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    #242325 - 04/24/18 07:17 AM Re: Escalating American Public University Tuition [Re: Quantum2003]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2496
    Quote:
    This has created a situation where companies are using a very expensive means for the job seeker as a basic sorting method making that sometimes unneeded means an expensive requirement with little application to show for it after the initial sorting process.


    Agreed. Bachelor's degrees serve different purposes for different individuals, but there's likely some blend of skills development and signalling going on for the vast majority, with the incidence of the cost being entirely borne by the student (job candidate).

    ETA: One thing employers can do to circumvent this issue is, in cases where a degree is mostly a signalling tool, to include extensive realistic job previews in the screening process as a filter. If an undergraduate degree isn't truly necessary, then the additional cost borne by the employer in screening candidates can be offloaded to successful candidates in the form of lower starting wages.

    Provided that the screening process is tiered, well calibrated, and accurate, firms should be able to minimize the additional costs on screening so that the initial wage gap for non-degree holding candidates is well below the cost of the degree.
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    #242327 - 04/24/18 08:45 AM Re: Escalating American Public University Tuition [Re: Quantum2003]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    I won't go into it in depth here, because it's well off-topic, but my general sense is that "university as a requirement" is mostly about significant changes in the employer/employee relationship over the last 40 years or so, and the short answer here is that there's no longer a perceived value in training and developing your own talent, so companies are looking for plug-and-play employees. A college degree is one way they're looking for that.

    Notice all the chatter these days about how colleges aren't doing a good enough job of preparing graduates for the working world. College was never about that. It was always about teaching people to think, giving them a broad skill set to draw on, etc. It was always up to the first employer to convert the raw material of a college graduate into a productive employee.

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    #242328 - 04/24/18 09:01 AM Re: Escalating American Public University Tuition [Re: Quantum2003]
    Old Dad Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/30/12
    Posts: 423
    Those are all excellent points Dude. If we continue on this track it's what I've described in previously as the "New normal" with expectations of college and part of the reason that I feel public education and in particular colleges will make a major transformation in the next 20 years. Students are seeking those plug and play skills, if a college can't supply that, they'll start looking to those who can....and as I've previously stated, teachers and libraries are no longer the key holders of knowledge as they used to be.

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    #242329 - 04/24/18 09:25 AM Re: Escalating American Public University Tuition [Re: Old Dad]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    I agree with much of the above, and think that college as workforce training is very much to our society's detriment. It gives you people with degrees who aren't necessarily educated, if you see what I mean.

    Obviously, if you want to be an engineer or a nurse or a historian, you need to go to college. But it's like Dude mentioned: college has become a certification process. For me, the worst is those awful "gen ed" requirements, which stand for what used to be classes outside your major that gave you a meaningful exposure to different discipline and forced you to think about stuff. Today, the purpose of those classes seems to be checking off a box. My eldest took an English course that included multiple choice exams. In English! The whole point of English class is to read stuff and write essays!

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    #242330 - 04/24/18 09:27 AM Re: Escalating American Public University Tuition [Re: Quantum2003]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Well, part of the reason students are seeking plug-and-play skills is because that's what employers are demanding.

    Another factor is that college graduates are emerging with shocking debt loads, and cannot afford to accept entry-level positions at entry-level pay. Those loan premiums are due.

    Hey, here we are, back on topic.

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    #242331 - 04/24/18 09:46 AM Re: Escalating American Public University Tuition [Re: Val]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Forgot to add:

    I think there are three main problems making tuition skyrocket:

    1. Because they can. Student loan debt can't be discharged by bankruptcy or death, therefore...let's raise tuition!

    2. States are cutting funding. This is a bad sign about the ability of state governments to see what's good for the country in the moderate- and long term.

    3. Colleges have irresponsible spending habits. Too many administrators, too many shiny new buildings, too much spent on sports, and don't even get me started on lazy rivers and swanky dorms.

    Point 2 won't be solved by addressing point 3 and vice-versa. Problem 1 can only be addressed by Congress, and I'm not holding my breath.

    IMO, "personal responsibility" extends as far as "You can't play video games all summer. You need to get a job and cover your tuition." It does not include "You need to become a debt serf so that the U of State can raze its paleontology museum to make way for a new football stadium, while also adding a new Dean of Equity, a VP of Advancement, and a half-dozen deanlets of [insert title]. Oh, and let's raise the football coach's salary to a cool million. Pay up, kids!

    Why is it that "personal responsibility" only seems to extend to the party who has basically no choice in the matter (because essentially all of the colleges are doing this and all or nearly all states are cutting funding)? Why is it that governments and universities can behave badly and then tell the people who attend them that they have to be "responsible" and pick up the tab?

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    #242333 - 04/24/18 10:01 AM Re: Escalating American Public University Tuition [Re: Quantum2003]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2496
    It's a resourcing and scope definition problem, too, Val. Add this one to your list:

    4. Universities are absorbing program responsibilities outside their traditional purview for which they don't capture economies of scale effectively. As such, they're driving up per-capita costs in fringe subjects and amortizing those costs over the entire student body.

    Take a look at the program offerings for most honours undergraduate programs, and you'll see a course and major menu including programs that have no business being honours university accreditations.

    For example, check out Penn State's undergraduate coursework under the "communications" major area. There are 23 majors that should properly be included as certificate programs, 2-year associates degrees, or technical college certifications. These are, ostensibly, job training programs. (e.g. "Organizational and professional communication")

    These majors could easily be delivered in a decentralized setting for a commuting student population, in half the time an honours undergraduate is conferred, maybe even partly by remote study to reduce facilities costs. You don't need a dedicated academic dean, a roster of academic heavy-hitters, an extensive academic research base, or state-of-the-art facilities to offer these programs. And, because each of these sub-majors is its own study in esoterica, the 23 disciplines each have their own administrative cost structure.

    https://admissions.psu.edu/academics/majors/4year/?displayBy=interest&aoi=COM

    ETA: I am astonished to learn that there's a Penn State 4-year major in "golf management". Really?! Golf management? A kinesiology degree or business/kinsesiology hybrid wasn't sufficient to cover the intricate nuances of running golf courses; a separate program was "required"? And why are separate niche specialties required for separate program majors that properly fall under the umbrella of administration or program management? Can these students really not understand that certain plug-and-play practices apply equally, whether you're running a golf course, a water park, a hotel, or art gallery?? I'm sure somewhere, buried under those reams of "majors" are specialty graduate certificates in "deli management" and "bakery point-of-sale communications (sub-major: wedding confections)". Those are properly *courses* housed under a major program of study, not degrees in their own right! Mind blown.

    https://admissions.psu.edu/academics/majors/4year/?displayBy=interest&aoi=HEA


    _________________________
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    #242334 - 04/24/18 10:29 AM Re: Escalating American Public University Tuition [Re: Quantum2003]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2496
    I have to post again. I'm literally muttering "golf management" in incredulity under my breath.

    Such a "major" should be a decoy option used to weed out people in the application process who have no business being in university.

    /off soapbox
    _________________________
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    #242335 - 04/24/18 10:29 AM Re: Escalating American Public University Tuition [Re: aquinas]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    All good points, aquinas.

    Quote:
    Can these students really not understand that certain plug-and-play practices apply equally, whether you're running a golf course, a water park, a hotel, or art gallery?


    I suspect it's combination of employers not wanting to train anyone + colleges seeing a revenue stream + students being forced to go to college so they can get a job that used to require little beyond a high school diploma. And BTW, I see "everyone should go to college" as a factor in the creation of lazy rivers and entertainment complexes.

    My own alma mater is now offering more than twenty majors in [insert small group] Studies. This is the opposite of overly narrow workforce training BA majors in that students can major in what I call "Me Studies." I know that sounds harsh, but seriously...the point of college is supposed to be to stretch yourself and learn about stuff that makes you uncomfortable in one way or another (it's different, it's hard, it's....).

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    #242337 - 04/24/18 10:39 AM Re: Escalating American Public University Tuition [Re: Quantum2003]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Val: For me, it's not so much "everyone should go to college" that's fueling the lazy river, it's this sense that everyone should go to the best college, and how lamely "best" is being evaluated.

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