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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

College in crisis?

American Higher Education in Crisis?

Goldie Blummenstyk




Are colleges in crisis?: yes, some are. Many colleges need to reign in cost increases or they won't be able to attract enough students, donations, and government money to stay afloat. Smaller and more rural colleges especially.

The traditional college system is facing potential disruptions from new technologies -- distance learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), for-profit colleges that cater to working adults, badge systems that can be better at communicating competency to employers than degrees. But it's important to note that these disruptions are mostly applicable to price conscious but college competent individuals. People who need more support than available through distance learning won't be able to benefit as much. It's also not clear how well employers will adapt to accepting alternative credentials. And, of course, the upper crust of society will still be educated at traditional Ivy league schools whey they can form their social networks with other movers and shakers. (I suspect college has seldom done much to seriously threaten class boundaries.)