Thursday, April 08, 2010

Links for 04/08/10

Thomas Frey:
Overhead costs are far too high, state support is dropping, and college tuition is far too expensive. Colleges are pricing themselves out of existence.

Online education can take place at a fraction of the cost. Many of the courses can be packaged and commoditized, and as courseware aggregators begin to sell courses online, there will invariably be course wars where each will try to undercut the price of their competition.

Majors tend to be a label that is both defining and restrictive at the same time. Majors represent a top-down approach to sorting out what skills are important for a given career path. But over time the major tends to lose its relevance. Employers use majors to help prioritize candidates, but they all know that the major alone is a poor indicator of the skills and talents an individual will bring to the table. Is there a better system? None that I'm aware of yet, but it is clearly an old system long overdue for an infusion of disruptive new approaches.

classroom-centric education is not necessary for learning

Colleges are like slow moving whales about to get attacked by saltwater piranhas. While department heads in colleges are off studying the mating rituals of Komodo Dragons in Indonesia, corporate managers are working day and night, ruthlessly focused on opening new markets and uncovering new revenue streams. The pace and intensity of the work is radically different.

Colleges have huge operating budgets and the corporate world is seeing this as fertile territory to make money. The vultures are already circling.
Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon:
It is just plain common sense that putting 100 percent of borrowing risk and responsibility on the U.S. Treasury — in other words, on taxpayers — would be a costly proposition...Yet because of congressional accounting rules, Democrats were able to claim ‘savings’ by driving out the private sector and transforming the U.S. Department of Education into one of the nation’s largest banks. This new analysis has a simple message: Taxpayers beware
Nancy Cook
But there's no denying that the fight between the cerebral B.A. vs. the practical B.S. is heating up. For now, practicality is the frontrunner, especially as the recession continues to hack into the budgets of both students and the schools they attend

[Anthony Carnevale]: Students want something they can sell

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