College completion rates
Posted in Education by Peter W. Schramm
A New York Times
article notes that the College Board warned Thursday that the growing gap in college completion rates between the United States and
other countries threatens to undermine American economic
competitiveness. The United States used to lead the world in the number of 25- to
34-year-olds with college degrees. Now it ranks 12th among 36 developed
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So what is all this hub bub that always comes up in conversation about how someday janitors will need PhDs and so on and so forth?
1. You might have higher completion rates if you jettisoned the distribution requirements and offered a menu of degrees consisting of one, two, three, and four years of coursework in a single subject. and if institutions were licensed by boards of regents to offer a given degree program only in circumstances where they had devoted a minimum of dedicated staff and available courses.
2. Why not expend our efforts at improving secondary education?
Or, perhaps, a lot of our college students have discovered that the degree obtained at great expense (including a pretty severe mortgage on future earnings) just isn't worth as much as it's cracked up to be.
Our Hope and Change President has a law degree from Harvard. Does he know the first thing about law? Does he understand the Constitution of the United States? Has he even read the Health Care bill or the recent Finance Bill and if he did does he understand it? Does he know the history of this country. I would venture to say that his $50,000 a year law degree from Harvard is worth maybe a pack of cigs and a cold one.
Kirwan -- Mr. Diversity his own self. The real problem is that our university system is seriously broken, Way too much emphasis on "finding oneself" and "diversity" and "citizenship" and a myriad of other distractions, not nearly enough on honest, practical learning.
And then of course, there are all the other problems, such as grade inflation, seriously-overpaid professors and administrators (which forces up tuition and makes students work on the side), and all the focus on university-level sports.
I'm not surprised we are falling behind.
A point about academics and government: Unless things have changed dramatically in the last few years, the highest-paid civilian in the government is the football coach of the US Air Force Academy.
And without the ticket sales and food concessions there would be no money for all the Title 9 sports. I think getting rid of college football might be a net gain. Although, even schools without a revenue sport devote lots of resources to academics. I resented this fact greatly and wondered where the money came from. I understand that the colleges claim that they have to have athletics to recruit normal students, does not make sense to me but I guess that is the argument they enclose in buzz word logic like well rounded students and full university experience. It is hard to blame them as they are probably right considering the cultural emphasis put on sports.
I agree that the programs need to change. The business model is not a sustainable one. They have to decide what they are going to be: either they are a place of pure education where people can afford to come for four years and dedicate their time to learning(trim the fat and lower tuition) or they are going to be the gatekeeper's to the professional world (get rid of the notion of well rounded liberal arts and strictly give people a career focused education). I believe they are miserably failing our nation by trying to do both.