Students should take responsibility

CN/Esteban Cortez

By Augustine Ugalde

East Los Angles College does a great job in preparing students for the next step in their academic careers by adhering to the stringent rules set by state lawmakers.

The California Department of Education is entrusted with ensuring that each educational institution in the state satisfies minimum academic standards for transfer, graduation and beyond. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges also has a hand in making sure schools play by the rules and do not simply rubber-stamp students through the curriculum.

The last time the WASC came on campus to review ELAC’s accreditation was in March 2010 when it also visited L.A. City College and L.A. Trade Tech. Both sister schools were put on probation to correct issues related to their accreditation, while ELAC was not. ELAC has proven, time and again, that it is a fine academic institution that will not compromise its standards to allow unqualified students to proceed.

This is not to say that the school will not try to help marginal students; to the contrary, there is an intricate network of educational assistance available on campus to help these students. Then there are those students who somehow, and for reasons unclear, feel that they are entitled to an Associates Degree, or to transfer to a four-year university.

In my personal observations, these students usually have a chip on their shoulders, or feel persecuted in some way with a feeling that everyone is out to get them. These habitual complainers will never be satisfied, as far as I am concerned, and will keep making life miserable for teachers, administrators and fellow students.

You all know the type: underachieving, unmotivated, unwilling to put in an honest effort into their schoolwork and blameless. These students are quick to point the finger in any direction. They search for the reasons they are not accomplished. They search everywhere except toward themselves.

I would like to reach out to these students and tell them that it is not the teachers that are holding you back, nor is it any of their fellow students. The blame goes squarely on their own shoulders. Once students learn to take responsibility for their own actions, or inactions, if that’s the case, then, and only then, will they be able to carry-on with their lives.

After-all, school is a microcosm of the real world in that students come here to work and in return, receive compensation of sorts. Isn’t that what life is about? If you cannot make it here, then what makes you think you can make it in the working-world?

Do not come into class late, with excuses. Do not bad-mouth the teachers while hidden among a group of students. Do not disrupt classes by making snide remarks when the teacher’s back is turned to get a quick laugh from your loser friends.

Most students here want to learn. They want to better their lives through education and do not need to hear any moronic rants about how the teacher is out to get you. Students should not run to the department chair every time a teacher gives them a bad grade or criticizes their lack of work.

It is time to grow up and to take responsibility for your actions. Once you accomplish something on your own, you will feel a pride about the achievement. It will spur you on to do better in your studies because you will realize that you have it in you to achieve on your own and that you do not need anybody’s help. Who knows? You might even begin to like it.

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