Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Problem With Higher Ed

Actually it is a problem with how folks, who pose as reasonably intelligent, view higher ed. Christopher Quinn of the AJC hits the nail on head with this pearl of wisdom:
There are many reasons people quit [college]. Personal and family problems interfere, an immediate need for money pushed back long-term goals, the fear of debt and lack of hope that the degree will pay off in more income discourages others. 
Notice anything missing? That's right. There is no mention whatsoever that some folk may not be capable of college-level work. But how could that happen? Why would any college or university offer entry to anyone who could not be reasonably expected to perform to a level required to complete the program?

Money. And if that is not enough, then there is political correctness around race and diversity. At then end of the day that really just boils down to money.

Academia has inflated quite the bubble. There are too many colleges and universities with far too many subscribing to a "grow or die" business model, driving towards tuition-driven models with little or no concern for anything resembling academic integrity. Or any other form of integrity for that matter. And as much as some like to make political hay from the HOPE program, injecting more government money is like putting out a tire fire with kerosene.

As long as colleges and universities have no skin in the game, and currently they are paid just as much to create academic failure as success, this problem will continue to grow. We could require that all public college and universities drop all remediation programs, forcing them to use tools, readily available, to ensure that those admitted earn a mortar board without the institution becoming a tax fueled diploma mill. While this will have immediate impact on their revenue, even that is not enough. The next step is ensure that academic institutions carry some financial risk associated with the "it's an investment" myth of higher ed. Such a restorative revolution could happen, just not in today's political climate and entitlement society.