Education, politics, and anything else that catches my attention.
The colleges have a problem because the US population wants the impossible.As a group, the US population wants:(a) Lots of kids to go to college,(b) And graduate,(c) But for the degrees to not be watered down.This isn't going to happen.Consider Texas Southern (#5 on the list).Until very recently, it was an "open admission" college ... meaning that, just like our community colleges, it took *EVERYONE* who wanted to come and could pay tuition.This has recently changed, and the school now requires a SAT Math+Verbal score of at least 820. The previous average M+V (assuming that one can trust the internet :-)) was 760.You just aren't going to have very many kids who score 760 on the SAT M+V graduate if the degrees mean anything.So ... lots of these schools could get more selective. This means that they would close as the better kids don't want to go to these schools. Plus, the kids currently going to these schools would not be permitted to go to college.Or these schools could water down their education even more than they have (don't assume that a math degree from these schools means the same thing as a math degree from, say, Sacramento State). I expect that the degrees are close to worthless in terms of getting a job (except that I expect that an undergrad degree in education will lead to a teaching job in an inner city school ...), so watering things down even more won't hurt much ... but won't help, either.So, what to do?My take is that the US sends *WAY* too many kids off to college. The kids aren't smart/motivated/whatever enough to get a *real* degree and would benefit by doing something else with their time (especially if they are racking up debt at the college). But this isn't going to happen. The current thrust is to send even *MORE* kids to college.Sigh.-Mark Roulo
I recently read Change.edu, and the author referred to many college kids as "automatics"--they go to college because they don't know what else to do and it's expected of them.I had an Eagle Scout for an "automatic" student several years ago. A couple years after he graduated he came back to school, excited to see me. He couldn't wait to tell me how he never felt "at home" at (community) college, how he did it only because his parents wanted him to, and how he finally quit and joined the military. He couldn't wait to tell me because he knew I'd understand, value, and respect his decision.He can always go back to college later if he wants to, when *he's* ready.
What's even scarier is to look at the money--the % of Pell Grant recipients, for example.One college has the following:Graduation rate: 8.9% Undergraduates: 1,371Pell Grant recipients: 51.2% In-State Tuition and fees: $5,288 Acceptance rate: 88.7% So they accept 88% of people who apply, and then more than half of those folks use Pell Grants to pay for school...of which only 8.9% graduate. Is that money being spent well?
How are these numbers calculated? I wonder if the low graduation rate from Cameron might be driven by the (probably) large number of soldiers from Ft Sill (right next door) who take some classes to get the promotion points, and who also have no intention of completing college at Cameron.
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