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    #222884 - 09/26/15 09:48 AM Re: Uncelebrated college cost driver - the lazy river [Re: Dude]
    Cookie Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/14
    Posts: 599
    Also let's say you need a new performing arts center (or athletic facility). The old one is too small, leaks and you can't flush the toilets at the same time during intermission due to plumbing inadaquacy.

    You have to (want to) build a new one. Do you deliberately build a bad one? Do you save the old 1970 light board and toilets that didn't work? No you build the best you can hopefully to last you another 50 years. Maybe you save the old building and repurpose it. Maybe you turn it into a parking lot.

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    #222886 - 09/26/15 11:08 AM Re: Uncelebrated college cost driver - the lazy river [Re: NotSoGifted]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: NotSoGifted
    I will agree that some of the facilities are lavish and a waste of money. However, what you might see as a waste of money might be different than what I see as a waste.

    Looking at the 30 best college pools article, I see UCF on there. They have over 50,000 undergraduates ... If the facilities were for a school of 4,000, it might be lavish. For a school of UCF's size, it is appropriate.


    You and I definitely have different definitions of lavish and a waste of money. That $60 million UCF facility was described thusly (apparently in marketing material written by the university):

    Originally Posted By: Orlando Sentinel
    The Swedish Sauna and Sky Deck tanning area, complete with a Tiki Hut, provides a spa-like setting for you to unwind from exams and reinvigorate the senses.

    The "South Beach-style environment," according to the project's website, also will include a "resort-style" pool, a sand volleyball court and --- why not? --- a water volleyball court. There's also a high-speed video game room, a fitness center and a life-size chess board.



    The journalist who wrote the article added: "I'm sorry, is UCF offering classes or Caribbean cruises?"

    Look: college is hard work if done properly. I'm a scientist with a degree in history from a rigorous college. I remember how hard it was personally and for everyone around me (both the humanities and science students). Any student who wants to do well in a traditional college major (but especially in STEM) ---even at a community college --- has to be serious about studying and work very hard. If I had been spending my 19-year-old time at a tiki spa instead of swotting at chemistry, I would have ended up with Cs or worse and never would have got into a decent graduate student position.

    The thing is, those tiki spas and lazy rivers appeal to kids at an age when they're extremely vulnerable to distraction. I was a pretty serious student, but if we'd had $60 million worth of luxury amenities at my college, I don't know if I would have been able to walk away from them enough to keep my grades up.

    Colleges like UCF are creating multimillion-dollar luxury resorts while offering fluffy degrees in areas like "Hospitality management" (867 degrees awarded at UCF in 2014) and Communications (590 degrees in 2014, including 277 in "interpersonal/organizational communications."). Source.

    These subject areas aren't designed to get students to look at the world in new ways or to be intellectual challenges that teach them how to think logically and structure their thoughts. They're expensive certification programs that steep kids in a consumerist manage-your-debt lifestyle.

    UCF's website claims that its top 5 majors are engineering, CS, biomedical sciences, biology, and psychology, but the document I linked to above seems to tell a different story (engineering and psychology high, but not the other majors, which were beaten by things like criminal justice and hospitality and MANY other fluffy subject areas). So now I'm doubly cynical about UCF (PLEASE correct me if I've misread those figures). ETA: maybe the incoming freshmen page is speaking of majors declared in fall of first year, with the degrees awarded being the better measure of reality afterward.


    Edited by Val (09/26/15 11:15 AM)
    Edit Reason: ETA...

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    #222889 - 09/26/15 12:09 PM Re: Uncelebrated college cost driver - the lazy river [Re: Dude]
    Cookie Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/14
    Posts: 599
    But also....

    "Las Vegas lands third, behind Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C., for top convention destination"...155,000 hotel rooms just in Orlando (not sure if that includes Kissimmee). And hospitality major is a type of business major...just specialized. I don't think it is a less rigorous major than any other business major (but I could be wrong). I had friends who were leisure/recreation majors. They probably could intern at the aquatics center....and theses education majors (laughing because I am a former ESE teacher). What I am saying is you can scoff at all sorts of majors....but my friend who has really sick kids adores the child life workers in the hospitals (leisure/rec is one path to that career).

    And when people say UCF they don't realize there is UCF main campus....plus satellite campuses all over central Florida (just usually offering 3000 and 4000 level classes in select majors). Usually they are on the same campus as community colleges/state colleges.

    Disclosure I did not attend UCF but do live. In FL

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    #222891 - 09/26/15 01:35 PM Re: Uncelebrated college cost driver - the lazy river [Re: Dude]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Quote:

    Look: college is hard work if done properly. I'm a scientist with a degree in history from a rigorous college. I remember how hard it was personally and for everyone around me (both the humanities and science students). Any student who wants to do well in a traditional college major (but especially in STEM) ---even at a community college --- has to be serious about studying and work very hard. If I had been spending my 19-year-old time at a tiki spa instead of swotting at chemistry, I would have ended up with Cs or worse and never would have got into a decent graduate student position.

    The thing is, those tiki spas and lazy rivers appeal to kids at an age when they're extremely vulnerable to distraction. I was a pretty serious student, but if we'd had $60 million worth of luxury amenities at my college, I don't know if I would have been able to walk away from them enough to keep my grades up.


    THIS.


    All of that. (Except for the degree part).

    Telling young people that not only CAN they "have it all" but that they must expect that modifications will be made so that it is given to them as some kind of entitlement? This is seriously twisted. It's as cruel, in its own way, as telling women that they, too, can be business executives and still manage to homeschool their happy and nurtured four children, all while being Martha Stewart in their free hours. NOT happening. It's just not reality-- it's delusional.



    Each and every one of them only gets 24 hours in each day. Barring the use of stimulants, most of them need to spend a minimum of 1/3 of their time sleeping or attending to basic personal care.

    Beyond that, this leaves a mere 16 hours a day to attending class, building a social network that will carry one through young adulthood, and actually studying, probably harder than they ever imagined they'd NEED to.

    I'll also argue, here, that this narrows what it means to be a college student in the first place. Now, all sorts of people-- in fact, a majority of the people I knew in college in the 1980's-- would be considered "non-traditional" because they are working part time, attending to their own medical needs, returning to civilian life from military service, finishing a degree they abandoned a decade back, trying to juggle single parenthood, etc.

    Why aren't THOSE people "college students" worthy of the title? Most of them are better suited to doing the core part of any post-secondary institution's mission, after all-- they are motivated, have maturity and they know what they are there to do.

    It's disturbing to me when student fees and dorm residency/dining plans cost twice what tuition does-- and this is true at some regional public unis now. I have to ponder what it means, and consider possible explanations-- is it truly that it costs THAT much more to house and feed college students? Or is it that they are under-paying instructional faculty and shorting facilities maintenance so drastically? I guess the numbers tell the story-- it's probably not the latter if they don't have a lot of adjuncts in classrooms, and it's probably not the former if the value for housing + dining for 9mo is in line with the local cost of living. Here, students move off campus because it is cheaper to live off campus with a roommate than to fork over what it costs to live ON campus. That in spite of the fact that the Sysco trucks don't roll up to the apartment buildings. LOL. (Yeah, not thinking that the food is THAT good, in spite of the promises of four star dining. It still looks like Pizza and formica tables to me, in spite of the new lighting and fancy carpeting.)

    Have I mentioned that they make all freshman live ON campus? Hmmm.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #222899 - 09/26/15 03:26 PM Re: Uncelebrated college cost driver - the lazy river [Re: Val]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: NotSoGifted
    I will agree that some of the facilities are lavish and a waste of money. However, what you might see as a waste of money might be different than what I see as a waste.

    Looking at the 30 best college pools article, I see UCF on there. They have over 50,000 undergraduates ... If the facilities were for a school of 4,000, it might be lavish. For a school of UCF's size, it is appropriate.


    You and I definitely have different definitions of lavish and a waste of money. That $60 million UCF facility was described thusly (apparently in marketing material written by the university):

    Originally Posted By: Orlando Sentinel
    The Swedish Sauna and Sky Deck tanning area, complete with a Tiki Hut, provides a spa-like setting for you to unwind from exams and reinvigorate the senses.

    The "South Beach-style environment," according to the project's website, also will include a "resort-style" pool, a sand volleyball court and --- why not? --- a water volleyball court. There's also a high-speed video game room, a fitness center and a life-size chess board.



    The journalist who wrote the article added: "I'm sorry, is UCF offering classes or Caribbean cruises?"

    Look: college is hard work if done properly. I'm a scientist with a degree in history from a rigorous college. I remember how hard it was personally and for everyone around me (both the humanities and science students). Any student who wants to do well in a traditional college major (but especially in STEM) ---even at a community college --- has to be serious about studying and work very hard. If I had been spending my 19-year-old time at a tiki spa instead of swotting at chemistry, I would have ended up with Cs or worse and never would have got into a decent graduate student position.

    The thing is, those tiki spas and lazy rivers appeal to kids at an age when they're extremely vulnerable to distraction. I was a pretty serious student, but if we'd had $60 million worth of luxury amenities at my college, I don't know if I would have been able to walk away from them enough to keep my grades up.


    OK... while I'm the first to admit that SOME students will get distracted by these amenities and not study hard. We also have a rising problem in anxiety in college students that school administrators are trying to find ways to fix before the suicide rate goes even higher. And while I can't comment on particular amenities at most of these schools. Most of these lazy rivers are tied to the brand new fitness centers. Exercise is one of the ways psychologist tell us helps to relieve stress. I'm hoping that the idea behind these is as attracted to get students INTO the center and once there to check out the splashy amenities they come back for the yoga class or weight room.

    I have used the facility at my local university, it has a indoor track, lap swimming pool, climbing wall, exercise rooms, weight rooms. If everyone who could use the facility did it would be WAY too small. (30,00 students Plus faculty, staff, alumni and families can pay to used the facility.) They run a huge intramural (for fun) sports program that is a great way for the students to run off steam, have fun and socialize in a way that doesn't involve drugs or alcohol. IMO this is way more valuable the the formal extramural sports programs. Which have a level of stress, commitment, travel, and sometimes a scholarship on the line. While the swimming pool is mostly used for lap swimming and does not have a lazy river or water slides, I'm sure it is sometimes used for recreational fun swims or club meetings/parties. The rock climbing wall is only open certain hours and honestly really only a beginner wall. I'll admit it looks fancy but if the students use the facilities they are getting a much better bang for their buck that if they had to join an outside gym.

    In comparison when I was in university in the 1980's I learned how to sail on the open ocean in a variety of boats. Honestly the maintenance on those lazy rivers is probably less than maintenance on the boats many school own. I'd say overall it was good for me to take a break from my studies and take a sail. That didn't mean I didn't study hard. And yes I was privileged I could afford to do these programs. Students don't have to and shouldn't have to become monks doing nothing but studying in order to succeed.

    And as NotSoGifted stated these facilitates are often for student bodies of 30-50,000 students & often staff, faculty and sometimes alumni. Yes the way they are funded is frustrating requiring current students no say in fee's imposed on them by previous students. And yes it is adding to the cost of college but this is only one is a long line of reasons that price of college is rising. I watched a movie that claimed that the biggest contributor to this is the building of new building on campus and the rise in administrators for the same number of faculty/students as being more at fault.


    Edited by bluemagic (09/26/15 03:28 PM)

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    #222903 - 09/26/15 04:07 PM Re: Uncelebrated college cost driver - the lazy river [Re: Cookie]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Cookie
    And hospitality major is a type of business major...just specialized. I don't think it is a less rigorous major than any other business major (but I could be wrong). I had friends who were leisure/recreation majors. ...but my friend who has really sick kids adores the child life workers in the hospitals (leisure/rec is one path to that career).


    Business majors aren't rigorous to begin with...they're fluffy. The increase in fluffy majors that's concomitant with the rise in college luxury was my point: a lot of those kids aren't there because they want to learn stuff. They need a certification. There are less expensive ways to get that.

    Students are told that they have to go to college to get a decent job. But a large majority of students aren't smart enough to handle a college education as it might have been defined 40 years ago. However...student loans are non-dischargable debt, and colleges and employers see opportunities there: the colleges get revenue and the employers get people who are trained in a narrow set of skills (which pushes the cost of training onto the future employee). They aren't educated in the real sense of that term, but this handicap is invisible and can be ignored (and it is a handicap, because training is narrow whereas education is broadly applicable).

    I'm not devaluing work like the type you mentioned at all. NO WAY. I'm criticizing the majors. IMO, universities and employers have created unnecessary certifications as gateways to jobs that a reasonably intelligent person could do by working his way up, with a few training workshops along the way.

    Certification-degrees remind me of test prep, which is focused on a narrow range of skills. The skills acquired this way don't generalize to other areas, which makes test prep a pursuit with little long-term value. If the schools just taught subjects properly, they wouldn't need test prep beyond an hour or two the week before the test.

    This is what I meant by certification-degrees being invisible handicaps. They don't teach students how to think about things in a new way and solve problems the way that a real education does.


    Edited by Val (09/26/15 06:16 PM)

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    #222905 - 09/26/15 04:18 PM Re: Uncelebrated college cost driver - the lazy river [Re: Dude]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Exactly. Students who are puzzled by open-ended instructions and learning activities, and who prefer to be "told what to do" aren't really after an education.

    They are in the market for a commodity. Which genuine education is simply-- not. Nobody can "purchase" education. But a certificate, certainly. Job training is ideal fodder for a weekend workshop that focuses on which handbook, which forms, which buttons and levers, and how to use the menus/app to do tasks.

    None of that is what college education is supposed to be accomplishing with students anyway. Note that I say "with" there, and not "to" them (as a surgical procedure) nor even "for" them (as so many of them believe). There is a persistent notion that paying for education means receiving that which you have duly PAID for.

    No. Students are paying for the opportunity to become educated.

    If they want to pay to become "certified" then that is, at its heart, an entirely different mission.

    Administrators, on the other hand, fail (utterly) to appreciate this fundamental difference.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #222921 - 09/28/15 06:10 AM Re: Uncelebrated college cost driver - the lazy river [Re: bluemagic]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4959
    Originally Posted By: bluemagic
    a rising problem in anxiety in college students
    Some may say that the exercise and activity involved with swimming laps, intramural sports, rock climbing, sailing, etc may release endorphins and lower stress while the relatively passive pastime of hanging-out-in-your-swim-suit visits to a lazy river may increase stress, anxiety, and body-image concerns for a number of students.

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    #222922 - 09/28/15 06:46 AM Re: Uncelebrated college cost driver - the lazy river [Re: Dude]
    cmguy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/30/14
    Posts: 387
    Just wanted to give a shout out for Deep Springs College. This is a 2 year college where students work 20 hours/week running a ranch. (And as far as I can tell they don't have a lazy river). (and it could be a good choice for some gifted students?). 20 hours of ranch work per week is probably a great stress reducer.

    It is men only - but maybe there are other schools that follow this "anti-lazy river" model? It seems like an interesting way to go.

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    #222923 - 09/28/15 06:58 AM Re: Uncelebrated college cost driver - the lazy river [Re: cmguy]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2638
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: cmguy
    Just wanted to give a shout out for Deep Springs College. This is a 2 year college where students work 20 hours/week running a ranch. (And as far as I can tell they don't have a lazy river). (and it could be a good choice for some gifted students?). 20 hours of ranch work per week is probably a great stress reducer.

    Traditionally, people have moved to cities and sent their children to college so that they would NOT have to do farm work or a lot of physical labor in general.

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