Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Britt: For-profit schools, a closer look

My partner at Central Dallas Ministries, Rev. Gerald Britt, VP of Public Policy and Community Program Development, published the following thoughtful Op-Ed piece in The Dallas Morning News last Wednesday, September 1, 2010. 

As always, Grerald's ideas deserve careful consideration. 

Gerald Britt: For-profit schools can be dead end for job seekers

Although there is truth in the maxim "education is the pathway out of poverty," all academic pathways are not equal. Working class and low-income adults are finding this out the hard way as they enroll in for-profit universities in record numbers. For-profit schools are privately owned or publicly traded academic institutions that promise career-focused curricula stripped of remediation and traditional liberal arts classes.

These schools advertise offers of licenses, certifications and degrees that can be obtained through easy admissions and flexible schedules, all paid for by government and private student loans. Many of the schools also hold out the prospect of job placement at graduation.

Many job seekers, including the unemployed and underemployed, want to increase their marketability with additional education. For-profit schools often appear to be a shorter route to this goal – with a bigger and more certain payoff than traditional post-secondary schools.

To read the entire essay click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I followed the "Click Here" and read the entire essay - plus the comments. Mr. Britt's arguments wilted in light of the evidence provided by commenters.

Public education rations its services by cutting funding whenever a problem occurs. (See the California public higher education system, where hundreds of thousands of state U students have been orphaned due to cancelled classes.) Much of the market priced education provides accessible quality education.

Public education provides a menu of educational services and severely limits access to quality - mostly based upon social engineering experiments & ratios. I taught in DCCCD as an adjunct and during the summer the TAMU and UT students take courses there to transfer back to their home campuses. The difference between regular DCCCD and flagship students is significant. Race didn't seem to be a factor in performance.

Learners must make good choices; it is not up to the govt. to make choices for them. Maturity makes the learner and often the mature learner chooses to matriculate to a more expensive school where other mature learners attend and highly targeted education is provided.

Simply put, education is not free. Rather, it is in all cases quite expensive. Public schools fail in so many ways and one is to continue to suggest that education should be freely accessible and convenient. Tom Peters said, "If you want people to change you must change what they see, what they do, and where they live."

Mr. Britt may want to develop a program to relocate urban students to universities where the culture is radically different than where their prior learning experiences occurred. The transition will be difficult. It may take longer. Remedial learning may be needed. Part-time jobs may be necessary.