How to Fix Higher Education

Among the One Hundred Great Ideas for Higher Education suggested to the National Association of Scholars are calls to require students to memorize poetry, memorize American texts, study logic, debate, statistics, etymology, U.S. history, grammar and writing and perform physical labor.

Robin Fox, a Rutgers social theory professor, suggests giving students alternatives to the four-year degree, such as certificates in skilled trades.

. . .  what we need is a reduction in residential four-year institutions and an expansion of the community college system, with primacy given to extension and online courses for those already working in the profession or skill of their choice.

. . . Among college students, those doing science, engineering and math degrees should attend for free, while those who study arts, social studies, media studies, cultural studies (cultural anything), and particularly women’s and gender studies should have to pay double. Then let the market sort it out.

Education Sector’s Andrew Gillen calls for publishing earnings outcomes for all degree-granting programs, using IRS or Social Security data.

My suggestion is to make it clear to students whether they’re on the remedial, vocational or academic track while they’re young enough to do something about it — or set more achievable goals. <Read more.>

Via Joanne Jacobs, Community College Spotlight.