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Itís Past Time To Reconsider The Place Of College
The Federalist ^ | 06/21/2014 | Matthew Cochran

Posted on 06/22/2014 9:58:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The more we insist everyone must attend college, the less colleges will offer what students need.

About a month ago, I came across a pair of letters online. The first, simply signed “Alumnus,” is an angry retort to his alma mater’s request for a donation. He is irritated that his degrees and the time and money spent on them have left him $40,000 in debt and unemployed for two years-plus after graduation.

The second, signed “A Dedicated Professor,” is an attempt to take Alumnus to task for his lack of understanding about the significance of a true education—something he accuses Alumnus of lacking despite his earned degrees. According to Dedicated Professor, an education is not about economic potential, but about far loftier concerns of intellectual edification and opening the human mind.

Though seemingly at odds, the two complaints complement each other, for each proceeds from the way our culture views a college education—a way that is no longer tenable. College has both an internal heritage of intellectual edification and an external reputation for upward economic mobility.

Dedicated Professor, however, repeatedly indicates that these two goals can often be at odds, contrasting “superficial gains” with “the meaning of being human” and disconnecting “success” from material production. The consequence of this tension is that the more we perceive college as the only appropriate one-size-fits-all destination for every American, the more colleges have to try to pursue both ideals, and the less they succeed at either. This is borne out by the fact that Alumnus now recognizes the blatant falsehood of promises of upward mobility and Dedicated Professor recognizes the severe disconnect between the achievement of a degree and the kind of education he extols.

(Excerpt) Read more at thefederalist.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Society
KEYWORDS: academia; college; education

1 posted on 06/22/2014 9:58:36 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I strongly disagree.

However we MUST break the lock, the left has on higher education in America.

That is critical. We don’t even try. We choose to basically ignore, that the opposition has a complete lock on the entire system of higher education in America.

That is a very important battle, which we are not even involved in.


2 posted on 06/22/2014 10:01:06 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: SeekAndFind

This “Dedicated Professor” is full of $hit. Paying 40k and spending years of ones life in order to find the “meaning of being human” is an out and out fraud.


3 posted on 06/22/2014 10:03:52 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: SeekAndFind

With a very few subject matter fields excepted (engineering, sciences, etc.), I am forced to conclude that nowadays in general, college not only doesn’t get you a job, but it actually makes you stupider.


4 posted on 06/22/2014 10:04:34 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: Maceman

You are right that only engineering, math, the sciences are worth paying for a college degree.

Literature, art, music and any of the liberal arts can be studied by an individual reading and taking a few classes.

Being immersed in most of the studies now being offered only exposes the student to lefty professors and leaves him/her saddled with debt and working in a coffee shop. Or maybe becoming some kind of angry agitator or OWS person


5 posted on 06/22/2014 10:20:43 AM PDT by angry elephant (Endangered species in Seattle)
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To: Maceman

” college not only doesn’t get you a job, but it actually makes you stupider.”

There’s no guarantee you will receive a job after graduation but it always depends on your character and which degree you attain in the end. Now if your degree was in the norm of something idiotic and useless such as “Women’s Studies”, then you deserve to be unemployed.


6 posted on 06/22/2014 10:22:09 AM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company last election, and I laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: SeekAndFind

They used to say, “Even if you flunk out, get the education,” meaning there were things learned at college that were not taught in the classroom that were still important in and of themselves. But you’d still have to ask at “what price” does the learning come? Most of a college education today, even in some areas of the hard sciences (global warming), is miseducation, also called lying or deception. I agree, the left has a lock on education - a hugh influence for evil. I’m hoping that technology can somehow disrupt the hierarchical structure to allow other models where conservatives can regain influence.


7 posted on 06/22/2014 10:22:49 AM PDT by Lake Living
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

I agree, we need to change the culture in colleges. This huge charge for education that is made up of gender studies and occult ancient religious studies to the exclusion of literature, math, real science, business ethics etc. is a total waste of time and resources. Not everyone should have a college education, only the best and the brightest should even be admitted.


8 posted on 06/22/2014 10:27:25 AM PDT by McGavin999
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To: SeekAndFind

“Big Education”
One of the most effective funding streams for liberals.


9 posted on 06/22/2014 10:32:15 AM PDT by nascarnation (Toxic Baraq Syndrome: hopefully infecting a Dem candidate near you)
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To: angry elephant
Literature, art, music and any of the liberal arts can be studied by an individual reading and taking a few classes.

Unfortunately courses in those subjects (other than music, which does involve a very technical course of study) are useless because, as you say, they have been so politicized.

10 posted on 06/22/2014 10:32:24 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: max americana

“There’s no guarantee you will receive a job after graduation but it always depends on your character and which degree you attain in the end. Now if your degree was in the norm of something idiotic and useless such as “Women’s Studies”, then you deserve to be unemployed.”

I know an F-15 Pilot who’s degree is in zoology. That said, there’s more than character that goes into it. It’s also who you know. “Networking” is a big thing in getting a job these days, which is going to pose as a problem for me when I leave the military next year. I’m not a sociable individual or one who has a lot of connections because I don’t like dealing with the drama and bullshit that people fill their lives with, usually over minor issues. I’m taking up a trade this time because my paper degree is worthless, I made that mistake and paid it off in Afghanistan. This time is will be a trade. As far as networking, I’ll be unemployed and in school for a while, so volunteering and church.


11 posted on 06/22/2014 10:42:30 AM PDT by Antihero101607
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To: SeekAndFind

Seven years down the drain!


12 posted on 06/22/2014 10:43:37 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (This is known as "bad luck". - Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Antihero101607

“Women’s Studies” is a resume stain.


13 posted on 06/22/2014 10:44:16 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (This is known as "bad luck". - Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
We choose to basically ignore, that the opposition has a complete lock on the entire system of higher education in America.

Every year you get a lower quality product that costs more.

14 posted on 06/22/2014 10:54:45 AM PDT by alrea
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To: SeekAndFind
good post SaF

...The fact that 80% of students believe in God when they enter but very few believe when they graduate proves college has become an indoctrination of liberalism not of learning...

15 posted on 06/22/2014 10:55:52 AM PDT by virgil283 (GOD loves you...'He's not mad....He's not even in a bad mood'...)
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To: max americana

Have to agree. Stupid in, stupid out!


16 posted on 06/22/2014 11:04:48 AM PDT by SgtHooper (This is not my tag!)
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To: SeekAndFind
an external reputation for upward economic mobility

The bedrock of junk science is the mistake that correlation is causation. People with degrees tend to earn more money because of their brain cells. Club Ed doesn't hand those out, only kills a few each day.

17 posted on 06/22/2014 11:04:54 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: Lake Living

“...a hugh influence for evil”,

Yes it is, but are you series? :-)


18 posted on 06/22/2014 11:07:01 AM PDT by SgtHooper (This is not my tag!)
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To: SeekAndFind
College is not for everyone. Things would be so much better if all but the truly qualified for a high level college education learned job skills, either in HS or the next year. I just don't get (broken record here) why anyone would get loans for an undergraduate degree. If someone doesn't have the money, and doesn't qualify for scholarships, they should start out at community college for two years or go to a technical school and develop a trade so they're employable. Then use that skill to pay for college courses.

Exception....if someone is in a financial situation where their parents can pay for that college education, they should do it. That's the way of the world.

19 posted on 06/22/2014 11:07:22 AM PDT by grania
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To: SeekAndFind

I can solve the entire problem of College Education with a simple, one sentence rule:

No person under the age of 45 may teach at any college or university.

You would be surprised how the perspective and focus changes between going out and having to earn a living in the real world for 20 years, and someone that has lived their entire life in academia.

(I have a sister that the latter applies to!)


20 posted on 06/22/2014 11:14:28 AM PDT by I cannot think of a name (\w)
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To: nascarnation
“Big Education” One of the most effective funding streams for liberals.

Many schools are fielding highly profitable semi-professional sports franchises and then sending significant amounts of money and support to Democrats and other liberal candidates.

21 posted on 06/22/2014 11:30:53 AM PDT by alrea
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To: SeekAndFind

The bigger question is, “What does our society value?”


22 posted on 06/22/2014 11:39:01 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: blueunicorn6

today’s society values the trivial and the perverse and the unreal


23 posted on 06/22/2014 11:40:11 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: SeekAndFind

There are plenty of jobs that do not require a full four year college degree. Many of these can be obtained through certification programs at the local junior college or other training programs. Unless the hard sciences of math, physics, chemistry, or engineering are your strong point, don’t consider college. The social science courses in college are expensive fluff that lead nowhere.


24 posted on 06/22/2014 12:33:38 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: SeekAndFind

90% of the college industry exists to provide employment unemployable American hating leftists. If it weren’t for colleges what would people like Noam Chomsky and Bill Ayers be doing?


25 posted on 06/22/2014 1:47:32 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: angry elephant
Literature, art, music and any of the liberal arts can be studied by an individual reading and taking a few classes.

Oh, BS! These are complicated subjects to almost everyone--yourself excepted, of course--and cannot be readily understood by going to the library or "taking a few classes."

It seems that almost every FReeper sees higher education as job training. Yours therefore is a common and never-ending theme here.

I do not disagree that the current higher education establishment is dominated by leftist professors intent on indoctrinating students to their causes. But it did not have to be that way. Back in the mists of time one did not have a clue as to the political leanings of the professor and instead, got taught the subject matter. But that is indeed a different matter from the one at hand, i.e., can one become educated on his own? I don't think so.

You wouldn't understand the essence of higher education if it came up and slapped you in the face. You want job training and that only. Fine, set up institutes of engineering and other "technical studies" but don't call it higher education.

26 posted on 06/22/2014 2:48:36 PM PDT by OldPossum ("It's" is the contraction of "it" and "is"; think about ITS implications.)
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To: OldPossum

I actually have a dual undergraduate degree in English and philosophy, play three instruments and have won art contests.

But I took further training in order to actually make a living, as did several of my friends who pursued the same sorts of degrees.

Yes, one should read literature, learn about art and study a musical instrument, but do not expect to make much of a living with any of that, and do not pile up hundreds and thousands of dollars of debt in order to study them.


27 posted on 06/22/2014 5:07:30 PM PDT by angry elephant (Endangered species in Seattle)
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To: angry elephant

One of my points was that one cannot obtain what I think of as higher education by your means, i.e., going to the library and taking a few courses.

The other point I was trying to make is this: while, in general, “liberal arts” degrees (with many exceptions—lots of highly-paid people on Wall Street, I understand, have them) do not have much value in today’s job market, that does not argue against people wishing to go to college to get a true education—not job training. I, too, don’t think it’s a good idea to pile up thousands of dollars in debt to do that, though.

BTW, it’s truly an “academic matter” for me since I have long ago retired, having missed all this. Lucky me.


28 posted on 06/22/2014 5:54:17 PM PDT by OldPossum ("It's" is the contraction of "it" and "is"; think about ITS implications.)
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