I wrote this article in December highlighting the fact that SCSU administrators were changing students’ transcripts without telling their professors that classes were being deleted from students’ transcripts:

The other piece of it is that it’s difficult to do some things like helping with student success, some things like doing accurate assessment if people disappear from our records and we don’t have that information in our records anymore or if we learn for example that, and this is kind of an odd example I suppose, you don’t know that a student has taken a course three times because there is no record of it and the student is in there for the fourth time and you’re trying to figure out a way to help that student be successful and yet you’re blindsided by this lack of information.

In a subsequent meeting, the administration tried hiding the fact that they’re helping students be unaccountable:

FA: What about the completion rate?
Admin: There is not completion rate. They have the obligation to pay that financial aid back. A W counts against them in the completion rate. That’s why the students asked for the “poof” because it affected their completion rate. There’s a debate about whether they attempted.
FA: Some online classes don’t have deadlines. And then all of a sudden in the last week they get it done. I teach a class and give them four weeks, and despite sending them emails and reminders they don’t complete a test or quiz. I think there should be a record of this behavior. I have seven out of 60 students who haven’t taken a test.
Admin: This is one section of 60?
FA: Yes.
FA: I think we train our students to not be accountable for their behavior. I’ve had students ask to make up work they didn’t do and my response has been no. At what level are we telling students they don’t have to be accountable? I know there are some excuses.
Admin: Like it or not, the Board of Trustees allows the students to withdraw without permission up to 80% of the course being completed. Those students can withdraw, and it will show W, and that’s a W that shows that there might be an underlying good reason.

What’s to like about the MNSCU Board of Trustees permitting students to withdraw without permission? The SCSU administration is attempting to legitimize a student taking a class 4 times, then getting the first three times they took the class deleted from their transcripts.

This isn’t about a student having a legitimate excuse like an illness that prevented them from completing a course. This isn’t about dealing with a death in the family late in the semester, either.

This is about students doing poorly in a class, then convincing the administration they shouldn’t be held accountable for doing poorly in their classes.

There’s another angle that SCSU apparently isn’t concerned with. By doctoring student transcripts, they’re giving potential employers an incomplete picture of a student’s academic history. That’s unethical.

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6 Responses to “Is SCSU promoting unaccountability?”

  • Jethro says:

    Makes me wonder if the university’s accreditation could be yanked.

  • eric z says:

    “What’s to like about the MNSCU Board of Trustees permitting students to withdraw without permission?”

    Is that like being permitted to be on voter rolls, without permission to be on voter rolls?

    I don’t like either, without not liking them.

    I say, give the students photo IDs, make them have photo IDs, it fixes all, and everything will be honky dory.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Is that like being permitted to be on voter rolls, without permission to be on voter rolls?

    Eric, shouldn’t people who’ve moved from Elk River to St. Cloud not be listed as an eligible voter in Elk River?

    At SCSU, students have failed classes because they didn’t put forth the effort or just didn’t learn the material. In a number of instances, the administration has deleted the record that they’ve failed after the professor failed them. Should these students get preferential treatment for failing?

  • eric z says:

    Gary, seriously, it sounds like the classic cliche, you have to deliver some kind of steak even if what you are touting is the sizzle. The hockey program sizzles.

    So, sizzle/steak.

    Now, how about bait and switch:

    Half way through a program, a big time GOTCHA. Because of miniscule minded legislators. I would bet which party was the advocate of austerity, let them pay more after we’ve paid out rope.

    There are lots of bad things. Is SCSU simply a mediocre school, where you always look at the world wide stature of the faculty – or lack of it.

    Even some small ponds require some fish.

    First rate is first rate, and “rebranding” a party school as something else – well, remember the old western movies, the cattle rustlers using a running iron; changing an “S” brand to a “bar-8”?

    By of all things, rebranding.

  • Jethro says:

    Eric Z . . . what does the hockey program have to do with doctoring grades? And then you meander into a rebranding discussion. Are you suggesting “rebranding” SCSU as a party school to a school that will now doctor student grades?

  • Nick says:

    SCSU did not delete my W’s. Other people may have it happen to them.

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