Friday, June 04, 2010



It seems I continue to struggle with my online college coursework. After illness and a back injury caused me to take an incomplete the first time, I'm retaking the course again this semester. (Oh, and I'm still not use to the shorter terms...10 weeks instead of 16! Not enough time to get it all done that's for sure.) I'm working today to complete a 'rough draft' of the term paper for this class and will probably be up all night until the sun comes up, to put it all together. Even with that, it will be 4-5 days late and I'll be penalized 20-25% on the grade.


I saw there was a blog on the page that students access when they log in. Capella calls it The Guide but it's really a clearinghouse or jumping off point for you, as a student. You can access lots of different areas of the website, just like a campus would have a Student Union Hall with guidance to services on campus. One of the blogs was called "The other 85%" so I clicked on it to investigate. It addresses the majority of the new student body of colleges and universities across America. A voice for the older new or returning post-secondary student. I think the only way the attitude of the decision-makers will change towards what is defined as "the college student" is when that administration retires and is replaced by the contemporaries of those same students. The Baby Boomers (as we are called) or younger (our adult children...horrors!

The following was what I posted to the "The Other 85%" blog. Whether it will be published is something I'll have to wait and see, but here it is for all to read:

It is so true that the ‘college kid’ is now older, wiser, more time-constrained, and has more obligations than in the 1950s. Back then you could assume that the majority of college kids were fresh out of high school and still getting support from their parents. I was not one of them.

Born in 1956, to parents that divorced in 1964. Too many kids (3), too much struggling to make ends meet, and single parenthood, made it impossible for me and my siblings to go to college. When I was 19, I checked into financial aid (1975) and there was virtually none to be had, so I married and took a clerical job. I have been divorced, married again, had and raised a child, and buried a husband. At the peak of our life together, both working 40+ hours, we earned $55K in one year ($40K or under the rest of the 20 years).

In 1993, I went to college for the first time due to the last recession. Happily married, raising a son, I earned an associate’s then a bachelor’s in 5 years, working part time, living on scholarships/grants and $18K/yr trust fund (income of my invalid husband). I started a master’s degree in ‘98 and a second master’s in 2000! Now borrowing to earn the two degrees and I came up against the 150% time constraint! The administration couldn’t acknowledge that I was working on two degrees, nor any of my other circumstances. Then my husband of 20 years died.

I am only now starting back after 6 years to earn a master’s so I can be hired as a permanent professor instead of an adjunct. And I am almost starting at square one. Capella made it possible, transferred in 12/28 credits, but I have 36 more to earn, compared to the 8 credits I was short for my degree here. The first course seems to be more tailored to the instructors than the learners, more to learning ‘lock-step’ than learner outcome. I know I’ll get through and succeed as I always have, but it would be nice if the ‘powers that be’ had a little more sympathy and empathy for the ‘new college kids’ on the block. Thanks for letting me comment.


Is there still room on campus for dissent? Can an adult, older student speak out against the establishment? Or has protesting lost it's impetus and in need of Viagra? LOL I don't think my comments would be considered too controversial but it will be interesting to see if it's published and if I get any feedback from it. And now I'm off to do my homework! Peace & Joy.

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