Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Community College Fraud, part 2

By Professor Doom

So, last time, I was looking at the course offerings at LACC, and saw that a huge amount of resources are devoted to teaching 6th grade and lower math.
Let’s continue to see what “higher education” this community college offers:

Elementary Algebra (113) and Elementary Algebra (114). Because students are so far behind, administration created courses like this that go slower—when you’re behind, you catch up by going slower, right? There are 10 sections of this (7 sections for 113, and 3 for 114---even greatly watered down material doesn’t see many students pass, especially the fake students of the Pell Grant scam). It’s college credit at LACC, but we’re way below high school here, roughly the 7th grade.

I repeat: this is material students see in the public schools around the 7th grade, 8th grade for the slower students, and it’s “college coursework” here.

Elementary Algebra (115). Again, this is the same bogus math course of 113 and 114, just pushed together into a single math course. If accreditation were serious, they’d ask why students are being screwed into taking 113 and 114 when 115 does the same thing in half the time. If accreditation were even halfway serious, it’d ask why the material common 7th grade in the public schools is “college credit.” There are 17 sections of this course.

I bet you’re wondering when this community college will offer high school work.
Me too, but just the above courses merit comment.

LACC is a 2 year college, and they have, literally, 2 years of non college credit and (fake) college credit math courses for students to take.  Most loan programs have a time limit on them, perhaps 4 years. Now, if you take 2 years of non-college material, that means you’ll be 2 years behind in your 4 years of “higher education.” A talented and hardworking student can complete a 4 year degree in three years, but two years? Not very likely, and there aren’t any talented and hardworking students that are taking 7th grade math in college.

An administrator with integrity would look at this curriculum and think “Wait. Any student we enroll in two years of pre-high school of math will have no chance whatsoever of paying back the student loans, which will run out before the student can get a degree. We are hurting people. We need to not do this.”

That’s the path of integrity, and that can’t come from admin, which only wants growth.
Instead, administration does two things. First, administration tacks on section after section of this stuff. Growth, after all. The fact that doing this is wrong doesn’t stop admin from simply doing more of it, much more, as much as they can get away with.
Second, to prevent people from catching on, admin changes the numbering and credit. 

I must point out again: the 7th grade work in these courses is actually “college credit.” At least, the students think it’s college credit, but good luck trying to transfer that as anything but remedial work.

LACC is selling 7th grade material and calling it “college.” Is “fraud” the right word for that?

Let’s look some more at what LACC is actually calling first year college work:

Essentials of Plane Geometry (121). This is the geometry most students take in the 9th or 10th grade of high school. 4 sections.

Intermediate Algebra (124a). This is, literally, half of a class, taught over a whole semester, roughly 8th to 9th grade. 3 sections.

Intermediate Algebra (124b). This is the other half. 2 sections. It used to be, the remedial classes were slowed down already. To increase growth, administration offers more remedial courses. To increase growth further, they take the slow classes and slow them down some more. Luckily, students can still take the “normal” slow courses:

Intermediate Algebra (125). This is the previous two courses, presented as a single course. Still haven’t made it to algebra yet, but we’re closing in on the level of material a very weak high school graduate might have. Anyone who bothers to look can see this, as the course description reads: “Topics include linear functions, systems of equations, inequalities, polynomials…” I really want to point out here: I tutor high school students, I know what they’re doing in high school. The material in this course isn’t it. 20 sections.

I have to pause here, because there is much in the above worth considering on its own.
Anyone else remember the public service commercial with children in school, asking to learn algebra? Kids, not college students. Learning plain ol’ algebra, not “intermediate,” “elementary,” or “pre-”. Now, in California, students are told that they’ll need to take as much as TWO YEARS of “college” courses before they’ll be ready to take the material that kids used to learn.

And what a dizzying array of fake courses. Someone ignorant of what’s going on would have no idea of what these classes are, and an incoming student wouldn’t know that the above joke courses won’t even transfer to most universities as college material.
Just one more course for today:

Principles of Mathematics (215). This is math for elementary school teachers, a course by and for Educationists. As such, it’s not a real course. There’s nothing in here that a high school graduate wouldn’t already know. The course description reads “The main concern will be understanding the structure of systems of whole numbers, integers, and rational numbers.” This material is basically in the “arithmetic” course I discussed in the previous post. Anyone who is curious why the public school teacher can’t add fractions need look no further than this course. 2 sections.

Note the numbering on this Educationist course. We’re now entering the 200 level courses, supposedly 2nd year courses, although, again, anyone knowledgeable looking at the course content of the above 200 level Education course knows its not a college course, either.

LACC is fully accredited, but, as I’ve shown in detail, accreditation has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the education. It’s a joke in that regard.

In the 80s, algebra was a remedial course on college campuses. Some time in the 90s, it turned into a first year college course. We’re already into the 200 level courses, the second year courses, and algebra is nowhere to be found.

Next time, we’ll see if it’s been turned into a 3rd year course or not. In the meantime, consider that none of the above, over 90 sections of classes, are college material, that all of it is offered in high school, much of it in primary school, even…and yet students are being sold these courses as “higher education.”

I repeat: everything we’ve seen so far in remedial, first, and second year college courses is material that is taught in the American public school system—a system that is widely held in contempt for how little it asks of and gives to students. All of it, the students have already seen, and now they’re paying a fortune to “learn” it again for college credit.

How is this not a fraud?