Education can’t be bought

IUS Horizon

I recently overheard one of my classmates lamenting her poor performance in a course.  She said that it wasn’t fair for her professor to fail her when she had spent so much money on tuition and books for the class. I beg to differ.

Education must be earned, not bought.

If everyone who paid their tuition were passed regardless of their performance, what would be the point of even going to school? Why not just have a diploma stand on the corner and give them to anyone who could afford them? It would be faster, more profitable, and we could have kept all those trees we cut down to make way for the dorms. 

But if this were the case, those diplomas would become meaningless.

A diploma is meant to be a certification that student has obtained a sufficient amount of knowledge and ability in all of a program’s areas of study.  Anyone can shell out money to sit in classes for four years and soak up little or nothing.

So actually, not failing students who are sub-par is very unfair to those who actually try hard and   earn their education by devaluing the certification of that education.

When students part ways and go out into the professional world, they still rely on one another to uphold the reputation of their degrees. When one student with an IUS degree goes out and gets fired from a job for being incompetent, if I interview for that job, the employer will likely balk at hiring another IUS student who they will assume is equally inept.

Nobody likes being the bad guy, but professors should be more strict with their requirements. Students depend on professors to be the gatekeepers of a university and the defenders of that university’s reputation.
To be lax in the enforcement of course requirements is unfair to those who actually meet them.

For example, excessive extra credit cheapens the grades earned in a course.

I don’t have a problem with giving some extra credit, but it needs to be both deserved and earned. It’s fine to give some extra credit to a student with extenuating circumstances, or even a student who is in general a good student but has a slip-up.  But it’s not right to give extra credit to a student who is failing because they don’t care, don’t try, or just don’t know their stuff and want to be bailed out at the end of a semester.

And when extra credit is given, it needs to be earned, not given. It should be attached to an assignment that is going to teach the student something. And the assignment should be scrutinized as closely as a normal class assignment if not more closely.

How is it fair for a student who studies hard and gets a 95 percent on a test to get the same grade as a student who waits until the last minute to look over the material, gets an 85, begs for extra credit and gets 10 points for watching a movie and throws together a half-assed review?

Professors should take responsibility for given credit where credit is due and only when it is due. They should be more diligent in ensuring that only students who have fully met the requirements of passing their courses get credit for doing so. Without this diligence, IUS will just be another diploma mill university and its degrees will be of little value for anyone who attends.

I have been pleased with the level of the education I have received at IUS. I think most of the professors have done a great job. But I know that my level of education is not equal to that of some of my peers who have taken the same courses and passed, and I shudder to think about the impressions of IUS some of those peers will make after they graduate.

I can only hope I do not follow them into a job interview.

By ZACH HESTER
Editor
zwhester@ius.edu