For our fourth assignment, I chose Ethical Scenario 5 – the one with Tyler and the missing mark. The passage below is an excerpt – with a few modifications – from my report. Since I didn’t have a partner, I would appreciate any arguments based on Kidder’s Nine Steps that you could throw at it.
What is the college’s responsibility in Tyler’s experience? This ethical dilemma is deeply systemic whose side effects impact both teacher and student. The moral issue is should post-secondary institutions grant admission to under-prepared students? There exists a right versus right paradigm in balancing accessibility to individual students while maintaining a community of higher education standards.
On one hand, students from “small-town high schools” may be inadequately prepared for post-secondary due to lack of resources and funding. Widening admission policies would provide learning opportunities otherwise out of reach for Tyler. On the other hand, post-secondary education is expensive both to student and to government. Students like Tyler may find it difficult to keep up with the rigors of higher education. They risk accumulating debt, losing time and earnings in the workforce and a lowered confidence possibly resulting in an incomplete credential.
Although the college has the power to act in this issue, the reality is that BC government grants directed at post-secondary institutions are based on the number of full-time students, or Full Time Enrollments (FTEs). These grants work out to approximately $7,700 per FTE, money that colleges and universities in British Columbia desperately rely on to operate. Based on this need, colleges and universities will continue to mine new frontiers to find students and the traditional notion of university student will continue to disappear.
One may understand this issue to be care-based, as colleges and universities extend open arms to students who would never have had the chance at a higher education credential. However, I see it as an ends-based paradigm. Higher enrollment equates to more funding and this allows the institution to persist. In my opinion, the result is on balance a good one. What’s yours?