Friday, May 20, 2011

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[Editor's Note:  The past and current board get an "F" on the reform issues.  Neither board seems to have a clue as to what is really happening in the classroom or the needs of the community.]
If you are referring to the prerequisites that students need before they can apply to any of the health programs you are absolutely right. It is all about generating income and using the very large numbers of students desiring a high paying job in a health profession. The income generated from the students taking these “prerequisites” actually support and subsidizes the health programs. The actual number of students ever admitted in to a health program is relatively small. Some of the programs only admit 10 students per year. None of the health programs admit more than 25 students per year. Generally only about 50% of the students admitted in to a health program actually graduate. Of the selected few that actually graduate not all will pass their state licensure examinations. Of those, even fewer will obtain a high paying full time job with full benefits as advertised. The few students that ultimately succeed will do very well; it is almost like winning the lottery for them. But the rest of the hopeful students never really ever had a chance of being admitted in to a health program; forget about finishing and finding a high paying job. Some misadvised students have spent more than a year taking the same prerequisites more than once because they are encouraged to try to obtain higher grades in the hopes that they will eventually be accepted in to a certain program. Nice scam isn’t it? One of the instructors for the medical terminology course is simply horrible. His accent is so heavy that the students cannot even understand his Basic English. Forget about trying to learn medical terminology from him. Of course students have to buy used exams to pass his course. The whole division should be in question, the dean acts more like a used car salesman. Some instructors mentally retired years ago but still collect a very fat check. They set the example for the rest. Why do you think the nursing programs broke away and got their own College of Nursing? The high quality nursing programs and faculty were tired of being associated with such an embarrassingly inadequate dean and low quality health instructors. The TSC programs have been neglected for so many years that the personnel (the unethical ones of course) have taken advantage of the poor oversight to run amok unchecked. The health programs are not the only programs that need to be carefully examined. Some of the trade programs such as heating and air conditioning abuse students and their financial aid. Why do you think so many students opt to attend TSTC in Harlingen? That is why some of the trades programs have such low enrollment. Fortunately not all TSC programs are of poor quality. In spite of everything there are some very good programs. An educator that really understands these types of programs can discern the good from the bad. It is imperative to hire someone that knows how to request all of the pertinent information and knows how to analyze the actual outcomes. It is time for TSC Board to step up to the plate and demand accountability. These programs are under TSC’s watch and responsibility. Students and the community deserve a lot better than what is currently the norm in some of the TSC programs.

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