I have a question for us to answer; why do we rarely take the time to stop and to think!!!
You and I know, or think we know, where we will be in 10 or 20 years. Many students in the lower financial tiers have no idea where they will be next week, much less in 10 or 20 years.
Think about whether we should always take, take, take; and give nothing in return. There are those of us who do try to give back for all we have been given, but perhaps we do not respond as we should.
Every day in my literature classes, I am confronted by students who come from upper middle-class families with many children; these parents send their children to community colleges for the first two years and then on to prestigious schools, such as JMU or UVA. I also have many military veterans returning to school under the GI Bill, who recognize that there is something better for their futures, if they work for it.
Most of my students struggle . . . really struggle, many times waiting until mid-semester to buy books because their loan money is slow in coming to them. Some professors penalize these students because they are slow in completing assignments, assignments they cannot complete due to insufficient course materials. This is no way to run an educational system in any state, much less in a wealthy state, such as Virginia.
Unfortunately, I have no surefire responses to this problem. What I do have is my personal dedication to my students, a dedication that is designed to assisted these financially-challenged students in completing their assignments.
Most, if not all, material that is studied in the first two years of college is available on line. But, even if they are computer savvy, these students have no idea where to find it. I believe that professors, such as myself, should be willing to provide links to the early materials in the course to allow these struggling students to succeed. This is an extra and time-consuming resource that professors should take the time to provide with their syllabi.
This is an unforgiving country that we live in today. Very few are willing to truly give what we think we cannot do without. Unfortunately, and ashamedly, my generation has perfected this culture of greed. I pray that these students, when they attain even a faction of local leadership, think about the financially-challenged students and give them a leg up, helping them unlike the way our world does not.