How to Turn a College into an Online Diploma Mill

More and more students are saddled with the diagnosis of social anxiety or something similar. This means they can’t participate in class or show up at all and professors have to accept this and provide “alternative accommodations.”

The only alternative accommodation for people who aren’t there is online learning. Once we achieve a critical mass of students who are too sick to be anywhere but locked up at home, we’ll have no choice but to go online.

I used to be the greatest supporter of disability services. And then disability services became all about keeping students out of school and forcing us into the kind of teaching that can be canned and dropped online.

During the same period of time, the number of students in wheelchairs and with physical disabilities plummeted.

In the first year of college, I was so painfully shy that I would go hungry and thirsty all day to avoid the extreme suffering of having to buy a cup of coffee. But the courses I was taking all demanded constant and active participation. I didn’t lock myself at home with a diagnosis (which, thankfully, wasn’t readily available back then.) I cured myself. And I’m happier as a result than people who expect the world to modify itself to suit their individual quirks.

We are doing a disservice to the “socially anxious” students and paving the road to becoming online diploma mills in the end.

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5 thoughts on “How to Turn a College into an Online Diploma Mill”

  1. I have genuine sympathy for people who get anxious and can’t go to class; sometimes this happens to me. But refusing to face your struggles is not a way to solve your problems, it’s unhealthy avoidance, and it shouldn’t be enabled by universities.

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    1. ” it shouldn’t be enabled by universities”

      My assumption (as a cynical sob) is that they’re not being enabled, they’re being recruited and/or pressured into accepting the diagnosis…

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  2. Thank you for this post, I understand more what you meant.

    At Université Laval, I have never heard about anything like this: I have Aspergers, so I’m well aware about what’s going on in the Help to Academic Success Center (yeah, that’s how our disability service is called) and the accommodations for non-physical problems are always given with the premise of going in class to EVERY lecture.

    The only accommodations that I’ve heard of are the following ones:

    1- Increasing exams durations by 30% for ADHD students.
    2- Helping for taking notes in class.
    3- Permission to record lectures for personal use after class, with the condition to go in the classroom.
    4- Lifting the mandatory team work clause in evaluations used in some classes (I asked for this only one time and I got it, and that was because I was doxxed by other students by order of the education department).
    5- Warning to teachers that the student is not very prone to participate in class, which results almost every time of this student becoming the most participating student in class.

    Those accommodations seem to be very reasonable for me.

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