Posts Tagged: higher education
The [Department of Education’s] report states: “In today’s world, college is not a luxury that only some Americans can afford to enjoy; it is an economic, civic, and personal necessity for all Americans.” Most defenders of the liberal arts would agree with that statement.
Colleges and universities cannot be expected to solve America’s problems of inequity. They cannot repair broken families, or make up for learning deficits incurred early in childhood, or “level the playing field” for students with inadequate preparation. But they should be expected to try to mitigate these problems rather than worsen them—and one main reason they are failing to do so is their relentlessly rising cost.
Even though liberal arts degrees are actually good for business, Matt Burriesci (author of Dead White Guys: A Father, His Daughter, and the Great Books of the Western World) believes that supporters of the humanities should lay that argument to rest:
A liberal arts education … may not teach you how to change your oil or program a website, but it prepares you to learn any skill, and most importantly, to question how any task is performed, challenge conventional wisdom, and introduce new processes.
Recently, Tara Shultz, a college student at Crafton Hills College, expressed her shock and disgust at the “pornographic and violent” content in the selection of graphic novels (Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi) used in her English class and called upon the university to excise the texts from the curriculum....more
In the New Yorker, Carmen Maria Machado writes about the poor adjunct situation throughout American universities....more
I went to university in 1964, a different era, when very few of us, around 5 per cent of the population, had the chance. We were undoubtedly a lucky generation. Now, many many more of us, young and older, are studying for degrees – between 35 and 40 per cent.
I teach part-time. My students work. They work in fast food or slightly slower food or hospitality. Last spring semester, two were veterans, with at least four trips to the Middle East between them. One of my four parents cut her hours short to race to my class....more
How it all got so bad is a blur. I blocked the door. I blacked out the basement windows. I remember myself curled in feral positions, sounds on repeat getting louder, climbing up and out of the window to piss in the grass.
Though plenty of adjunct professors still teach students, the full-time, tenured, middle-class professor position is nearing extinction. Adjunct professors are paid at wages below the poverty line while the costs of the career—attending conferences, performing research, accessing academic databases—continue to rise....more
The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has added a new test to their admissions process. Prospective students are more likely to be admitted to the school if they prove that they are “confident” that they can “control” their own fates:
Students who answer in ways that suggest that they are confident they can control their fates—or who have a “locus of control” to use the psychological term—will get an edge in admissions decisions.
The arts don’t pay very well, and working as a professional in a creative field like writing, music, or film has grown more precarious. High student debt doesn’t help, but it might explain why almost a quarter of arts graduates end up in business management....more
A communications law professor offers this tale of integrating digital storytelling in the classroom:
After all, we tell our students in courses focusing on skills that online tools are excellent opportunities to engage in some fantastic storytelling. Why not encourage students to use those tools to tell the stories of communication history, theory, sociology or, yes, law?
For those of us who have our hearts set on becoming professors, a Ph.D. is a necessary step toward landing a coveted tenure-track position. But if we aren’t planning to spend our lives at the blackboard, is a doctoral degree worth its hefty price tag?...more
The Pew Research Center performed a study on the value of higher education, as perceived the general public. The result divided along gender lines. Out of the 2100 Americans surveyed, around a third of them had bachelor degrees and most agreed that the heavy financial burden eclipsed the enriching academic experience that is college....more