Why did 17 million students go to college?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by iloveemoticons, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I was a fine arts major. Painted, sculpted, drew, etched, etc. I had the foresight to take marketing classes my senior year. I was an art director for one of the top Ad agencies in NYC. It's tough now, not because I am not creative or skilled enough in art. But I don't have the computer skills of a kid coming out of college, with a degree in graphics, now. There were no computers when I was in school. I can do much of it, but I am not as at home with computers as younger people are.

    There are jobs in creative fields, it's what you do to prepare yourself.

    Peibeck, I am guessing that I misunderstood your post. However it came off as suggesting that art majors are not really doing much of anything. I am thinking that is not what you meant, but that is how I took it.
     
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  2. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    Beat you. My daughter went to the NUMBER ONE school on the list. (Their student/faculty ratio and the one-on-one work done with full professors is the reason the cost is so high, plus they've never had a big endowment.) But with more than half the cost whittled away by grant aid, it didn't cost much more than paying full tuition at University of Maryland!

    And again, I sorta agree with those who want to hold colleges more accountable for the "results." It's just so difficult to define results. Is a modestly-salaried person whose college experience means s/he reads, votes, enjoys an expanded cultural life and so on going to think it was worth the cost when s/he is still paying the loans off twenty years later? Depends on the person, doesn't it?
     
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  3. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    The flip side of the above argument is that top students from modest backgrounds should never aspire to the most prestigious colleges or universities. I think American society would lose a great deal if this were the case.
     
  4. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    I see the entitlement thing as being separate as whether top kids from modest backgrounds should apply to top colleges. My elder sibling applied to top colleges and got accepted to all but I never saw him as feeling entitled; it's more like "doing this for family glory/honor". :) Now if he had expected his parents to foot the bill 100% then I would have considered him as feeling entitled. ;)

    But other kids from modest backgrounds might have done it for other reasons.
     
  5. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Nah uh :lol:! I had two in at the same time for 3 years. $50,xxx.00 + $48,xxx.00 trumps your one. :lol: & :scream:.

    Seriously, one of the big reasons that both my kids went to the schools they did was also due to very small student/faculty ratios. Neither of mine got any sort of aid.

    As far as name schools for undergraduate. There is no question that my son's "name" undergrad school (and his grades there) got him the merit scholarship he now has in law school. My daughter's school was not the same level of "name" that my son's was, but it will help her in getting into a master's program. She has decided she wants to get her master's in occupational therapy. She has an undergrad in behavioral science and has experience working with/teaching autistic spectrum kids, she's amazing with them. And she loves it. I worried that it might be too emotional, but she calls me every day, after she's done teaching, and she is elated at her student's accomplishments. I've never seen her so happy and fulfilled :).
     
  6. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    My daughter wants to write for television. It's hard as hell to get in the door in that, but she did study at a college with longstanding links to the theater, movies and TV worlds, she took all their hardest screenwriting courses, she did what she could. Now it's up to her, she can save her money and move to LA and try her damnedest.

    Should I have insisted she go to a cheaper college and major in something practical? I don't think so, because my own experience tells me that a fine education in the liberal arts prepares you for many things and it might take a while to find out what you're really intended to do. As long as I don't have to support her past letting her live here rent-free for a while, I think it's fine. Of course, check in with me in five years and see what I think then.

    But if I had had two kids like you, I might have thought differently. ;)
     
  7. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    And apparently I am not alone in thinking so, going by predictions for what is coming in higher ed funding now that the election is over:

    “Under a Republican Congress, Pell will certainly be revisited and reconsidered in a substantial way,” said Moran, of AASCU. Whether that means raising eligibility standards, cutting the maximum award level or drastically reshaping the Pell program remains to be seen.

    Members of Congress in both parties are looking more closely at the return on investment for federal dollars and may be dissatisfied with what they see. While Democrats have thus far focused on for-profit colleges, there is the potential for them -- and, more likely, for Republicans -- to consider what they’re getting for all those billions of dollars invested in Pell, and billions more invested elsewhere in higher education.

    Then, all of higher education, and not just the for-profits, will face challenges. If Congress takes a closer look at issues of quality in higher education, Moran said his association’s members – state colleges -- as well as community colleges and historically black colleges and universities are “going to run into political hurdles.” A lobbyist for private colleges said the same could be said for some independent institutions, some of which have high sticker prices and low graduation rates.


    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/11/02/election

    Our old friend Richard Vedder speaks: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovati...ople/27788?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en
     
  8. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    I don't think slackers get degrees at all. :lol: I would never say that art is an easy degree - I majored in journalism and graphic design. My design classes were 10 times more difficult than the journalism classes. No tests, no absolute answers, constant critiques, impossible-to-please professors and it was like a gift from baby Jesus if you got a B in a major class. I loved it, though.

    If anything is a BS degree, it's the extremely general ones like communications, English or psychology/philosophy. Not because they aren't good degrees, but you get the "I dunno" students in there who picked something just to graduate.
     
  9. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    I think the original poster wasn't saying art was easy, just that some art students weren't planning ahead financially for possible tough employment situations.

    I find fine arts courses to be subjective in grading, so you can get the easy A courses as well as the tough ones who never give As to art. ;)
     
  10. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

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    Generalizing much? I know people who majored in communications and English and it wasn't just so they could graduate. They were genuinely interested in the field and pursued graduate studies in their field. One of my friends majored in communications, got a Master's in communications and now works for CAIR as an Outreach and Communications director.
     
  11. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    That may be true, but as I said, it sounded like the spoiled kids with no direction chose art or PE because it was easy. Again, that (now) seems to not have been the OP's intent.

    The only easy A art class I ever took was in high school. Because in some high schools, they don't take the arts seriously. Once I got into college, getting an A in an art class was exactly what vesperholly described.

    I don't agree that general majors like English or philosophy are easy. My son double majored in poli-sci and philosophy. He said his more advanced level philosophy & logic courses made his brain bleed, they were that hard.
     
  12. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    Uh, yeah. I remember that it took me an hour to decipher a page of Hegel back in college, Kant I could do maybe three pages in an hour. Brain-bleeding is a good description. As for literature courses, I had tough professors who were ruthless on BS. There was a Dante paper, only five pages long, that cost me a week of my life...and the one art history course I took, on Renaissance art, had me researching late into the night for a semester.

    I don't think the sciences are "harder" than the humanities or arts if all are taught rigorously.
     
  13. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

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    :lol: Brings back memories. Some of my hardest professors were philosophy professors. I had one who gave me a paper back freshman year and told me it wasn't worth a grade ("F" included). I had to rewrite it. I wasn't the only student to have that experience with him either. I was more scared of him than I ever was with any science or math professors.

    I had another professor freshman year who was a poli sci professor (he taught classes that mainly dealt with political philosophy) who also gave me a paper back on Plato without grading it. I eventually got a B in his class but he also bled my brain. Don't get me wrong. I loved those two professors and they taught me to think more critically about EVERYTHING but they were probably the two hardest professors I had in my entire college career.

    There were others but those two really stick out.

    So it is total BS that the liberal arts/social science majors are people who just don't know what to do and want a "walk in the park" degree.
     
  14. peibeck

    peibeck Counting down the days 'til Skate America

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    Yes, that is what I meant, but I did not make my post very clear, unfortunately.

    Well I am sure there are always a few kids who go into an area because they "think" it will be easy... and then learn the hard way when the assignments come about. :lol:

    With my current job, it just worries me to see so many kids leaving school (with or without degrees) with frequently staggering sums of debt, especially students already coming from low income backgrounds when the employment prospects are so dire. It's the terrible double edged sword of trying to lift people up from poverty, but the fact they may have to live for another 20 years like a student while paying off all the debt they accumulated just from college.

    When I first started in financial aid, 15 years ago, only about 50% of our students received aid, and of that population only about half had loans.

    Now 93% of our students have some kind of aid, and about 85% of that population have loans. :(
     
  15. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    As an art major, I had 8 semesters of art history. Not survey courses, in depth - covering the art/architecture itself, the social & religious relevance, media, and more. Our art history classes had weekly 2 hour labs. The chairman of the department taught all of the art history for art majors classes. She was the most intelligent and demanding professor I had for any subject. I don't think I slept for 4 years, between studying for art history, having art assignments done (especially the studio classes), and everything else that is required. I need a nap just remembering :lol: I also remember how difficult scheduling was, 2 - 6 hour per week studios, 1 - 6 hour per week art history class, and trying to fit in English, math, science, etc.
     
  16. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    I was a liberal arts person but I'll stick my neck out by saying that in my limited exp., in colleges with prestigious business/engineering/etc programs, there are students who cannot get into those programs or do not have the gpa to get into the major of first choice, and they find themselves in other colleges in the same U with lower gpa requirements. Unfortunately liberal arts tend to be where some of them end up. Not that there aren't difficult liberal arts courses or hardworking students. e.g. in my alma mater, I think they required a 3.75 to be admitted to the college of business or engineering or pharmacy (if you transfter from a jr college) but only a 3.0 if you want to go to other programs.

    I must say there is no lack of easy A liberal arts professors from my limited experience (say in Eng 101 course where many students want to cruise by), but the toughest profs I've had are also in liberal arts. :)

    Well, these days if you do all the work, students are expecting at least a B. I see that in numerous depts inside or outside liberal arts.
     
  17. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

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    For all my ceramics, painting classes etc., we had to do 10 page research papers so it wasn't easy.
     
  18. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    I must say I don't get the mandatory paper requirements in studio art/dancing/drama classes. If the purpose is to get an all-round education I kinda get it (though there're plenty of more theoretical courses that already require a paper, like art history), but there should be courses just for those who want to hone their skills in studio art/playing music/singing, etc. There shouldnt be a paper in every course just because this is college. JMHO
     
  19. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I remember having to do research on sources pigments came from, how binders were used and what they were made from. The stability & preparation of different pigments and binders. Also for make-up of clays, porcelains, glazes. How heat effects them, etc. Not quite a chemistry class, but close :lol:.

    jlai, it was to understand your media and to explain the thought that went into the creative process.
     
  20. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

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    The papers we had to do ranged from discussing the theme/goals of our own art, picking a fav contemporary artist or one from the past and then explaining why you chose them, then related it to our own work, to discussing form. Writing all that really helped to understand yourself as an artist. At the time writing so many pages seemed like a nightmare but once I got used to it it seemed like nothing so it really helped later on and even with my thinking skills.
     
  21. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    So I guess it's all about the all-round education theme. Still, I don't believe writing papers is the only way to achieve that objective. I believe there're many ways to learn one thing and sometimes colleges aren't exploring the alternatives quite enough. It just sort of becomes one-size-fits-all education mode applied to all subjects. Perhaps there should be more specialty schools for those who just want to hone drawing/painting/acting/cooking/other skills where they explore more experimental approaches, like travelling and learning from a master. again jmho
     
  22. DickButtonFan

    DickButtonFan New Member

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    Well we had to do other things too like set up our own solo show, advertise it, go to museums write about it, speeches, collab work, a whole bunch of stuff.
     
  23. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    That will be way cool if this is part of every studio art class requirement. :cool:
     
  24. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    But all of the other experiences in other subjects give you insight and material for the creative process. I don't think any major or subject exists in a vacuum. They all support each other. That is why I feel it is so important for students in more traditional academic pursuits to take some art related classes. It encourages a different way of thinking and self expression.

    Most are probably not that cool. It depends on the class and the teacher. One class I took in advertising design was really cool. We worked in conjunction with a marketing class and we had to come up with a "new" product. Do all of the marketing research, come up with packaging and advertising. And we did our presentations for both classes. It was one of my favorite projects.
     
  25. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    I explained to my honors English seniors about 9000 times a semester that the purpose of writing a paper in college is rarely to prove you can write a paper. The purpose is usually the research. The paper is to show the professor what you learned from the research.

    We screw people's understanding of that up in high school when they rarely write a major paper outside of English class where we are evaluating it based on the writing and format and the research is secondary.
     
  26. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    In a ceramics class that's for ceramics majors or people who are really into the field, you'd be expected to learn and fully understand the chemistry of the ingredients you use, because in reality, so much of ceramics, especially glazing, is based on chemistry. You're formulating your own glazes, in many cases. You mix your own clay. You need to understand how the ingredients work and why. So in ceramics, it makes sense that you'd need to learn all that.
     
  27. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    That was the whole point - it's a general field of study, a degree with which you can do a whole lot, or very very little. I'd guess that the percentage of students who aren't sure of their life goals and want to finish school is higher in a general field of study like English than in, say, rocket science.

    My graphic design program wasn't something that you could take a year or two of liberal ed requirements and then make up your mind. The major's course schedule was set so rigidly (specific courses for every semester all four years - you must take class A freshman fall so you can get into class B freshman spring so you can get into class C sophomore fall, etc) that you needed to know that was your major BEFORE you even started school, or you'd be a year behind.
     
  28. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I am guessing that your course schedule was far more rigid than mine. As I said, there were no computers when I was in school. So, I did not have the computer courses to take that you probably had. I had to take certain studio courses in order, but I didn't have to parallel that with the computer.
     
  29. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I don't think computer courses by themselves make any difference in terms of schedules. Some programs are just very rigidly structured; theater majors, for example, have almost no say over their schedules in most programs.

    On a different note: The Rise of the 'EduPunk.'

    In a notable acknowledgment of the tail wagging the dog, several panelists alluded here to the possibility that if colleges don't change the way they do business, then students will change the way colleges do business.

    While the concept of a self-educated citizenry circumventing the traditional system of higher education may have sounded far-fetched a decade ago, the fact that the likes of Spilde gave it more than lip service marks something of a shift. Indeed, there was more than a subtle suggestion across hours of sessions Monday that colleges are in for a new world, like it or not, where they may not be the winners.

    And more on budget crises. “You don't hear the talking heads and you don't hear the politicians who are running for office saying how real this problem is,”
     
  30. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Actually in graphic design there would be a very defined structure to computer courses. Mostly in learning the graphic suites, drawing, page layout, painting, retouching, animation, etc. I took computer graphics courses later, in order to be current. They were non matriculating, and I still had to take them in a very specific order. I was way ahead in art/design, but I needed to learn how to use the new tools. They offered me a job at the end. Teaching a class on presentation and putting a portfolio together :lol:.