[StBernard] Expanding higher ed access for low income students

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri May 18 20:41:34 EDT 2007


This comment of yours had reminded me of a personal story told to me by good
friend that is relevent. Back in the early 90's my friend Arlene was in her
final semester at Charity Nursing School. She was approaching finals - thus
graduation - when her husband, a prominent physician in New Orleans
committed suicide by shooting himself. Naturally, she fell apart and by the
time she was pulling herself together, finals had started, meaning she
missed them.

She proceed to request for a chance to take the finals late. She was turned
down by Charity. She appealed - she was denied again. The Board of Regents
at Charity explained to her that even in the wake of great personal tragedy,
they did NOT make exceptions for any reason. As a result of what happened,
they failed her, and she had to repeat the entire semester - which she
actually had to sit out the Fall semester and wait till the Spring since the
subjects she had to repeat were only offerred in the Spring. In fact, as
Arlene told me, they weren't crazy about letting her repeat the semester -
they were going to kick her out because their initial position was since she
failed to take finals, she failed the entire semester which was grounds for
dismissal from the nursing program.

My point here is, while even I could make exceptions for students who had
problems after Katrina, obviously we have learning institutions already in
place in Louisiana who draw a much tougher line in the sand than I ever
would. I do not know if Charity Nursing School has ever changed their


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