Day By Day

Monday, August 09, 2010

Prof Reynolds on the Coming College Crackup

For some time now I have been arguing that not just the public schools, but the entire higher education establishment is pursuing an unsustainable course and that a crisis is emerging that will radically transform the current dysfunctional institutional structure. The university as we know it is not going to be around for long and alternative methods of instruction are already becoming more popular. Glenn Reynolds [the Instapundit] has a nice piece in the Examiner on the subject. He writes:

For the past several decades, colleges and universities have built endowments, played moneyball-style faculty hiring games, and constructed grand new buildings, while jacking up tuitions to pay for things (and, in the case of state schools, to make up for gradually diminishing public support).

That has been made possible by an ocean of money borrowed by students -- often with the encouragement and assistance of the universities.  Business plans that are based on this continuing are likely to fare poorly. 


A college degree demonstrates, at least, moderate intelligence - and, more importantly, the ability to show up and perform on a reasonably reliable basis, something that is of considerable interest when hiring people, a surprisingly large number of whom do neither.

But a college degree is an expensive way to get an entry-level credential.  New approaches to credentialing, approaches that inform employers more reliably, while costing less than a college degree, are likely to become increasingly appealing over the coming decade.

Read it here.

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