Entries Tagged as 'Pensacola State College'

My Alma Mater(s)

The post secondary schools I’ve attended are:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Florida
  • Stanford University (online)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (online)
  • City College of San Francisco
  • Pensacola State College
  • University of West Florida

I consider GaTech to be my Alma Mater… but I’m not an active alumni of any of the schools.

This is not education, and certainly does not represent true value…

The following letter was sent to:

  • Edward Meadows, President, Pensacola State College
  • Danny Steele, Department Head, Engineering Tech Programs, Pensacola State College
  • Chad Andrea, Professor, Pensacola State College

10 December 2013

 

 

Pensacola State College
1000 College Blvd
Pensacola, FL  32504

SUBJ:  CGS1061C – Introduction to Computers in Technology

Sirs:

Over the course of the last fifteen weeks I’ve read and reviewed the materials required by CGS1061C Introduction to Computers in Technology published by Cengage Learning; ISBN-13: 978-1-133-62973-3 Computer Literacy BASICS: A Comprehensive Guide to IC3, Fourth Edition by Connie Morrison and Dolores Wells; $162.95 (list).

While I will not purport to be a subject matter expert on every topic covered in this text, I do possess a technical background sufficient to observe numerous technical errors in the book, accompanying study materials, and tests.  It is clear that the book represents a very superficial view of technology and was written by individuals who lacked a deep understanding of the topics they were covering.  Further, it is clear that Cengage did not invest time and energy into having the materials reviewed by subject matter experts before publishing the first edition – and it would appear that they have invested little in correcting the book in the three additional editions since that point in time.

It may well benefit Cengage to product shoddy material like this at a low production cost with significant revenues, but it is a travesty for any institution of higher learning to use materials with technically inaccurate information, antiquated pictures and examples, and personal prejudices presented as fact (there is a huge difference between a “best practice” and an invariant fact).

Parroting information presented in a book, particularly when that information is incorrect, is not education.

I’ve included goal 6 from the strategic goals to reinforce that basing courses on materials like this is not in keeping with the published mission or goal of Pensacola State College.

  • Provide quality instruction through effective curriculum development, accessible delivery, and criterion-based assessment according to a common set of academic standards for each discipline.

And perhaps using the world “value” (as defined by the Oxford dictionary: the worth of something compared to the price paid or ask for it) to the published philosophy rather than “lowest possible cost” might further help illustrate the tenant of providing quality (not just quantity).

  • Being accountable to Florida’s citizens, the college exercises fiscal responsibility by offering the lowest possible cost consistent with its commitment to high standards.

I’ve taken classes from and attended seminars at a number of institutions of higher learning across this country, and I’ve found that quality education and academic excellence has always been a fundamental precept of each and every school.  Unfortunately I do not see that as the case at Pensacola State College – I see at Pensacola State College generally that the “would you like fries with that” mentality seems to apply to the educational standards, and excellence is just a word.  I implore you to take a stand and make a difference.

Sincerely,

L Roger Soles

L Roger Soles

Pensacola State College 2013-2014 Teaching Excellence Award

ex·cel·lence
ˈeksələns/
noun
the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.
 
synonyms:
distinction, quality, superiority, brilliance, greatness, 
merit, caliber,eminence, preeminence, supremacy,
skill, talent, virtuosity,accomplishment, mastery
 

 

There are many teachers in the world, a fair number of them are good, but few of them go beyond just being capable and knowledgeable to setting it as a goal to make a real impact on their students.

I’ve met a handful of teachers over the years that I would say fit the bill of being excellent, and I met another a few months ago at Pensacola State College — Dr Cynthia App.

Unfortunately celebrating and recognizing her achievements may come too late.

Yesterday Dr App informed her class that Pensacola State College had eliminated her position and that in all likelihood this would be her last term teaching at Pensacola State College.

I was not alone in feeling sad that an instructor like Dr App would be let go; and more than one student was whispering about trying to do something to encourage the school to retain her.

We can only hope that Pensacola State College has done everything in its power to try and retain such a valuable asset to their students and mission.  It would be beyond criminal to lose any instructor who shows the dedication and commitment that she does.

I certainly implore the President of the college (Dr Edward Meadows), the administration of the college, the Board of Trustees of the college (Herb Woll, Marjorie T Moor, Carol Carlan, Monsignor Luck Hunt, Edward Moore, John L O’Connor, Dona Usry, and Deidre Young), the chancellor of the Florida College System (Randall W Hanna), and the Governor of the State of Florida (Rick Scott) to insure that the needs of the students and the community are being best served by this decision.

Whether or not Dr App wins the Teaching Excellence Award is largely irrelevant.  What is important is that she has touched the lives of so many students during her tenure at Pensacola State College and helped them to realize their potentials.  I suspect that’s all the reward she ever sought.

 

 

My submission for the 2013-2014 Teaching Excellence Award

 

Dr. App shows a rare and wonderful dedication to her students and teaching.  It’s clear to any student who has been fortunate enough to have her as an instructor that she cares about the success of each and every individual in her classes and fully commits herself, her time, and her energies to insuring that a positive, enjoyable, and rewarding learning environment is provided to everyone.  Further she goes beyond what is required and expected to make herself available to help students with issues not only related to their education, but also relating to their lives, and careers.  Dr. App epitomizes excellence in education.

Back to school….

Today is the first day of Fall term at Pensacola State College, and the first time I’ve been back at shool (well other than online learning) in a very long time.

It’s been an f’ing nightmare to jump through all the hoops to make this happen — Pensacola State College seems to be one of the most disorganized entities I’ve even encountered, but hopefully before the end of this quarter all my credits from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Florida will be fully posted and I’ll know what I need to take to get a Computer Science degree.

This quarter I’m taking 15 hours of classes required as prerequisites as well as required classes I know I shouldn’t have credit for.

If things work out like I hope, I should be finished by the end of Summer 2014 (or the end of the current school year).