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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 22, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Blogs

Higher education crisis

We’ve been hearing for a few years now that there’s a crisis in higher education. Everything that I’ve heard has dealt with enrollment numbers, demographics and the recession. President Obama recently said that the push for more college graduates is this generation’s “Sputnik moment,” but will our country really be any better if we’re getting lousy college educations?

Studies have shown that 45 percent of undergraduates demonstrated no improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills in the first two years of college. And 36 percent showed no progress throughout college.

But it’s not just colleges that are to be blamed. I remember sitting in my AP European History class senior year of high school, and having a teacher who so much wanted his students to get into colleges, that he would give us the grades we wanted instead of deserved. There’s such a push for high school students to go to colleges that there’s little preparation.

As many of you know, I’m a second semester senior, and I’m eagerly counting down the days until May 22. And one of those reasons is because I’ve been so disappointed with my college education. I’ve had professors who have cared more about their own tenure track than taking the time to interact with their students. I’ve seen some of my peers know how to handle the equipment in the communications school but struggle to put together a simple sentence. And as tuition increases every year, students become frustrated and stressed as they try to figure out how the hell they’re going to pay for an education.

I was always told that college was going to be extremely difficult. Yes, I’ve found it stressful but that’s been because of my outside activities and the worry of how I was going to pay for college — not because of my academics. And as I sit here thinking to myself, “What have I learned in four years?” very few of what I have learned has been in the classroom. But who’s fault is that? Professors for not teaching better? Myself for not demanding a better education? Or just higher education and our government’s fault in general?

So, yeah, I do think there is a higher education crisis, and I’m actually extremely surprised that more people aren’t upset about it.