiff competition for top students (and faculty!).  The top black (or female) students frequently choose the top-tier state universities.

bu2
bu2

@OriginalProf 

I don't see any need for public HBCUs.  We shouldn't use our tax dollars for segregated institutions.   Most of them should be merged or shut down.  There are some that serve a purpose, like Florida A&M and Southern, where they serve a different type of student than neighboring Florida State and LSU.  But there's no justification for Darton and Albany St. or Savannah St. and Armstrong St. in the same town.  Or UNO and Southern-New Orleans or a host of others.  Tennessee St. merged with UT-Nashville.  Kentucky St. has significantly integrated.  But those two seem to be the exceptions.


My experience with HBCU public graduates has been some really great people, but more that make you wonder how they ever got out of college.  That doesn't speak well for them and the quality of education.  The article below about the Tuscaloosa school explains why so many of the HBCUs have horrible graduation rates.  They aren't doing a service to anyone if they don't get degrees.

Astropig
Astropig

@Wascatlady @Audrey Battiste @bu2 @OriginalProf


One problem with the endowments at every private school is the long term zero-rate-interest-policy being pursued by our Federal Reserve. A "safe" return will not keep up with inflation and the general rise in college costs.That means that colleges can either: 1) Take greater risks in their investments (uh-oh) or 2) Beg alumni for more money 3) Hit the Powerball Jackpot a couple of times. 


Low investment returns will do great damage long term to colleges (HBCU or otherwise) that don't have big endowments.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@bu2 @OriginalProf 

If HBCUs are "segregated," then it's a self-segregation by white applicants, for the schools accept white students.Both Spelman and Morehouse have had several white students recently, including a white valedictorian at Morehouse.


You mention here several public HBCUs, including some in Georgia. From what I have heard, Chancellor Huckabee has been talking of possible mergers of them with non-HBCUs nearby.

Audrey Battiste
Audrey Battiste

a@bu2 @OriginalProf Obviously your exposure to HBCUs is very limited.  What you say about HBCUs could also apply to HWCUs.  Public HBCUs have been consistently short-changed by their state governments.  Those that were established as land-grant colleges, where the states were to contribute dollar for dollar what the federal government  contributed, have been extremely short-changed because their states did not live up to their agreement.  HBCUs are diverse, both with students and faculty and have been as long as the state laws did not prevent it.  Most students who graduate are able to compete on any level.  Yes, there is some failure, but there is even more failure in HWCUs.  As long as the playing fields are uneven there will be a need for HBCUs.  Public HBCUs are able to do a lot with a little because they have never had a lot.  They have used it wisely and turned out good students as a result.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@GB101 @OriginalProf @bu2 

"Segregation" implies a deliberate policy of exclusion by the school. If an applicant chooses not to go to the school, that's not the school's fault nor due to any policy of exclusion. I was being somewhat ironic.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Wascatlady @Audrey Battiste @bu2 @OriginalProf 

I think that some public HBCUs are struggling, but it's because of declining student enrollments and thus, indirectly, their finances are affected. For state fund allocations depend upon student enrollments and/or graduation rates.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

Correction: Most HBCUs date back to Reconstruction days.

Astropig
Astropig

@GB101 @MaryElizabethSings @Astropig



GB101-

I guess that I could have lied to them and treated them like little children and told them that they were wonderful, but I don't think that they would have helped them. I guess that "honesty" is situational with MES.


I still get the occasional Christmas card from a couple of proteges that appreciated my "bullying" and made a calling a vocation.

atln8tiv
atln8tiv

@Astropig @bu2 @OriginalProf I have to share this story relayed to me by a friend who briefly taught in a broadcasting school. Many of her students were black and she emphasized that they pronounce 'ask' correctly, instead of the 'aks' many of them were used to. She trained them so well, that one day one of the school's administrators came in to 'aks' her a question and her students quickly corrected the administrator with the proper pronunciation of 'ask.' Her administrator was not amused, but the kids were learning!

hssped
hssped

An article I read years ago by Bill Maxwell on this topic is very much applicable today.    http://www.sptimes.com/2007/05/13/Opinion/I_had_a_dream.shtml


There are three parts to the story and they are all worth reading.   It left me with mixed emotions.  I am totally for saving "the one or two," but there's got to be a better way.  


On another note, years ago, I worked with a woman who graduated from a HBCU and she did not know how to perform operations with fractions.  She was a middle school teacher and she'd been embarrassed by another teacher (I don't know if it was intentional or not) and she wanted to sue.  My question...how do you get into college if you can't work fractions and if one somehow slips in through the cracks...how does one graduate?  With a middle school teaching degree????  

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@hssped I have seen this same thing, with white graduates of predominately white colleges and universities.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Wascatlady @hssped 

Yes...when I read the article at the link given, I recognized many of the problems I had over the years with unprepared white students. Discipline problems, lack of preparation, attitude problems...many acted in my freshman University classroom as if it were their high-school classroom.  You just have to whip them into shape (not literally) at the very beginning of the class, with daily reading quizzes, a strict attendance policy, and so on.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@OriginalProf @Wascatlady @hssped IF your institution will back you on it.  And yes, I know professors have much more control over expectations in their classrooms than do K-12 teachers.

hssped
hssped

@Wascatlady @hssped

Oh..that's too bad (for any school of any color).  When I went to college it was not that way.  I guess times have changed. 

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@hssped @Wascatlady My daughter taught freshman and sophomore level science classes at Georgia State and she was appalled at the student behavior--students not paying attention, talking, big guys trying to stand over her and intimidate her (she is 5'4")  Said it was much, much worse than high school--at least her high school.


I had to laugh when she said, "I don't think my students appreciate my efforts to make the class interesting and useful."


I recall once continuing a conversation after class had started.  The professor looked at me, and said, "Daughter, you can continue your conversation out in the hall."  I felt so bad I cried when I apologized to him after class.

hssped
hssped

@Wascatlady @hssped


Wow.  That is awful about GSU.  I went there for a year in the late 80s (before moving to the midwest).  It was not like that at all.   How does your daughter cope? 


I kind of wanted to teach at a college when I retire from public school teaching.  I thought it would be different teaching people that are paying to go...rather than being forced to go...now I am not so sure. 


I know you felt bad for talking in class!!  I would have reacted the exact same way! 

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Wascatlady @hssped 

I have to comment, for your poor daughter had several problems that I think she would have encountered anywhere, not just at Ga. State.  It goes with the territory of being female, young, and teaching in college.

First, she was teaching freshmen/sophomore "gateway" classes that in the sciences are quite large (sometimes up to 100). Gateway courses by definition have a lot of students who will be weeded out. And freshmen especially just don't know college-appropriate behavior. Sometimes they have to be told, as I learned to do.


Second, she was a young, shortish female in a male-dominated field (college teaching). That stuff always happens. When I started in a different state, I was a young(ish, at 31), tall (5'8") female in a male-dominated field, and I got the same treatment. She just has to tough it out and remember that she has the ultimate weapon--grading. As for the big guys standing over her to intimidate her, just tell her to get them to sit down and everything is at once equalized.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Wascatlady @OriginalProf @hssped 

Yup, it sure did! Class rules were set by the professors, and the school has an Disruptive Student policy that permits dismissal from class by the professor. On my syllabus, I made sure to mention that policy. 


I don't think I would have lasted very long in a K-12 classroom.....