How dare you Grade Me!

I am working (not as hard as I should be) on a doctoral degree.  When complete I will haveCapella an EdD in Education — specializing in leadership and management.  Various medical situations in the past year and half have kept most of the work on hold or at a VERY slow pace.  I have been in the dissertation stage for longer than I care to talk about.

The university (Capella University, Minneapolis, MN) has made some changes to the doctoral program.  We had a conference call a few days ago to go over these changes (improvements?).   Overall the university seems to have improved the process and streamlined some of the more confusing aspects of the dissertation process and program.

One of the changes involves each student and their mentor setting goals at the beginning of each quarter and then the student is graded on a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” basis at the end of the quarter.  Two unsatisfactory quarters in a row and you are out of the university and its program.


Actually I thought it seemed a reasonable standard.  Of course I am geared toward routine, standards, order, etc.

gradesSome of my fellow students were less impressed.   Of the 50 minute teleconference about 15 -20 minutes centered around questions and indignation over being “graded” at this level.  In fact one student was adamant that she had gone through all the coursework and was a great deal of the way through her dissertation process and “How dare you grade me at this point in my career and education”… 

Interesting coming from someone wanting to be a leader with a terminal degree in education leadership and management……

As disciples we have to constantly be reminded that we are after all learners.  We may teach.  We may even lead.  But when we stop learning, when we no longer feel anyone has the right to “grade” us ….. we stop being a disciple.  For a disciple is a learner.

Jesus — my master and Rabbi — is still teaching me.  Am I ready and willing to learn?  I am more like Him than I was 40, 30, 20, or even 5 years ago.   I hope to become more like Him in the years I have left.

Lord, may the efforts I make always be “satisfactory” in your eyes…..


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