Recent popular books and articles on the state of higher education today might lead a reader to conclude that no students are prepared for college-level work, nor are they learning or studying as much as they should, especially in their first two years in college. In the March 24 New York Review of Books, Peter Brooks, the distinguished scholar of comparative literature who spent many years at Yale and is now at Princeton, reviews several of the recently published critiques of American higher education.
Are you watching all the for-profit universities'; stocks soar as their online programs grow by double-digit percentages?
Have you been reading about private equity firms buying failed private colleges and "preserving the mission,"; but developing online programs? Do you wonder how the University of Phoenix grew to more than 400,000 students? Do you believe that you could develop online programs, market them nationally, capture a small share of those online students, and add millions to your bottom line?
The downward slope of a stock market graph is an image that parallels how quickly traditional college dynamics can submerge and alter a familiar status quo. Tradition is rooted deep in higher education, but these economic times call for emerging change.
Forget the labels and discussions targeting non-traditional student versus incoming freshman. Financial security is the buzz phrase now. Institutions across the country and non-traditional students by the masses both want the same financial fix.