Higher education in this country is a mess. Students are paying more and more money, to get taught by adjuncts how to graduate with “job seeking skills.” Job seeking skills are important, yes, but only in conjunction with many other values that are equally (or more) important. Like learning. And finding out what you care about, what you want to do with your life and how best to do it. Which is what I thought college was about. But I’m old fashioned.
I read about higher education issues too frequently, perhaps, but I continually am reminded that too many of our college and universities are not looking out for their students’ education and futures.
So when I saw this over at the Atlantic, Only 65% of College President’s Say It’s “Very Important” that Grads Get Good Jobs,” I waited a second before judging. I thought, well, perhaps a valuable education and completion of degrees were more important to these presidents than “good jobs.” After all, good jobs aren’t everything. But it turns out, about a third of our college presidents just don’t think students are worthy of being valued beyond “somewhat important.”
How else to explain that 37 percent of these presidents think graduation rate is “somewhat important.” Yeah, that’s what you read. Over a third of college presidents say that student graduation is “somewhat important.” Another 37 percent think that tuition rates are “somewhat important.”
So that’s more than a third of college presidents who do not think graduation, tuition, or job attainment are very important concerns. (I’d love to know which 18% said the price of college is “Not Very Important”).
If you are the president of a college, what’s more important than keeping tuition low, so students can actually graduate, and find a job they will care about? (That’s rhetorical, we all know.)
Anyway. Let’s put more money into college athletics. That’s something even my little private D-III institution has found, after extensive internal study, to be an “institutional priority”. I’m sure Bethel can afford it.