The College of Staten Island CUNY
The College of Staten Island CUNY - Comments and Student Experiences|
I graduated with a degree in accounting and a GPA of 3.4. I'm not bragging---I mention it only because anyone who raises a legit concern at this College is immediately attacked and labeled by the administration as a poor student. I entered CSI at the age of 32, was very disciplined and fully understood the necessity of obtaining a skill based degree in order to have a stable career. Yet, whenever I sought help at the College of Staten Island (CSI), the very first question I was asked was "What is your GPA?" Before anyone would listen to me, I first had to be evaluated in this manner. Please also be aware that before entering CSI I had earned a Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in non-business disciplines so I had some basis on which to compare my experience at CSI to.
Overall, the faculty and administrators were intensely hostile toward students. Many professors alternated between being insulting and threatening students with failure; some would even scream at the class for odd and trivial reasons. While grading was severe, quality of instruction was very poor; many professors never prepared lectures but simply read aloud from a textbook.
Some students were not mature or not academically prepared to undertake college level study, but the response of professors was often out of proportion. Professors often lied about the material which would appear on exams and seemed intent on failing as many students as possible. Professors often rationalized their behavior by claiming that students "should have" been better prepared or "should have" studied harder. This approach only succeeded in creating a tense atmosphere. Instead of viewing my professors as mentors, I came to see them as adversaries.
Despite being very diligent about my studies and being respectful of professors, having negative encounters with them was unavoidable. Their behavior often struck me as deranged.
I could give many examples, here are a few:
1-At one point, I had registered for an internship where I was placed by the Business Department at an accounting firm on Staten Island which was owned and run by an adjunct faculty member. My duties consisted of making deliveries, getting coffee, moving files etc. To make matters worse, the professor was very abusive. Problems started with requests concerning my age and ethnic background and went downhill from there. Within two weeks he was cursing at me for inconsequential things. I ended the internship once this started.
2-During a session I had with a career "counselor," the individual I was speaking with inexplicably erupted into a rage---screaming at me, accusing me of lying, and interrupting her ( when I hadn't) then telling me she was "sick of listening to me." As it turned out, this individual was not actually a licensed counselor.
3-One time I was accused of plagiarism without any basis. I was accused because my term paper was, in the professor's words, "too good." According to his reasoning, my paper was "too good," so I must have purchased the paper. Only by explaining the details of my paper and my prior academic background was I able to convince this professor that I was the author.
4- One professor I had for a course gave a curve of 50 points to students who had failed an exam. I and a few other students who had done well (about 4 of us) were not given a curve on that test or on any others in the course. I thought this was very unfair. At the end of the semester I had gone to the Ombudsperson's office to find some sort of redress and was threatened. I was told that if I wished to challenge a grade, I was required to go through the academic department, but that the academic departments always sided with faculty in these matters. When I insisted that I would still go through the process to petition the grade anyway, I was told "I wouldn't if I were you." I understood this statement to be a threat.
5- A professor was allowing students to use smart phones and other hand held electronic devices on an exams in lieu of calculators. I found this very odd, as he made it a point to give a stern lecture about what the consequences would be if he caught anyone cheating. I didn't know if he was aware that smart phones were capable of storing notes or if he was creating some type of entrapment situation to catch students cheating. I tried to speak with the Department Chair about this, but wasn't allowed to see her. The Chair's assistant implied that I was reporting this because I was poor student.
6- Job assistance from another counselor at the Office of Career Services consisted of his telling me that "No one wants to hire CSI graduates."I could provide a litany of other strange events but the six I presented give a good idea of what is taking place. I suggest that anyone considering attending speak with other CSI graduates. Many of them would relate similar occurrences.
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