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By Kristine Morgan and William Morgan

As educators at the public elementary school and college levels, we see the struggles that students have on a daily basis. However, they are not left to fail without resources.

Community colleges offer many developmental classes to increase students’ understanding of a topic so that they may succeed at the junior college level.

Many, if not all, departments have some form of tutoring so that students who seek help have the resources to succeed. The key word in the last sentence is “seek.”

This is not high school, we are not hand-holders and we do not pass students because they are paying for an education. Some students are under the impression that community college will be easy and they just have to tolerate it for two years; nothing worth having is easy.

Certainly, if students are in need of tutoring, we point them to the proper tutor. It is incumbent on the individuals to contact the tutor and work on the issues with which they need help. We see many problems that public schools encounter, with the biggest problem being attendance. Attendance is imperative to good learning.

In that vein, some students fail to show up after mid-semester because they receive leftover money from student loans. Some are under the impression that this is free money. This has a double effect: failing grades and college loan debt.

Students in college are adults and well aware of these consequences before they fail to return. As a result, they are placed on academic probation as an incentive to do better.

People sometimes fail to examine the reasons why students drop out of college, such as joining the military, moving out of state, health problems, attending another college, obtaining employment, the death of a loved one or other issues that interrupt the course of education.

Cold statistics are so easily exhibited compared to the complex dynamics of peoples’ lives.

Students are provided the opportunity to receive a college degree, not the guarantee. It is so very simple to say that professors or administrators should be held accountable. Perhaps a better plan is to not blame those who have already achieved an education and position but, rather, break the issue down to the lowest level and place the onus on the individual.

It is the individual who puts forth the effort, perseveres and graduates.

Kristine Morgan is a certified elementary teacher. William Morgan, Ph.D., is a criminal justice professor at Erie Community College. Both are former students and products of ECC.