We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Improving graduation and transfer rates won’t be easy, in part because of the preparation of students who come to City College. More than 90 percent need remediation, and 36 percent are under the poverty line.
Perhaps they should worry about their high schools first...
"Of course we can’t guarantee students fulfilling lives."
Wait, I thought studying the humanities was the only way to have a fulfilling life, a life of the mind? So I guess if you end up living the life of the mind of a homeless person, you won't be able to console yourself with your expanded horizons.
Apparently, a PhD in humanities is something best left to your retirement from some more productive work in you old age. "...the training our students get in reading, thinking, project management, deferred gratification, etc" Sounds like a good hobby for retirement to me.
In regards to PhD programs (and higher education in general) being fun (even if it is nonproductive in terms of getting a job) as long as somebody else is paying for it. This is the problem with Newt's suggestion (and the current administration's dogma) that it's OK to hand out 99 weeks of unemployment benefits as long as the recipient is pursuing an educational program. If somebody else is paying for it, the "student" really isn't bothered by the fact that the education expense may be "wasted". Indeed, when it is mandated by the government that unemployment benefits be spent in this manner, the schools realize that they can raise tuition because a greater number of potential students will not have the option of spending their dollars elsewhere. Furthermore, mandating that unemployment benefits be used in this manner is one more example of social engineering by the feds that is bound to fail. Maybe the big government types who think they know what's best for everybody should inform Bill Gates that he made a mistake by dropping out of school to start Microsoft.
Schools warn that a PhD in humanities won't lead to a job.
NOW they acknowledge it? The writing has been on the wall for a very long time. Forty years ago I worked with a nurse whose husband was pursuing a Ph.D. in English. While he was in grad school he set up a program to connect English Ph.D.s with non-academic jobs.
Ironically, he ended up getting a job in academia.
Perhaps the initiative he showed in setting up the non-academic job connection was of assistance in his getting a job in academia.
It reminds me of the hilarious warnings we get on consumer products now, like the little graphic of the guy with his arms and legs being chopped off that they have to paste on the maw of a wood chipper. Every time I see one of those, I imagine the screwup that led to the lawyers telling the factories what they had to paste on the next model.
"Warning: this degree in Transgender Studies will leave you $120,000 in debt and unemployable."
College loans should be made contingent on a) your grades and b) your major. Want to get a degree in mechanical engineering? Here's your money. Want to get a degree in woymn's studies? Sorry, we don't have enough money to hand out to fund that.
Who gets to decide which majors are favored for loans and which are not? This is just more social engineering by bureaucrats who have less insight on what an individual should major in than the individual himself. No doubt, some will argue that those majors in areas where there are job shortages should be favored. However, this is short sighted. To borrow from my previous example, when Bill Gates was in college, the "experts" would have never suggested that there was a shortage of computer scientists. Now, as for grades being a determinant for loans, this will make grade inflation an even bigger problem than it is now as college administrators will encourage professors to hand out "A"s so that their school can attract more students receiving loans that pay inflated tuitions.
2nd item: I am writing to ask all MFers to PLEASE go to the Google site and click on the little blue link that will allow you to go vote against the two bills that are up for vote this month. These bills will start the long slippery slope to total control of the internet by groups you hate the most! I have mentioned here before that these people were comin down the road--now they are here. If you really want to stand and defend our system then a vote against these two bills is essential. Thank you!