Set up to fail

Intellectually disabled college students and their instructors are set up to fail, writes a professor at a commuter college. Yet nobody wants to talk about what to do when would-be students are unable to do college work.

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  1. Someone should tell the professor that “intellectually disabled” is now the term used for mental retardation.

    Unless that’s what he means, but I doubt it.

    Something called Rosa’s law had us change all of the documents here in Texas. I guess mental retardation was too tough a label.

  2. If you read the essay, you’ll see that the professor is using “intellectually disabled” as a synonym for “mentally retarded.”

    • Not necessarily. I disagreed with the label ID, since I actually find it a lazy label. A student with a Specific Learning Disability could reasonably be said that they are Intellectually Disabled.

      ID lacks specificity. Which is important for placement decisions.

      By the way, if he read the 1st 3 chapters of “Girl Interrupted”, I doubt if he’s ID or MR.
      He is probably SLD with a low cognitive (75-85) comprehensive IQ.

      And I have been doing this for 7 years.

  3. Typically, only about 1-2% of people in a population are mentally retarded or cognitively disabled. Why is anyone expecting these students to be able to cope with college? can’t we think of a more appropriate and rewarding educational experience for people whose thinking skills are this impaired? the goal should be learning experiences that don’t have to be modified, altered, or brokered for the student.

    • If you use the old cutoff of 85 IQ for retardation, roughly 16% of the European-descended population is retarded (and specific cognitive disabilities may affect many more).

      The IQ cutoff for admission to 4-year colleges should be around 110.  Trying to teach college material to those who can’t keep up or cannot grasp the material no matter the pace is a triple waste:  the instructor’s time/college’s money, the doomed student’s time, and the time of the other students in class spent catering to special accomodations instead of dealing with the material.

      • Don’t forget that taxpayer money is also wasted; that going to the institution and that going to student grants and loans. Of course, everything applies to the k-12 system, as well, since it has a percentage of uneducable kids who shouldn’t be in schools.

      • The federal standard is 2 standard deviations below the median. For a typical cognitive test that means a standard score of 70 or lower. In most bell curves, that would equate to 2% of the population.

        An IQ or Comprehensive Score of 70-85 covers about another 13% or so.

        People with an IQ of 110 and above makeup only the top 25% of the population. About the percentage that have college degrees.

        • The federal standard is 2 standard deviations below the median.

          That’s what it is now; originally it was 1STDV, but classifying half of Black students (mean IQ=85) as retarded was politically unacceptable.  Unfortunately, this means mis-classifying hordes of children as “educable” when they are “trainable” at best.

  4. Thinly Veiled Anonymity says:

    We’ve all seen this thinking before. Repeat after me:

    “Successful people go to college.
    If we send the mentally retarded to college, they’ll be successful.”

    Get with the program, people.

  5. I’m dealing right now with a student who probably doesn’t have the chops to be successful at what they want to do, due to cognitive issues. The student is at times mildly disruptive in class and I am praying that it doesn’t take the person four tries to pass this class the way it did for them to pass its prerequisite.

    I don’t know, all I know is COLLEGE FOR ALL is really not a good idea.