College Education in the US

This topic was discussed on September 30, 2013.
Having spent some time discussing education in general and K-12 education, we plan to turn our attention to post-secondary education in the US.

  • US universities are considered among the world’s finest. Is that position stable or, as some believe, seriously at risk?
    • What should we do about it?
  • Does the post-secondary system serve its students well, or are students’ interests being sacrificed for research, professors’ interests and job security, facilities, sports, administrators?
    • What is the right balance for our universities?
  • Should there be different roles for public vs. private institutions, colleges vs. universities, four-year vs. two-year (or other format) undergraduate programs?
  • Why is a four-year degree getting so expensive? Should something be done to slow the rate of tuition inflation?
    • Should the current mix of financing (family funds, scholarships, work, loans, grants) be changed? Should other sources (Oregon model) be added to the mix?

 

4 thoughts on “College Education in the US”

  1. Sorry I can’t attend this one–I’ve been in the trenches of post-secondary education for over thirty years (all at UMaine). My greatest concerns (at least at public universities): increased reliance on adjunct faculty; increased reliance on “distance learning” and technology; the Edifice Complex; and tuition that increases more quickly, and steeply, than is reasonable or justifiable.

    I am also distressed by the conviction, on the part of more and more students, and encouraged by public universities, that a four-year education is little more than vocational training.

  2. Art, Mike, Jean, Ruth, Retta,
    The reference from a commentary by Stephen Weber (President emeritus of San Diego State) on challenges at the University of Maine appeared in the Ellsworth American July 25, 2013. I don’t believe it is on line so I left 6 copies at the library desk under my name for you to pick up if you would like.

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