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Re: “Merritt College Nursing Woes

hey man I have to say this: I don't know what the problem is with the teachers, but they did a pretty good job last year, and they're nice folks. Listening to you guys, it sounds like all these teachers are just totally malicious, vindictive, irresponsible people. I understand that everything's a mess, but hell, why would the teachers just randomly turn evil when just last year they were working super hard to help us pass and get through it? I just have a hard time understanding why you all feel so strongly that the teachers are out to get you. They've been great to me. There's a couple of them who have gone out of their way to help me out. This is really weird... very schizophrenic.

By the way, babzzz23, you might want to check your spelling and sentence structure before posting on a public site like this one. OH!


1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by bill sassenberger on 10/22/2008 at 9:41 PM

Re: “Merritt College Nursing Woes

Wow, very troubling... I'm a class of 2009 student at Merritt College, and my experience last year was nothing like what these students are going through. It was stressful and challenging, and there were some minor problems with tests, such as a particular written skills exam that only five students out of the entire student body passed. (The test was re-issued.) But nothing at all like this.

I have no idea what is discussed in private meetings among the instructors, or what may have changed in terms of their teaching strategies or methods, but my experience with the faculty at Merritt has been for the most part very positive. There's some great teachers there and they work very hard.

I know that in a community college situation, which may lack some of the resources that would be available at a major university or private institution such as Samuel Merritt, students have to be a little more creative, resourceful, and self-reliant in order to make the best of their experience. I attended a "summer bridge" program, offered in the summer of 2007, that I attribute in large part to my success in the first year. In addition to offering tutoring and test-taking strategies, perhaps the biggest help was the fact that I was able to get my hands on the textbook three months early and read it during the summer, before classes started. If I had not done that, I may not have been able to pass the tests. The amount of material first year students are required to read is considerable. I would estimate that we covered at least 75% of a 1700 page textbook in about nine weeks. For a student to master that amount of material, a lot of which is complex and conceptually new, in that amount of time is an extremely difficult task. I got it all down because I had essentially read the book by the time classes started. Our experience was that the students in our class who did not attend the bridge program had a much more difficult time digesting all the material.

I don't know if the same summer bridge program was offered to the class of 2010, or if they were required to pay for it. The text of the above article makes it sound as if that may have been the case. "In addition, fewer students attended a special program to help prepare them for classes because they couldn't afford it." If the program wasn't made as accessible to this cohort of students as it was to us, I would attribute that to their difficulties.

Another possible factor may be that they really do have a bad textbook. Our textbook, Fundamentals of Nursing by Carol Taylor et. al., published by Wolters Kluwer, was great. I'm not sure why Merritt switched to the current text, (which is a lot slimmer than ours was.) It sounds like the text that they're using now is pretty substandard. If that's the case, then these students really are in a sense getting "gypped."

If anyone wants the opinion of a moderately successful nursing student, I say make that summer bridge program a higher priority in terms of allocation of funds. Make it abundantly clear to incoming students, who get their acceptance letters in the spring, that they should consider the summer before classes start an absolutely critical preparation period. Consider June 1 the first day of school, people. Find out what your text is going to be, get your hands on it immediately, and read it through and through. Trust me, that can be a make or break decision.

As for what's left of the class of 2010, I wish them better luck and success in the rest of their careers. It sounds like they've had a pretty tough go of it.

To the Merritt College Nursing Faculty: I love you all, but get rid of that lame textbook and go back to using the Taylor text!

xo, Anonymous

Posted by bill sassenberger on 10/22/2008 at 1:35 PM

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