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Discussion in 'Politics Forum' started by jpro, Sep 5, 2019.
Could you image how much more awesome this country could be if we got the money out of politics?
College and higher education was meant to be a privilege. It separated those who could afford the opportunity to either receive a scholarship or figure out a way to pay for it with the intensions of getting a career that would pay it back in half the time it took to get a degree. Now it's just like high school part 2, everyone goes, pays $100k for a piece of paper and kids are trying to survive on minimum wage jobs because nothing separates anyone anymore.
We elected a president that doesn't take the $400k salary.
I agree with most of this but I disagree with the last part.
College is now viewed as a "transactional" experience, whereas it used to be viewed as a "transformational" experience. The purpose of college (in my view) is to develop a well-rounded person while at the same time providing educational opportunities to learn specialized knowledge and skills that allow the person to enter the workforce upon graduation; they make a good living doing what they are trained to do and positively contribute to society. Their experiences in college transform them into nimble, intelligent, responsible young adults who help move society and communities forward. Believe it or not, I graduated from college in 2000 and from grad school in 2005, so it wasn't that long ago, and my experiences were transformational. For the past 15 years I have worked on college campuses, and most students now look at college as transactional (I give you money for classes, you give me passing grades, I "get through it" somehow, and get my degree that I have no idea what to do with...but I got the piece of paper so I'm golden, right?). Student engagement on campus is low at most schools, living in residence halls is "plan B" to living in some upscale apartment building adjacent to campus that offers rooftop pools and yoga studios and coffee shops, and the goal for most students is to get through it, not learn from it and experience something transformational. And yet, our universities perpetuate this by raising tuition, tacking on ridiculous fees (state of the art rec centers, etc.) and at larger universities grad students teach 100 level classes to thousands of students. This doesn't happen everywhere...when I was working at a prominent Big Ten school there was a real culture of learning and betterment. It was an incredible university that did incredible things, and you had to be more than a mouthbreather to get in and you needed to bring your "A game" to get that diploma. I'm sure that environment exists other places (I know it does), but I think the number of colleges and universities like that are outnumbered by the transactional type.
Where I disagree is your point about separation. If you go to get a degree in a professional school that trains you for the workforce (engineering, business, nursing, education, etc.) you will be able to separate yourself from others. The big four accounting firms are going to hire accounting grads who are CPA ready, not a drop out who is "good with numbers." Boeing isn't hiring a guy who tinkers with cars and engines, they're going to hire an engineer. Nurses get paid to do a job that requires a lot of on-the-job training during the college experience through clinicals, and I'll take my chances with a nurse who was an average college student over someone who didn't go to college. But...a lot of these liberal arts degrees (your lesbian dance theory, etc.) don't train you for the workforce, so their degrees don't separate them from others because they don't provide significant value to an organization.
Yes I agree, but your second part, most of those "specialized" jobs, you need to take more exams and classes in order to get noticed. That's where the effort really separates those who have determination and those feeling entitled to walk on a college campus. You and I both know you have to really know your stuff to be a CPA, lawyer, doctor, engineer.
I should have clarified as I didn't have those in mind when I mean everyone get's a piece of paper with a gold star and a pat on the back that you made it kid. Making it by the skin of your teeth definitely isn't going to cut it there. I had the majority of the flip side to those kids, who like you said, paid to get the grade and lived in the expensive luxury apartment and had mommy and daddy provide the things that we all really have to work for in life. That isn't giving them distinction in society and that where the everyone is equal BS is stemming from.
We're going to derail this thread, but here we go...
I appreciate what I learned in college, and I know that I am better as a result of it (graduated with an accounting degree). That being said, I do not know 1 single person working in the field their degree is in, not a single one. I do agree that we all have learned skills and have qualities that make us useful where we are now, but it's hard not to notice that fact.
I don't disagree with what you are saying here...yes, many areas are very competitive (accounting, nursing, engineering, etc.) but pursuing a degree and a career in these areas will set you apart if you are successful. You have to bring your "A game" to complete your degree in these areas, so most folks do pretty well for themselves career-wise if they excel. You don't see many students "coasting" through an engineering major regardless of how smart they are. I think education reform is needed, mostly because of reasons you have identified. Not everyone is "college material." There is no shame in doing something other than college to reach your potential. It is ridiculous to think that going into the military, learning a trade as an apprentice, etc. is not a smart move (depending on the person's situation and skills). Same can be said for college. It makes sense for a lot of people depending on their situation and skills.
You know one person...me. I have a masters degree in higher education administration, and I am currently an administrator on a college campus.
But...it took career strategy to do this. I didn't just happen upon my career, it was intentional.
Ok...back to Obama screwing us with his student loan program decisions. LOL
Society created the mantra that you're not as skilled or qualified if you don't have a degree, which I do not agree with. I agree with you that education at all levels needs reform.
My son will finish his second year in computer science owing zero. I put up very little of his cost, and he saved all thru HS, got decent enough grades, and scholarships helped dictate where he is going to school. My neighbor paid his kids way thru school, because he thought it was the right thing to do, and he could afford it. His children are good kids, but now he has most of a house full of liberals. Mine know they will be mostly financially responsible for their continuing education, and are much more conservative. Neither of us expect the government to provide for college, and unless you are an idiot, there are lots of finance options besides going 150K in debt for a basket weaving degree. I think his kids feel sorry for the people with big student debt, because they don't have any and didn't have to pay themselves, where mine think if you have big student debt you are either a leach or an idiot. The current class of democrat socialists running for president need my neighbors kids, and leaches and idiots, and its easier to get more leaches and idiots when you promise free, free, free.
My company requires a Mechanical or Electrical degree in able to secure a sales position. However, my best sales person is not a degreed ME or EE. He out worked everyone else and I gave him a shot.
College for me (I am not a college grad) provides (1) exposure to a discipline (2) teaches the person to be able to (a) see a new challenge (b) learn how to over come the challenge (c) execute the knowledge learned on said challenge. The repeating of challenges and success under a timeline is really what goes on in many businesses. Colleges provides training for this.
I agree, I see many people with degrees in one field, and performing work in another.
Not even a drop in the bucket for the fraud that goes on in Politics. I applaud him for it, but the number of millionaires in Politics is ridiculous.
Yeah number 2, exposure to communism as that is what makes up a majority of college profs.
I'm curious what Big 10 school you worked at where you think there was actually an environment of learning. My father was an engineering professor at a Big 10 school for over 30 years. He retired before you graduated, largely because of the politics, and the fact that big schools.....nearly all of them....were focusing on how much research funding they could bring in, not educating students. I highly doubt one Big 10 school is any different than the rest. In fact, I visited nearly all of them before I went back to school in 1997 at the age of 23, so I'm quite confident they're all virtually identical. That's why I chose to go to a small, private engineering school instead.
My point is, large schools are simply meat factories, pumping students out with paper degrees that mean little, all while looking to bring in a new crop to charge more tuition. They're not unlike IC engines. The only difference is, they burn students, instead of oxygen and fuel.
I will not disagree that the politics of higher education will drive a sane person to the brink of insanity. It sucks, plain an simple. Some campuses are worse than others. It can be downright disgusting, and often is.
Interestingly, for undergrad I chose Ohio University over Ohio State because it was a smaller school with more of a college feel (i.e. not a "meat factory"). Also, Ohio was more selective at the time than Ohio State. Literally anyone could get into Ohio State when I was an undergrad. But...things change. What has happened at Ohio State and a lot of other big schools in terms of the level of academics is nothing short of amazing. In 25 years (I graduated high school in 1994) Ohio State has gone from a "meat factory" as you call it, to one of the top universities for research and teaching. It has been an incredible transformation. I earned my masters from Ohio State btw.
I worked at UW-Madison, which is the school I referenced in the post that you quoted. I worked there for many years (left in 2017). Your father's experience, especially as a faculty member 20 years ago, isn't necessarily reflective of the way things are today. Are there still politics? Yes, and they suck. But schools that have above average admissions standards (like UW) are competing for a shrinking population: students who are college ready and prepared to succeed. In order to compete for and get these students, many big universities have worked hard to shed the stigma of being "meat factories" and are much better now. They are much more student-focused and provide learning experiences that were non-existent 20 years ago. Times change, that's all I will say.
UW is/was a great place. There were things that sucked about it, but overall I was proud to work there.
This guy gets it. I can second the "major universities care more about research money brought in and incoming freshmen #s more than anything"
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My company requires a degree to hold my position also.
I’m a high school drop out.
My “ counter part “ has a degree.. and has no idea what he’s doing.. because he has no real world experience in the field ...
The first time I went to college in 1991, it was to UW-Madison. It was every bit the meat factory I described. I remember it like it was yesterday. 400+ students in a lecture hall for a 100-level physics class where the professor doesn't even know your name; graduate students barely able to speak English teaching discussion classes. That's part of the reason I dropped out. When I went back 6 years later, it was to a far better school than anything the Big 10 can offer.
Maybe things have changed. I haven't been back to UW since. But I grew up in Champaign, IL with U of I in my backyard, and go back there multiple times per year. It was the same back then, and still is today. I won't tell you you're lying. But I think you might be wearing some rose-tinted glasses, especially if you're an administrator, and not a professor.
One more thing to add: The population of students that are college ready isn't shrinking, they're just not in the US. Probably 75% of all incoming freshman at U of I are Asians, now. Campus might as well be called China town.