Thursday, May 31, 2007

Feeling Squeezed

Original Article - InsideHigherEd: What people think about the high price of higher ed
Making Opportunity Affordable - Original survey report

Summary goes here!
To be fair to traditional institutions, I think most traditional institutions probably did not intentionally changed their practice over the years. But with the environment changed, they are failed in recognizing them and made the appropriate changes - which, in a way, is understandable knowing the self-governing nature of it.

Because of the current accreditation system, these traditional institutions are in a upper-hand position and is unlikely to change dramatically. So the price for the higher ed from these institution isn't going to change dramatically.

However, if we take closer look at the situation, we may realize that, for most parent or students, what they want is a good job prospective which may not requires all the bell and whistles that came with these traditional institutions.

The current accreditation system with it established way of qualifying institutions, prevent the innovation of new breed of institutions that could provide adequate job preparation for students at a low cost. For example, if few retired professors get together to provide instructions on accounting online. They can really lower the cost - $6/month for hosting free online education software (e.g. moodle). Course material from online resources etc... I believe no one can argue that this isn't possible. What make this impossible is the accreditation system of today. Without accreditation, they can't provide students a piece a paper that is deem so important in today's hiring practice (in contrast to selecting their employee via objective evaluation).

The question is, of cause, how can we prevent degree mills? The answer, as expected, should be based on objective evaluation on their graduates. This will give organizations entire freedom while holding the bottom line.

U.S. Department of Education could start with fields that are easy to implement and accredit organizations that meet the objective measurement. Taking this route will give public choices and vote with their money. Traditional institutions can continue work the way they want until some day, some of these new organizations is going to produces higher quality graduates that meet businesses needs at a much competitive price.

No comments: