Why We Still Have It All Wrong On College – Part 346
From Alan Weiss’s newsletter:
There are many in the education profession concerned that these students are still not adequately prepared to enter college. I have a different concern.
I don’t think a four-year degree (or the five and six years some students crawl through) will be de rigueur in the years ahead. I don’t think college should the default destination for high school graduates. We need tradespeople and craftspeople. We need people in transportation and public safety. Do they all require four-year degrees? Can’t two-year programs or even licensing or certification courses fill the bill?
Do we need brick and morter universities that park, feed, clothe, and house tens of thousands of students who will be burdened with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt? Remote learning and home schooling have made huge, quality inroads against the “system.”
I’m not suggesting we home school medical students (whose days with no sleep and harsh conditions is an artifact that ought to be eliminated, by the way). I’m just wondering why, in 2016, we’re still engaged in warehousing students within an educational infrastructure from 1916. Whose vested interests are being met by marching students from high school through an arbitrary learning process to collect a degree that may not matter at all in terms of their competence and contributions? Certainly not the students’.
Yep. The concept of traditional college is so deeply seeped in Societal Programming that, like with most other sacred cows, people will not make the painful admission that the way we do it doesn’t apply to modern-day realities any more.
It’s the same thing as lifetime employment (vanished since the 90s, barring the unusual exception to the rule), lifetime marriage for those getting married now (vanished since the early 2000s, barring the unusual exception to the rule). We can’t fix the college system until we admit the entire concept needs to be overhauled to reflect the new era in which we live. Specifically:
1. The way we’re doing it no longer works for the majority of people.
2. The way we’re pricing it and funding it is horrifically destructive to both the students and the economy.
3. The way we’re doing it isn’t for the benefit of students, but rather for other entrenched interests (administrators, teacher’s unions, politicians, left-wing pressure groups, etc).