TIGER (Photo: AP)It’s a new term: Academic guidance skills.
It was once a term used to describe the kind of knowledge that’s important to people who work in the field, but that’s no longer the case.
Tiger University has begun a search for a new name for the field.
The move came after the AP and other outlets reported the school was using the term to refer to students’ mastery of academic skills that have been in decline for decades.
In a statement to the AP, the school said it was “not changing the name of the field” but that it would be “taking a look at how we can best communicate the importance of academic guidance and how we better engage our students with it.”
The statement also said the school is working to find a name that better represents its core values of scholarship and academic excellence.
But some experts in the profession, including University of Alabama’s Dr. Michael C. Miller, say the term needs to be rethought, particularly as it is applied to students who are still in school.
“It seems to me that it’s a bit much to me,” Miller said.
“It’s very important to them to be successful.
It’s a great value.
It gives them a sense of achievement and they have a sense that they are doing something that is worthwhile.”
Miller, who has published extensively on the subject, said he was disappointed by the AP’s decision, which could hinder efforts to make sure students get the skills they need to succeed in the world of higher education.
“They’re saying, ‘You’re doing something, so let’s give you a job,'” he said.
“I think it’s going to hurt the whole field.”
A new name would help students and the public understand the importance, he added.
“That’s what we’re looking for.
If the school can’t find a new label, they’re going to find some other way to make that abundantly clear.
They’re going be very clear that they’re not going to be teaching people to be academics.”
Some say the new name should be Tiger academic guidance skills because they’re related to the same kind of skills students can learn on their own.
“The fact that we are calling this the Tiger academic guide skills speaks volumes,” said Dr. Charles R. Smith, president of the Association of American College Professors.
“What this is is what is going to make the students and students’ families aware that the field of learning is going on.”
Miller said the new term should be renamed and that it should refer to what the students can do on their way to achieving their goals.
“You’re going there,” Miller added.
“You’re there to learn.
That’s the key.”
The AP report also noted that in 2017, the number of students taking the AP coursework dropped from 2,974 in 2013 to 1,838 in 2017.
The AP noted that while the numbers have stayed about the same in 2017 for two years, the decline in students taking AP courses in 2017 was particularly severe, with the number dropping from more than 15,000 to about 11,500.
The study did not give a specific number of the students taking classes on the courses.
But Miller said that even with a decline in enrollment, the drop in AP courses is troubling.
“For the students who aren’t taking AP, I’m concerned that there is a gap in the curriculum that they don’t have access to,” Miller told the AP.
“We’re just not seeing the skills that are necessary.”
A spokesman for the school did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Miller said that students need to learn skills that can help them thrive academically, not just to get a good grade.
“We need to build their knowledge so they can apply it in their professional lives and in their personal lives,” he said, adding that there are other ways to do this, including through internships and teaching courses.
“If we’re going down this path of diminishing the number that are taking AP and not increasing the number, it is not going away.”
Follow Joe DePaolo on Twitter: @JoeDePaoloAP