Monday, July 30, 2007

Graduate education a privilege not a right...

I'm about to go on a tirade so those of you who hate rants and tirades should exit now.

When it comes to education, probably the most challenging and rigorous is graduate school. Having worked in higher education for nearly 14 years I can tell you I've seen thousands of students come and go and not all of them were cut out to be graduate students. Graduate academic programs are difficult, they should be, for if they were easy everyone would be attending. No matter how good a student one can be at the undergraduate level, not everyone is cut out to write a thesis or a dissertation or get an MBA or some other specialized graduate degree. It doesn't mean that person isn't smart, it's just that graduate school requires a certain type of person who can handle the challenge, the stress and the work required. It's for many, but not for everyone, no big deal. I believe graduate school education should be challenging and rigorous and go above and beyond the scope of the undergraduate education, at least it's supposed to. I believe that admission to graduate school should be selective and that it is a privilege not a right.

And so I am irritated by students in graduate school who complain about a tough course saying that it is too difficult. Even worse are the students who complain about the fact that the difficult course they hated and had to muddle through was eventually removed from the curriculum (for whatever reasons) after they took it and future students do not have to take it. Instead of focusing on doing well in their own program, these students are busy bitching about the fact future students will not have to go through the same hell they did. It is the nature of graduate programs to change, to evolve to the needs of the students in the program. Often faculty committees will explore change and seek to find ways to make the program more challenging while meeting the needs of the students, the department and the university. That's the nature of the beast.

My thoughts are that if a student would rather whine and bitch instead of utilizing the program to grow to their fullest potential, then perhaps that individual isn't cut out for graduate education.

I can only imagine what happens when people like this move into the real world and behave in this manner.

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