Bill of Rights for College Students

Bill of Rights for College Students

Students carry signs protesting higher tuition and fees.The students in the picture understand that they have certain rights, including the rights to an affordable education.  When the increases in cost seem unreasonable, they organize a protest.

What other rights do students expect?

  • The right to take the classes they need to graduate
  • The right to get their grades in a timely manner
  • The right to be treated as responsible adults
  • The right to express their opinions respectfully
  • The right to have competent teachers
  • The right to respect regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, income, family status, sexual identify, mental or physical handicaps, learning differences, or personal beliefs

You may be able to add to this list. The list of rights below, mainly concern the right to get the best possible education. They may not come to you automatically. You may need to claim these rights for yourself.

1. You have the right to DEFINE A GOOD EDUCATION in terms of your Personal Goals and Interests. Your school has defined their image of a good education but it is a “one-size-fits-all” system leading to requirements for all students.  But each student is different. While your school’s plan for your education will probably provide a pretty good education, you don’t need to settle for pretty good.

2. You have the right to SET YOUR PERSONAL GOALS AND DEFINE THE CURRICULUM that will enable you to meet those goals. In most cases, you can do this by adding to the set  curriculum, adapting it to meet your goals. In some schools and some departments, you can work with a professor and develop an independent study that will allow you to earn credit for your work. At other times, you can simply work on your own.


4. You have the right to SCHEDULE YOUR TIME to meet your Personal Goals. You might skim some books, focusing on the main ideas so that you have more time to focus on material you consider more important, material you can now take the time to study in depth.

5. You have the right to DECIDE WHAT GRADES ARE ACCEPTABLE to meet your Personal Goals. Obviously your grades need to be good enough for you to graduate IF graduation is one of your goals. Your grades must be good enough to get into graduate school IF graduate school is one of your goals. But you might find a B or C is acceptable in a class you don’t consider important so you have the time to focus on learning what you do consider important.

If you find this idea exciting, you might want to read it again and think about it. You might want to put a copy on your bulletin board orThe young man with computer shares his goals with friends tape in inside a notebook. You might want to share it on your social network or email it to a friend. Most of all, think about what you want out of
 your education.


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