Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An insider look at for-profit universities

Interesting NYT op-ed today from an instructor who shuttles between three universities in Denver to make a living, one of them a for-profit operation.  As noted in an earlier post, the for-profits are under increasing scrutiny because of the high default rates on their students' loans.  The for-profits also are more expensive and, with their open enrollment policies, admit many students who are likely to face academic difficulty.  Some choice quotes:

Problems with the for-profit business model don’t end with recruitment; they extend to the classroom. While my nonprofit orientation covered how to create a syllabus and relate to students, the for-profit session addressed the importance of creating paper trails on attendance, should a student need to be flunked, and a video on how to avoid getting sued.

Here’s the part that’s really going to make me unpopular at my next faculty meeting. Many of my colleagues are excellent teachers, but their qualifications aren’t much of a priority for the college. While teachers at a state or private university are typically expected to hold M.F.A.’s or Ph.D.’s, for-profit teachers need only to have taken a few hours of graduate course work.

We need to quit subsidizing for-profit colleges, and instead devote our resources to expanding and improving the system of state and community colleges that work more effectively for a small fraction of the cost.

No comments:

Post a Comment