At Small State U, where I work, I am not allowed to tell students "perhaps you should rethink this career plan of yours, this field does not seem to be a good fit for you." Nor am I allowed to tell students, "you should consider dropping this course before it drastically impacts your GPA, financial aid, and psyche."
Last week I gave my non-history students a quiz. A quiz that I gave the comm/theatre/english guy in my main department and he did better than the mean.
No student scored perfect on the quiz. This is four weeks into the semester. Granted, this is not a subject that is covered in high school, which is why the first quiz was given 1/4 of the way through the semester - give the students a chance to become accustomed to the material. It is all shiny and new for the majority of them.
High score: 19/20 (A)
Low score: 7/20 (F)
Average score: 13.46/20 (D)
Passing score: 12.2/20 (D)
Exams given: 14
Passing scores: 8
I get to go in on Tuesday and proclaim how this is unacceptable. And if SSU would allow me, I would say that some of these students either need to study more and find out where they are running into a hitch, or consider moving into a different program. And it's not like the quiz I gave was subjective. It was multiple choice and terms!
Granted, some of them failed to read the instructions on the terms section, but given the subject, if they can't read the directions, they shouldn't be in the program.
I refuse to drop my standards any more. I suspect a number of them will start to consider withdrawing from my course, and a good portion of those will withdraw after the midterm.