Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Higher Education, Part II.

Continuing the thread developing on this site regarding the state of higher education (see, e.g., "Too Few Lawyers?, Part II", and "Higher Education" [Part I], here's an apt excerpt from "Grow Up? Not so Fast" by Lev Grossman, appearing in the January 24, 2005, issue of Time.

"College is the institution most of us entrust to watch over the transition to adulthood, but somewhere along the line that transition has slowed to a crawl. [Matt] Swann graduated in 2002 as a newly minted cognitive scientist, but the job he finally got a few months later was as a waiter in Atlanta. He waited tables for the next year and a half. ... (pp. 44-45.)

"There are several lessons about twixters [twentysomethings in this transitional stage] to be learned from Swann's tale. One is that colleges are seriously out of step with the real world in getting students ready to become workers in a postcollege world. Vocational schools like DeVry and Strayer, which focus on teaching practical skills, are seeing a mini-boom. Their enrollment grew 48% from 1996 to 2000. More traditional schools are scrambling to give their courses a practical spin. In the fall, Hendrix College ...will introduce a program called the Odyssey project, which the school says will encourage students to 'think outside the book' in areas like 'professional and leadership development' and 'service to the world.' Dozens of other schools have set up similar initiatives. As colleges struggle to get their students ready for real-world jobs, they are charging more for what they deliver." (p. 45; emphasis supplied.)

More for less. What a shame.