Struggle Of Commuter Students: Extra Events Should Be Available Online
Students that live on campus tend to get higher grades and do better in class. Reported by a study called ‘Time is the Enemy’, “75 percent of students all over the United States are commuters. These kids are struggling with work, at home and also the driving distance they have to travel everyday.. More students are enrolling into Universities as commuters rather than resident students, and it has been increasing through the years (Nelson). I found this statistic to be astonishing because I thought that it was the other way around. I always assumed more students lived on campus rather than commuted, and knowing that only 25% of students in the United States live on campus makes me realize that getting lower grades as a commuter is a much bigger problem than I expected, because such a large population of students commute.
This means that a very large percent of students could be struggling. Resident students have more accessible resources by living here, for example the library, counseling centers and tutoring centers (CASA). Students who live on campus can also meet with their professors individually and get help. While for commuters is not as simple, these students have to travel some distance to get to college or sometimes they can’t simply come because they are either working, have other work to do or sometimes the weather can be an effect . A lot of professors assign group projects, and if the student lives on campus it will be easier for the group to meet up and get their work done and will not have to worry about scheduling their meetings on weekends. I strongly believe that Universities should integrate programs that can make up for the disadvantages commuter students face in their daily life.
A research conducted by the University Of Wisconsin, makes us understand that “students that live a school have higher GPAs because it’s fairly easy getting together with other classmates and creating study groups because everyone is in one place” (Baylor). In a different study, a student by the name Hannah Marchant who attended Brigham Young University (BYU), did a study about how the living situation affects a students grades. She states that ‘One of the most significant findings was that students who live off campus are 1.7 times more likely to enter an at-risk academic group,’ I feel that this statistic is very surprising because it shows that a large amount of students are doing so poorly simply because they do not live on campus. It’s also possible for commuter students to receive a GPA below 1.0 (Fieldsted). Students who received good grades and have a “good performance level” will feel encouraged to do a good job on their studies, and this feeling will persuade the students to “ to continue to be a more successful student due to the satisfaction that this success provides” (Nelson). If this is true for successful students, imagine how a student with bad grades must feel. They most likely feel like failures and see no point in trying to do any better in school. Now imagine feeling this way and the reason for you doing so poorly is because you chose to commute to school.
Even though living on campus helps students get a higher GPA and better grades, for some other students, it might be the other way around. Some students that live on campus are getting lower grades because of their poor living circumstances. Students that do not get along with their roommates tend to pay less attention on school work by feeling stressed and uncomfortable in her/his surroundings. This is why universities have been starting to use applications to matchup roomates with common interest and if they have the same classes. This app has been working throughout the whole United States and it has been helping a lot of students find great roommates, and this has been improving their living circumstances.
This intervention shows that universities can respond to problems students face by being resident students. Is it possible for universities to do something similar for commuters? I do not believe this two factors are similar to one another because an application can not fix the challenges of a commuter because they do not live here.
There’s a lot of aspects that lead and show that commuters have less chances of getting a higher grade than resident students. A fair amount of professors assume that all their students live on campus and can attend all “extra credit” events that usually happen around 6:30 on a friday night. In my case, I can not attend those extra credits because I’m either working or will have to go back to campus at a the time I am not scheduled for. In my opinion, professors should give the students options on how the “extra credit” work should be so grades can improve. So one example from my personal experience was in my Anthropology class. I usually have that class tuesday and thursdays at 4:30 till 6:20. Sometimes my teacher gives extra credit for us to do, but the extra credit is usually at 6:20 on a friday night. The timing and the day makes it difficult for me to attend because I only have one class on friday’s and it’s at 11:30 am till 12:20, and after that I have to go to work at 3. This makes me miss some opportunities to boost up my grade and get those points.
One option can be online! If a student can’t make it to an event for some reason, they should still be allowed to have a different option to get those extra points. If a commuter misses a class because they got stuck in traffic, or if their car is getting fix, the professor should let them do the work online to succeed and not lose points by a reason they did not create. The extra credit event that the student missed relates to the topic you are talking about in class. For example, in my anthropology class, we are learning about poverty, homelessness and cultural changes in the United States. My professor recommends the class to go to an event that addresses the issue of cultural change, which relates to our topic discussed in class. But i cannot make it because it’s later at night and i’ll be working. If i’m in this position, the professor should also have in consideration the people that cannot attend this event. Commuter students should have the opportunity (if they can’t make it) to get those points by either watching a video that relates to the topic in class and answer questions about it or answering questions from the textbook and reading the chapter to understand more about it.
Another idea that could help commuter students succeed is to create a required class or a program that will benefit those students to do better in class. This class will be treated like a seminar but just for commuter students (meaning it will be required to take and it will fit in their schedules). These classes will create small study groups and help them work together either on homework or just learning some skills on time management or any important information they should know as a commuter. These groups groups should meet once a week, and this won’t affect their schedule because it i’ll be like any other class they attend to because it will it’s a credited class. In this class the commuter students will be getting help with their homework and will have the resources available around them. These classes will be run by peer mentors who will be also upper classmates that are commuters. They will guide them and will help them resolve any issue they have, since they have been in their situation. The peer mentors should be rewarded with extra points or credits toward their grades as well. These are some solutions I have come up with to help commuter students do better in class, boost up their grades and help them with any other commuter problem they might face.