What’s Your Kid Really Getting from College?
Higher education is an expensive proposition. Here in California we are fortunate to have a long history of mostly state funded higher education. At present, a full time student will pay $5500 in “tuition”, and another 1500 in various fees (Student body Assc, Univ. Union, Health Center, and Instructionally Related Activities for field trips, special class materials, etc.) The State of California, (you and me folks), then contributes $8500 to the pot, making the total cost of Higher Ed in the CSU approximately $15,500 a year. And to top it all off, we in California are one of the least expensive institutions in the world. OOPS, don’t forget on campus housing costs, which will run between $7500 and $10,000 depending on dining plan.
So what’s the answer? I’m not sure, but here is some food for thought.
1. Realize that a college degree is no longer an automatic ticket to high paying job.
2. Revise our curriculum to reflect today’s needs, not just the pie in the sky philosophy of some 1960’s wilted flower child.
3. Get back to the basics of critical thinking which should require a core curriculum with substantive courses in composition, literature, American history, economics, math, science and foreign language.
4. Prepare our young people to be productive, not just activists, protestors, change agents, or instruments of some political agenda of their favorite professor.
5. And perhaps most important, kick the butt of the K-12 group (parents included) who keep sending us High School students who can’t read, can’t speak the language, can’t spell, can’t do simple arithmetic, don’t know history or how this country works, and don’t have clue about money, finance or credit.
6. Lastly – Does everyone need or belong in college? We used to be a nation of tradesmen, people who worked with our hands, and made some of the world’s greatest products and inventions. We need more plumbers, electricians, draftsman, cabinet makers furniture makers, contractors, mechanics, tool & die makers, manufactures, etc..
7. We need fewer, lawyers and politicians, MBA’s and other financial manipulators, and teachers with political agendas and no courage to get into real politics.