Overlooked, underwhelmed and on my own

Overlooked, underwhelmed and on my own
Photo courtesy of Metropolitan State Library and Information Services.

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I want readers out there to know: I love Metropolitan State University. I’m one of the university’s biggest cheerleaders. I have been a student here since 2009, and I’m currently working on finishing my third degree. During my almost decade-long journey, I could’ve chosen to attend any other school, but I found the atmosphere and the diverse community at Metro State quite welcoming. In other words, as both a student and an employee at Metro State, I have, and still do, find that the pros of the university outweigh the cons.

But there are some cons.

Metro State seems to occasionally fall victim to a laissez faire attitude. Classes and events are often postponed due to “Metro time.” Essentially, chronic lateness. A general lack of communication, or miscommunication, can interfere with the organization of events or learning experiences.

For instance, how often have you seen an event flyer posted on campus where there is simply no location information? Or perhaps you’ve signed up for a minor, only to realize that one of the required courses is never offered.

Most of the time miscommunication, a laissez faire attitude and “Metro time” result in slight inconveniences. But at times, they can result in students and their learning experiences being overlooked or forgotten.

Take my Master of Arts in Psychology, for example.

I am currently a part-time student, possibly the only student, in the program, which is under revision. The Psychology Department failed to notify the few remaining students that during the program’s revision, they would no longer be offering graduate level psychology classes, as there were not enough students enrolled to justify teaching the class. And, furthermore, the department is not enrolling new students in the program.

So what does that mean for me?

I learned of department’s revision plans halfway through my degree program. In fact, the class cancellation that alerted me to this situation occurred mere weeks before the start of the semester. That left me with little time to try and find a replacement course.

Since then, I have been working with a faculty member to develop the classes I will need to graduate and turn those classes into Student Designed Independent Studies (SDIS). An SDIS can be convenient for those who want to study subjects outside of the university-offered curriculum. But developing SDIS courses for an entire half of a degree program? It’s an anxiety-inducing act, to say the least.

On top of that, I also recently found out that as there are no other graduate students in my program, I have extremely limited options for tutoring in the Psychology Lab. Fortunately, the Lab Manager has agreed to help me with the statistical analysis for my current project. I am hopeful that this relationship will continue in the future while I work on my capstone project.

The path to pursuing a graduate degree includes enough headaches, anxieties and frustrations as it is. But I have the additional burden of designing the classes for my degree. Therefore, I beg you, Metro State: get your act together.

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