What is the cost of lowered standards?

Colleagues

Isn’t the goal to do one’s best? To strive for excellence?  Then why are so many so accepting of mediocrity and lowered standards?  When did a C or D as a student grade for example become acceptable as good enough? AND most importantly, what are you doing about it?

Seth Godin wrote this in his blog last week:

And the sooner you find a boss who pushes you right to the edge of your ability to be excellent, the better.

Even if the boss is you.

Remember, we cannot lead others effectively, if we cannot lead ourselves.  We cannot lead our students, if we simply tolerate and accept lowered standards and here is my opinion why.  We must follow in the footsteps of Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Students are investing thousands of dollars in their education; why not encourage them to think of their education in financial terms or a return on their investment (ROI)? I often discuss this concept of an opportunity cost in my classes to ask students their goals for our work together.  What do they want to accomplish to ensure that I can help them get to this destination? What is their opportunity cost of their education? What do they want for their investment?  Are they getting their investment? If a degree or credential is all they are after (simply their degree on their resume), they may be in for a shock by the new culture of bosses who want proof of what they can do.

What if we looked to expanding the definition of academic assessment beyond the classroom of only student and faculty?  What if we asked the business owners how are graduates are doing and whether they make the grade?  When I travel, many business owners tell me that I have failed their employees in the classroom.  How? The business owner expects a graduate to have mastery of the skills their degree on their resume says they have; only to be disappointed to eventual learn that what is listed on their resume is not a reflection of the skills the employee learned in school. Their rhetorical question is: “So what’s the point of education?  Wasn’t education supposed to prepare the work force? Why isn’t this expectation working?”

The cost of lowered standards may indeed be the answer.  When we don’t push our students, when we don’t lead our students to prepare them for what they will face in the business world-to include business owner expectations and needs, there is indeed a very high cost to lowered standards.  What do you think?

I welcome your thoughts . . .

My best,

Dr. Cheryl Lentz
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April 24th, 2015 by admin