To Solve the Skills Gap in Hiring, Create Expectations in the Classroom

Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle

Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle

Authored by Charlotte Kent, a visiting assistant professor of English at Mercy College, in New York.

On the first day of classes I, like most teachers, introduce my students to the syllabus and class expectations. I have draconian-seeming rules that students often don’t believe and even many colleagues question.

If students are late, they are absent. I do not account for any reasons; they may be absent three times over the semester. They are responsible for contacting classmates about missed work when they are absent. They are responsible for submitting work on time. This also means they are responsible for knowing what work needs to be submitted and when.

The syllabus indicates assignment due dates, and any changes are posted on Blackboard. If students forget about an assignment, that is indeed unfortunate. I don’t offer makeup opportunities or extra credit. Classroom participation and engagement with the work is their opportunity to impress me, since they can shine there even if they are struggling with written work.

These rules exist for a reason. Read More...