UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

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By Terra Paige

To Chancellor Yang and All Affected by UC Santa Barbara ‘Going Online’

You have a crisis on your hands.  A crisis of confidence. 

As a senior at UC Santa Barbara, I had looked upon my last quarter with melancholy.  Here I have had the support of instructors that invested in myself and other students with the remarkable reputation that UCSB had earned.  

I was a transfer student; I studied at both Santa Barbara City College and Allan Hancock College before transferring.  I am a non-traditional student, and with this comes a great deal of experience.  I have had a long history of brick and mortar college instruction followed by three solid years of exclusive online education. Last summer I was able to take two online courses within the UC system, one at Berkeley and the other at Irvine.  

There is a public petition, with close to seven-thousand signatures at the time I am writing this, from students and the families of students circulating with the demand for a reduction in their spring tuition fees.  “I feel I am paying to teach myself,” and “Our tuition is the same, but the learning experience is sub-par” are some of the comments left on the petition.  I cannot agree more.  The infrastructure of the online learning experience compared to that of the local community colleges, or even local high schools, has been sub-par. This rush to implement inadequate software coupled with poor instructor communication under a strict quarter system threatens to tarnish your reputation.  However, more importantly, your student population is severely underserved by your inadequate systems.

In one course, I have only received blocks of text on Gauchospace.  This course has only had one failed Zoom meeting with no follow up.  I have not heard from the instructor in four days since, though I have emailed three times politely asking for office hours and an update. 

I fail to understand why UCSB did not support the bare minimum of online software for its’ students/instructors, such as Canvas? I can’t understand the implementation of Zoom, rather than simply uploading audio files and powerpoint with forum discussions.  I have never experienced a more disconnected classroom than I am now.  Within the bounds of a research university, connection should be the emphasis.

The UC experience is to be one that aspires to deliver a, “dynamic environment that prizes academic inquiry and interpersonal connection to inspire scholarly ambition, creativity, and discoveries with wide-ranging impact.” (UCSB website) When students are met with broken links, overloaded systems, deliverables that are disjointed and confusing – you should expect us to ask why and demand better of you.  We deserve an explanation.  

As the system stands now, already possessing our spring tuition fees and grades nine weeks away, how do you - UC Santa Barbara – rise to the occasion and provide us with the educational experience we earned? 

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dmc53 Apr 03, 2020 09:29 AM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

The university is in a very awkward situation. If they do a good job of educating students remotely, the brick and mortar university is less necessary. If the on-line classes are a failure, the existing remote classes should be discontinued.

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 03, 2020 04:04 PM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

Lab courses can not be taught effectively on-line. This quarter they're recording the experiments, having the students watch the videos, and then providing the data for them to analyze. This is not happening for CHEM 1AL (first quarter of general chemistry lab). This course has been dropped from Spring quarter because few students take it out of sequence (largest 1AL enrollment is Fall) and it's an absolute must for students to be introduced to the lab environment and go through proper safety training, which can only be done in person.

a-1585942559 Apr 03, 2020 12:35 PM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

I disagree, it's not all-or-nothing. Some classes translate very well to online instruction, and some very much do not. A knee jerk reaction to cancel ALL online classes or ALL in-person classes is not reasonable.

letmego Apr 03, 2020 10:27 AM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

The effectiveness is going to depend a lot on the coursework and on the teacher. I attended "distance" classes in the 1990s. A television / telephone "video" class. It was pretty successful, but it was math/ operations research. Hands-on classes will be harder. There needs to be a little bit of patience. Our children are going through the same thing, and the teachers are still getting paid. I'm not getting a property tax reduction. This is a hard time.

Tjncali Apr 03, 2020 09:47 AM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

I agree. There is a difference between the university and the professors however. I am not a teenager, I am almost 50. I have a very unique perspective given that I have attended online classes previously and am incredibly frustrated that the university didn't prepare for this situation sooner. Online classes are not new. Students are paying anywhere from 6-20,000 for substandard classes right now. I believe this is simply the fault of the university not giving faculty time and resources to prepare for this quarter. (Poster)

Thomas John Apr 03, 2020 07:06 AM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

It's a global crisis. Millions affected, many will die, millions losing their jobs. Just suck it up like the rest of us.

Tjncali Apr 03, 2020 09:43 AM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

The crisis is very real to me (poster). My uncle who has served as a police officer for 40 years got the virus. Our education, so far, as distance learners has been disastrous. We are going into debt to pay for it, not to mention that many students are locked into housing contracts that they are not taking advantage of because they were asked to stay home.

Alexblue Apr 03, 2020 08:29 AM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

The fact that this is everything you say doesn't mean people and organizations shouldn't try and find ways to help out their community--in this case, why not adjust the fees?

a-1585870501 Apr 02, 2020 04:35 PM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

It is a mistake to think for one second that the university is your friend. Like most businesses, their job is to make the most amount of money, and spend the least amount. The bottom line is that UCSB and Dario Pini are, for all practical purposes...the same.

Tjncali Apr 03, 2020 09:51 AM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

I am inclined to agree, but I have been very proud to attend. I come from meager means, had a mild stroke and up until this quarter have felt supported in my career aspirations. This quarter is a dismal display of what UCSB has to offer. They should not have commencced with the quarter until they were ready and they should not have taken student funds (putting them further in debt).

a-1585873963 Apr 02, 2020 05:32 PM
UCSB Should Adjust Spring Quarter Tuition

Speaking of Dari, I'll bet he's going to go through a challenging time for the next 3-6 months with his tenants and then either trying to evict them in the ned or find new ones for his slum lord rents. Any word about this low life slum lord lately? Is the City still looking the other way because he means property taxes they need? Talk about a case of doing what is right to the people or taking care of your own aka the City coffers.

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