Archive for Thursday, July 20, 2017

Letter to the editor: College worth

July 20, 2017

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To the editor:

Regarding your editorial on July 14, the “education data” may indeed be “troubling,” but here are a couple of other reasons why less than half of Kansas high school graduates are attending college:

• Word is slowly getting out that a college degree is no guarantee for a good job. Indeed, with the staggering amount of college debt the average student incurs, it may make more sense to bypass college and begin working in that minimum-wage job right after high school.

• Related to the above, much of higher learning has been transformed into a money-making business for those who control the issue of diplomas. Whoever said it should take four to five years to graduate from college? The typical degree program appears to be predicated less upon the transfer of knowledge and more upon sucking as much tuition out of the student as possible.

• Why go to college and pay to listen to some windbag when you can access the accumulated knowledge/wisdom on your smartphone?

Besides the sheer economics, there might be a method in the state’s madness concerning the low percentage of young Kansans pursuing higher education. The folks running the show have discovered that ignorant sheeple are much easier to lead than intellectually curious (and demanding) citizens.

Comments

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 4 months, 3 weeks ago

College is for some, and not for others. Both of my brothers went to college,, and did well. One is an M.D., the other a PhD. I did not attend college. I had a long and rewarding career in government service as a peace officer, what I always wanted to do. There are others who do quite well going to technical school.

Steve Jacob 4 months, 3 weeks ago

But the bad thing is have you lost promotions to lesser people because they have degrees?

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I never had any interest in promotions. It was quite enough being responsible for myself. Thanks for mentioning it, however, as it may be important to others who did not attend college.

Steve Jacob 4 months, 3 weeks ago

"Why go to college and pay to listen to some windbag when you can access the accumulated knowledge/wisdom on your smartphone?"

What's funny about that is I say the same thing about almost all schools now. You can probably learn more at home doing a two hour class online then a day of high school. You gave them all Ipads, why do you need fancy schools?

David Klamet 4 months, 3 weeks ago

It is becoming increasingly obvious that our educational system is a poor value for the dollars we spend. When students graduate from high school, they are voting on the value of a college education.

In every announcement from KU, I look through to see if there is any mention of how it will control the unsustainable increases in tuition. Perhaps I've missed them, but I have never seen anything.

Instead, KU (and surely most other universities), announce new buildings and facilities and the exorbitant salaries of its administration.

There are many ways to receive an education. Unfortunately, the university system is becoming an expensive and antiquated path that becomes less attractive each year.

Like any bubble, when it starts to pop it will be rapid and painful. University administrators must believe that such a thing can never happen... just like the most of us during internet bubble of the 90's, and the housing bubble in 2008.

The requirement for a college degree is primarily a means for an employer to have some certainty that an applicant is qualified. What happens when there are other, better, ways to do that?

The tradition of "going away to college" is one for which I have fond memories. Our university system, and the universities themselves, are not bad.... they are just very broken. It will be a shame if it cannot adapt to the times and disappears.

Richard Aronoff 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Anyone remember Hugh Downs from the old Tonight Show or the Today show? His son and I attended the same university and I had an opportunity to meet and speak with him. He told me that while he didn't have a degree he read his way through the entire list of books that Oxford University required its students to complete in order to graduate.

P Allen Macfarlane 4 months, 3 weeks ago

The good old days of Biff and Muffy will never return. We've crossed that river and we will never cross the same river again.

I'm not a big believer in the draft, but I am a fan of requiring every 18 year old to spend 2 years in some kind of national or local service. I see the time as a way of allowing teens to become more mature and realistic about their way forward in life after service. It is also a way of getting some national and local priorities addressed that otherwise would languish.

With regard to post high school education, I m not optimistic. The ever increasing bureaucracy in administrations, the greed for outside money to support those administrators, the publish or perish mentality, and the lack of courage among university leaders in the face of threats to democracy and the marketplace of ideas will further erode the value of college.

That's my two cents.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Universities should NOT be used for job training. A University should be for those who are seeking a well rounded education. Also degrees need to remain for professional careers, for example, engineering, medicine, law, education, etc. I do not include Business degrees in that. Those should be job training programs.

We need to leave the University alone. There needs to be programs, either separate from or connected to a university, that are training centers that give out certifications, not degrees. A recent KU grad wasn't required to take Western Civ, because he/she just wants that degree to get a job in business. It would be nice if they had a well rounded education, because it develops your thinking skills and creativity. But that's not as valued in the US anymore.

The Bachelors degree has been devalued in my eyes. You can't assume that someone with that degree is really educated anymore. But nothing will change until employers change.

Richard Aronoff 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I saw a statistic today that indicated college costs have increased 500% since 1985. That is more than twice the rate of overall inflation. So the question is......WHY?

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