Is college being dumbed down?

Posted on January 3rd, 2014

Under fire in recent years for high tuition costs and the lack of career preparation taught at colleges, college policymakers have felt the pressure to graduate more students quickly and prepare graduates to enter the workforce.

The value of the liberal arts has also been questioned, leading some government officials in Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin to question whether taxpayers should continue subsidizing public universities for teaching them.

The cheapening of higher education

As a result, colleges are cutting required credits, dropping courses, and letting online courses substitute for brick-and-mortar classes, despite questions over their effectiveness.

According to The Hechinger Report, this has led some critics, particularly college faculty, to protest that higher education is being “dumbed down.”

Karen Arnold, associate professor at the Educational Leadership and Higher Education Department at Boston College, says that colleges risk cheapening the product they offer by lowering their standards and graduating students who otherwise would not pass.

We are creating Walmarts of higher education — convenient, cheap and second-rate.

More graduates, a worse education?

Even at prestigious universities like Harvard, we’ve heard stories of grade inflation and cheating.

Meanwhile, college graduation rates have surged over the past 5 years, as many of the aforementioned reforms to make it easier to graduate have been put in place.

Is this part of a widespread problem in higher education? Has college become too easy?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments, on Facebook, or by tweeting us at @CFGCollege.

Category: College Costs

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