Contrary to popular belief, students are not sardines.
The campus will soon be packed even tighter with students when the co-enrollment program with Austin Community College begins in fall of 2014, according to a March 7 University Star article. The program is designed to acclimate ACC students to Texas State before transferring by allowing them to live on campus while taking classes at both locations.
This Pathway Program has good intentions but will be detrimental to students at both Texas State and ACC.
The university is already lacking the housing, services, classroom space and transportation to cater to the current population of students. Instead of addressing these deficiencies, the administration elected to take on between 200 and 300 additional students who will only be enrolled in one class.
This program will strain resources the university does not have. Texas State does not have nough housing to allow most sophomores to continue living on campus and soon will not provide bus services for an easy commute to ACC. Additionally, Texas State already has an abysmal student-to-faculty ratio and strained services such as the understaffed counseling center and university police department.
The program will do little to serve the co-enrolled population either. Uprooting the ACC students from the vicinity of the community college without bus transportation will make their semester tedious and inconvenient. It will force them to buy a Texas State parking pass, a vested interest of the university that does not align with ACC students’ needs.
Upperclassmen have proven to do academically better when living on campus, but are not guaranteed a dorm room after their freshman year. If more on-campus living space were made available, it should be for Texas State’s upperclassmen and not co-enrollment students
The decision was made without consultation from or the Associated Student Government. It continues a disturbing trend that was set when the administration agreed to raise parking permits and ask to increase the bus fee without consulting with students, faculty or staff.
There are equivalency guides and nearby community college counselors who are trained to give corresponding courses for transfer. There is no need to strain university resources when these students can do the same thing on their own time.
It should not be the university’s job to hold the hands of students who might want to transfer at the expense of those already paying to study here. Community colleges already accomplish themselves what Texas State is trying to do with this program by bridging the gap between high school and a university.