Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tier Twos Try Harder

We dropped our oldest daughter at Radford University for her first year and it really is quite impressive how things have changed. Part of this is due to the fact that someone at Radford mistakenly received training in customer service. Gone are the – “look left and look right because only one of you will be here”. It has been replaced by bragging about freshman retention rates, graduate in four years rates and all the things other education pundits are pushing for in the US News rankings.

I have to believe it is because the so called “second tier” schools are trying harder.

Orientation was amazing – they really are trying to ensure that the students succeed and learn. Being somewhat cynical, I thought orientation would be a waste but it was highly informative for parents and students. The students then went with an advisor and sscheduled their freshman classes. I never even met my advisor. The education majors even provide free tutoring to students and the athletic majors provide free aerobics and step classes. And I just received my “test of the emergency text messaging system” – so apparently they already have their system in place for notifying parents and students of any emergency - which really makes me feel kind of good right now.

The only thing I object to is that they take the student schedules and pack all of their books in one neat bundle for them to pick up and it takes about 4 minutes. Gone is the fun of wandering around the book store trying to match your schedule to the book - - how can our students truly be prepared for the real world if their college experience is that well organized.

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