Issues with Academia

When I was just starting out over at De Anza I quickly realized that there was much left to be desired. It was a hell of a lot like culture shock – I was alone, making my own decisions which have ultimately lead me to where I am now, and while I don’t think I am bad off, I have definitely made choices that lead to complicating my life more than it needed to be, as well as lengthening my stay at Chez De Anza.

Landing at SJSU has not proven to be much different, save the semi-clear exit goal that they dangle at quite a distance ahead of me (thankfully not too far to be able to forecast it). The scariest aspect is that my experiences are not as rare as one might wish them to be.

  • Counselors are slow to advise, and when they do advise they are not always right or clear
  • Instructors have little incentive to teach well, and those who go above and beyond are not celebrated or honored well
  • Paperwork slows the entire process down, and more than that – there is an ingrained fear of todays technology within the field
  • Lots of busy work and an utter lack of interesting or inspiring assignments, even after leaving the JC.

These are just the tip of the responses that I have had from my friends, family and colleagues that have gone to 4 year schools in the last decade.

Instructor friends of mine have shared a shrinking drive or passion within their field, where students continue to disappoint and even in the more obscure courses like Advanced Perl Programming where people from industry are often students, the level of interaction and contribution is lacking. if that doesn’t complicate matters enough, the curriculum is treated as testament and deviation from it is not only frowned upon it is often setup in such a way that if the instructor doesn’t cover everything the students are the ones that suffer.

Wow, so … lets look at this – Schooling in America has been moved to sit in the back of the bus with funding being swiped at with each chance possible. The amount of education that a lay person needs in order to be anything more than a clerk at a corner store has risen to the point that you cant make more than 70k, a livable wage for a couple living on their own, without at least going into a trade school. The level of educated adults continues to decrease, as old age takes some and young age choices take many more. It seems to be quite important to at least get things in the public eye to be able to make necessary choices to correct these problems.