Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
On Community College Spotlight: Raising college students’ degree completion rates has become a national goal, but is it the wrong goal?
Of course it is. Periodically we have a push to reduce “dropouts” and increase high school graduation rates, and the main result is that kids who are flunking out are given diplomas to improve the official statistics. So we get more people with a high school *diploma* but no more with a high school *education*.
This will be the same thing at the college level. It will just guarantee that having a degree will mean less and less as the standards are gradually lowered to increase the “completion rate.”
It is absolutely the wrong goal. The country has reached its current state with less then 30% holding a degree, and many degree holders are currently looking for work. Additionally, many students are pursuing virtually unmarketable and useless degrees, while the country is desperately in need of skilled labor and certificate degree holders. No other country in the world aspires so blindly for simple “college degree numbers.” Most develop career education.
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