Ensuring Quality and the Integrity of the Credit Hour

As a community college, it is our responsibility to serve our community. As immersed in the community as I am, I hear this over and over. While we are doing a good job, we are not doing a great job. I heard some of this during our listening sessions and have heard even more at the numerous meetings that I attend.
MCCC is a quality institution, and we must maintain that quality, while ensuring access and opportunity for all those whom we serve. We are an open admission institution, not an “open graduation” institution. Open admission at MCCC essentially means that only students who meet the minimum admission criteria (COMPASS test scores) are admitted. Once they are admitted, it is then the responsibility of the faculty, while exercising academic freedom, to ensure quality in the classroom; that cannot be dictated by anyone else. Students who do not perform must be appropriately evaluated according to their level of performance. When I was an economics professor, it was my responsibility to maintain quality in my classroom and the integrity of the credit hour; those who did not earn the credits were not given the credits. Only the faculty member determines the grades in his/her class – that is the essence of academic freedom.
At MCCC, we must ensure that only those who have earned the right to be here come here. We will also ensure that only those who earn the right to leave here with a credential do so. That is what it means to be a quality institution while maintaining access and opportunity.

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