Professor X on ‘colleges of last resort’

In the Basement of the Ivory Tower, by an adjunct English instructor,  argues that unprepared students are going into debt to take “classes they cannot possibly pass” at “colleges of last resort.”

“Professor X” challenges the idea that everyone must earn a college degree or face a life of Dickensian misery, notes Dwight Garner in a New York Times review.

. . .  why is it so important to Barack Obama (a champion of community colleges) and those doing America’s hiring, he asks, that “our bank tellers be college educated, and our medical billing techs, our county tax clerks”? College — even community college — drives many young people into debt. Many others lack rudimentary study skills or any scholarly inclination. They want to get on with their lives, not be forced to analyze the meter in “King Lear” in night school in order to become a cop or a nurse’s aide.

More anti-baccalaureate backlash on Community College Spotlight: “College for all” distracts students from more achievable goals, such as a vocational certificate, and enriches for-profit colleges.

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  1. The problem isn’t that these jobs need a college degree – the problem is that the people needed to fill them need work skills and they don’t have them leaving HS. I interviewed a guy last week who had UNIX spelled wrong 4 times on his resume. Needless to say that wasn’t the sum of his shortcomings.

  2. Cousin Dave says:

    To add to what bandit said: College is the new high school. This is happening because the primary school system isn’t doing its job — it is necessary for the student to go to college to get the remedial courses to make up for what they did not get in high school. Far too many students graduate high school without sufficient skills to be minimally functional in society. It isn’t a matter of learning “King Lear”, but a matter of being able to read the words on a road sign, and a matter of knowing enough math to realize when you’ve been shortchanged at Wal-Mart.

  3. tim-10-ber says:

    Well said Cousin Dave!! Why are K-12 schools letting these kids graduate? Please…do you job!

  4. We keep on kicking the can up the road–from ill-prepared high school graduates to remedial courses in college.

    College is not the answer for everyone. There are so many ways of succeeding in life that are not academically based.

    If K-12 prepared students in basic academics and knowledge, as well as basic discipline and work habits, such as being on time, following directions, being a team player, and developing a work ethic–Ah, we would all be better off.

  5. Roger Sweeny says:

    But more schooling means more education, and more education is always better than less, right?