With changes made to priority registration, the Student Success Act seems as if it will have a positive impact on students. Based on faculty reports, however, this may not be so.
According to the Student Success Act, college students can meet with a school counselor and set up a student education plan (SEP) to receive priority registration.
But, if they do not have an education plan intact, then they may be unable to register for classes and may fall behind. And with only four full-time counselors and one part-time counselor who can help set up these plans at
LPC, a school of 8,500, this could be one of the biggest hindrances for many students prior to registering.
“I had a couple of students tell me that they’re dropping out because of the added requirements. Recently, I walked in the 1600 building just a few days ago and saw about 40 students waiting to talk to a counselor,” said
Administration of Justice instructor Mark Tarte.
The idea of the Student Success Act is to help students get in and out of school by making the registration process more effective and accountable for them. Now some students may have felt the need to drop out because of the restrictions, and some faculty and administration at LPC feel that the goal of success will not be achieved because quality will be lost.
“In the push to produce SEPs for the purposes of meeting statewide mandates and generating revenue, we potentially compromise the quality of the interaction that we know contributes the most to student success,” transfer counselor Michael Schwarz said in an email response to an email that Tarte had sent to the school.
LPC is a diverse community with a wide variety of students attending it. Some are working, some are parents, some are adults with full-time jobs, and many of them are veterans or returning students looking to further their educations and prepare for the work force.
“The plan is supposed to help students become more effective in the learning process, focused and motivated, in community college so that they can accomplish their goals and get out,” said interim Dean of Student Services (Counseling) Barbara Morrissey.
Some LPC faculty members do not agree with this policy. Some believe it will take students longer to finish because they won’t have the degree that they need for the work force.
“With every regulation that passes through and teachers have to adhere to, it takes away from the classroom value we push students out and on to four-year colleges, and they are not truly prepared for the rigors of the work force.
The Student Success Act is a good idea, but poorly implemented. It’s not realistic,” Tarte said.