Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Shawnee State University's Academic Reputation

Billboard near Shawnee State U.

The report yesterday (1 Nov. 2012) from CBS news that Shawnee State U. is among the worst American universities in terms of retention of students is hardly news to those familiar with the history of S.S.U. Just as Central State U., has a mission to serve poor black students, S.S.U. has one to serve poor white  students in the Appalachian region of south central Ohio. Retention rates, given this constituency, are not going to be good. Could the rates be better? Certainly,  in the case of S.S.U. At least some students used to stay at S.S.U. only long enough to pick up their first  financial aid check, but former President James Chapman stopped the worst of that racket.  But the  Board of Trustees have historically made what is bad at S.S.U. worse. Still, the rates would  have been bad even if the trustees were better and if the administration had been better at retention.
In terms of retention, at least, the switch from quarters to semesters was the single worse thing that has happened in the last ten years  at S.S.U. The quarter academic calendar is better for disadvantaged students in a number of ways, including retention. But semesters work better for advantaged students, who are much better prepared financially and academically than disadvantaged students, sothe powers that be, most of whom were educated at semester colleges and universities, decided  higher education in Ohio could not exist half slave and half free—oops I mean half quarters and half semesters. Uniformity in calendar was pushed even if public colleges and universities  of  Ohio  were very different in character and student body.  If Ohio University could not stop the semester juggernaut, S.S.U. had no choice but to go along.

Two postings I made on the academic reputation at S.S.U. can be found by clicking on the two links below. Much of the documentation in them is missing because the damnable fee Flickr photo service summarily deleted my charts and illustrations  once I switched to the free photo service provided by Google.