Monday, February 8, 2010

One Reason Why Online Classes Aren't Some Kind of Panacea

This comment on the CFANet at Cal Poly Pomona was in response to administration proposals that we facilitate graduation and deal with overcrowded classes and budget cuts by going online with more classes.

Reprinted by permission:

Here's my own personal history lesson. In 1976, yes, that's a long time ago, I graduated with my B.S. in biology from Cal Poly Pomona. My father, a design engineer, sent me to CPP because he wanted me to be an engineer and CPP engineers were hired over grads from other institutions due to the polytechnic, learn by doing, practice. In other words, he wanted me to get a job and move on. I didn't want to be an engineer, I wanted to be an environmental scientist and later a high school biology teacher.

So I majored in biology. My educational experience was amazing, I felt so prepared to enter the job market.

Dad was right, I graduated and was hired right away by Engineering- Science/ Ralph M. Parsons where I worked for 5 years as an environmental scientist. They straight away told me that I was hired because I had hands-on experience from a polytechnic university. When I left to be a teacher (with my M.A. and teaching credential also from CPP), I was told right away again, that my educational background made me the preferred candidate.

I was hired in a recession in the 1970's, it was a tough time then too (not as tough as now) and the competition was great. But I had the edge over others to be a promising employee. We need to be that same resource in these tough times and that CANNOT happen on-line in science or in education (I can't speak for other areas).

Now, in addition to teaching at CPP, I work with the Pomona USD [Unified School District] and interview and recommend teaching candidates. We tend to hire CPP candidates over others because many (not all) candidates from other institutions quit within 2-3 years. CPP candidates do not quit because they have a better preparation due to the polytechnic, hands-on pedagogy of our institution.

I was not as erudite in my message as Jared, but that's the practical view.

Forge ahead, all!

Stephanie Saccomen

No comments: