The official motto of Metropolitan State University of Denver is “We Educate Colorado.” That’s a good motto, but I don’t remember it, or any motto, for that matter, from the mid 70’s when I taught a couple of courses there. Back then it was known as Metropolitan State College: it changed its name just a couple of years ago when it started offering Masters degrees in a few subject areas.
One of the courses I taught was “Introduction to Psychology,” using a straightforward lecture/discussion format with grades based on several quizzes spaced throughout the semester, plus a final exam. It was pretty much an ordinary course that you would expect to find in most colleges.
After the first quiz, I passed back the graded papers and began discussing the results, providing information on the kinds of answers that I considered correct. After I discussed the third or forth item, one of the students raised his hand and asked, fully seriously, why I was going over the quiz in such detail.
I explained that, “Some students might find it helpful on future quizzes. Furthermore,” I went on, “for students who got wrong answers on the quiz, I felt that giving them the correct answers would be an important part of their education.”
“Hrumph!” He snorted. “I’m not here to get an education. I came here to get a degree!”
I was speechless. He may not have understood the college’s mission, but he sure knew what he needed to get a job.