Report by Paula Antolini
December 22, 2016 7:52PM EDT
OPINION / LETTER TO THE EDITOR
‘This Passes for College?’ Letter to the Editor from Frances Pulle
What is the value of higher education today when an alarming number of schools
are fly-by-nite/for profit diploma mills, boast questionable accreditation, admit almost
everyone, graduate a minuscule number within four years, take “what’s trending” to the extreme?
What is the value of a college degree when recipients are hard pressed to prove
they’re smarter than a fifth grader?
What is the value of a college “experience” when graduates’ envisioned careers
are just (nine-to-five) jobs that didn’t require four years of college ten years
Nothing. Zilch. Zero. And, we arrived here how?
***”Everybody should go to college!” This new age nonsense has led to pop-up
schools, bogus programs, worthless credentials, on-line everything, lax oversight,
student debt, open admissions.
***Open Admissions has led to years of remedial catch-up, wasted tuition, dumbed-
down courses, lite curriculums, grade giveaways, faculty frustration, student anger/
retaliation (“rate your professor”), soaring dropout rates.
***Soaring dropout rates have led to a tangle of support systems: The expected
brick ‘n’ mortar tutoring/writing centers; the sensitive-to-their-needs safe (now
sanctuary) spaces, trigger warnings, comfort dogs, legal advocacy (for illegals),
redress of “grievances” protocol, multi-to-the-max-culturalism. Stuff that has
ultimately failed to check the above.
***Descending graduation rates: Impact everything. The college’s bottom line,
ability to borrow, government aid, alumni donations, public perception, national
ranking, faculty retention. Survival.
Channel surfing, recently, I chanced upon the 60s classic “Where the Boys Are”.
An opening scene featured actress Dolores Hart in the Dean of Students’ office.
“Merritt” was not there for a social visit.
Go home and think about what you intend to do, the Dean told her.
Shape up or ship out was her unmistakable message.
Oh my! Music to my ears! A golden oldie I haven’t heard in ages…
DOES ANYONE, I MUSED, GET KICKED OUTTA SCHOOL ANY MORE?
* The writer teaches Political Science and English Composition at the college level.