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  Anyone see the new GCU ads on TV?
Posted by: The Bison - 05-08-2018, 12:39 AM - Forum: Beware: Grand Canyon University - No Replies

Looks like GCU is trying a new ad campaign to attract students. Using the same strategy that University of Phoenix used in the past.

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  Coursera 1st Online Bachelor's
Posted by: Don Dresden - 03-27-2018, 06:05 AM - Forum: Distance Learning Discussion - No Replies

£9,600-£17,000 = $13,658-$24,187 USD at today's rate.  Not cheap but not bad for a bachelor's degree.  Link to description on Coursera website.  Program is apparently being offered through Goldsmiths, one of the 18 constituent colleges comprising the University of London.  Alumni (of the college, not this program) include Malcolm McLaren and John Cale.

Quote:Coursera Announces First Online Bachelor’s Degree
By Cait Etherington March 15, 2018

When Coursera first emerged as a MOOC provider back in 2012, its focus was on offering individual courses, but this modest agenda proved shortlived. As the company quickly grew in reputation and numbers, it started to offer degree programs, beginning with two master’s level programs (one in partnership with HEC Paris and another with the University of Illinois). Following a recent announcement about its first bachelor’s degree, there are now signs that Coursera is also looking to stake a claim in the undergraduate market.

Coursera Launches Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

As described on the Cousera website, their new online Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree will be offered by the University of London. Students will “learn in-demand computing skills,” develop their “abilities to solve complex problems,” and nurture both their innovation and creativity. They will also develop “real-world computer science skills” by developing their own software projects. Subject areas owill include Machine Learning, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Web Development, Virtual Reality, and Game Development. The degree is expected to launch in April 2019, pending approval by the University of London.

Target Audience for Coursera’s Degree

The University of London’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree is designed for highly motivated students with a passion for computing and will welcome students with high school qualifications, as well as those already working in the computer science field. Since the program is designed to be carried out in a flexible matter, there is hope that the prestigious program will be able to accommodate students with existing work and family commitments wherever they happen to be stationed in the world. The program is expected to take anywhere from 3 to 4 years to complete, and tuition will run anywhere from £9,600-£17,000, depending on one’s geographic location.

As reported on EdSurge on March 5, Coursera’s latest announcement appears to be part of a broader plan: “Coursera last year stated it has plans to expand to 20 online degrees by 2019, and it’s already chipping away at that goal, announcing today the addition of five more master’s degrees to its platform.” Still, as reported in the same article, “When the company shared its 2019 target, it gave few hints of offering bachelor’s degrees, which have been slow to catch on in the online space compared to masters-level programs.”

Can Coursera Penetrate the Bachelor’s Degree Market?

While online master’s degrees have existed for many years, in most fields, online bachelor’s degrees remain less common. This may simply reflect the strong desire among undergraduates to live and study on campus. However, change is in the air.  As demonstrated by the surging demand for coding bootcamps, many students, even those of traditional undergraduate age, are now looking for flexible educational alternatives, but if you want skills and a degree from a prestigious institution, bachelor-level options are limited.

As recently reported on eLearning Inside News, at least some established universities do offer online bachelor’s degrees.  The Harvard Extension School, for example, currently offers a bachelor of liberal arts, but unlike the new Cousera-University of London initiative, Harvard’s online bachelor’s degree does involve at least some on-campus time. In this respect, Coursera’s new partnership with the University of London will offer a rare opportunity for students to complete a bachelor’s degree entirely online from one of the world’s top-ranked universities.

As Nikhil Sinha, Chief Content Officer of Coursera recently told Business Today, “We need to design degrees that provide modular credentials to students at all stages of the learning process.” It appears as if “all stages” now includes the bachelor’s degree. If Coursera can successfully scale its bachelor’s degree offerings, of course, the potential market is substantial.

Note that although this is billed as a Coursera program, it is not an all-MOOC deal, and you don't even get credit for the MOOCs.  According to the website FAQs:

Quote:Can I receive credit for the MOOCs associated with this programme?

The University of London does not provide credit for the completion of the MOOCs associated with this programme. However, these MOOCs will provide a taste of the content taught on the degree programme, giving you a head start with some of the topics on the course.

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  Don't Go To College
Posted by: WilliamW - 03-26-2018, 06:24 AM - Forum: General Education Discussions - Replies (3)

Why stay in college? Why go to night school?

Gonna be different this time.

Quote:Don't Go To College
[Image: kurtschlichter.gif]
Kurt Schlichter

Posted: Mar 22, 2018 12:01 AM

[Image: 15b5c7ff-8e1a-416a-abc8-5638a0392d00.jpg]

“Higher education” is terrible.

Please note the quotation marks, you doofy liberals who will no doubt fill the comments with high-pitched typing about how “Conservatives hate knowing stuff.” What passes for “education” today is nothing of the sort, and what calls itself “academia” is really just a venal trade guild packed with mediocrities desperately trying to keep fooling people into forking over $60,000 a year – usually obtained via ruinous borrowing that ties a financial anchor around the defrauded grads’ necks for the rest of their lives.

Today, academia’s product is largely garbage – gender studies, twisted history, and pointless sociology spin-offs like communications and political science. Yeah, we need more students studying politics when they don’t even know that the Constitution says they can’t shut people up because their feelz has got the hurtz.

Sure, the STEM fields produce a few grads who are going to be more than mere cogs in the corporate machine like their marketing major pals, and some STEM research is useful, but don’t think STEM is immune from academia’s endemic idiocy. Why, the latest thing is how science is racist because…well, probably because these hacks say everything is racist and the weak-willed gutless wonders of America’s faculty are too scared to stand up and say, “Uh no, that’s stupid and it’s not a thing and stop it.”

What’s worse is that most professors are not so dumb as to actually believe the nonsense we hear coming off our college campuses – well, some of them are, but most aren’t. They know it’s poisonous baloney. They’re just too scared to stand up to the sophomore bully boys, bully girls, and bully non-binaries who scour the countryside for witches to burn. Academics are the Ivy League version of that Broward County sheriff’s deputy, knowing they should put themselves in harm’s way to protect their students from this ideological assault, but being too cowardly to do it.


Contemporary college is a scam, and if you fork over your money blindly you’re the mark. A quarter million and what do you get? A piece of paper that memorializes your indoctrination plus cirrhosis of the liver.

Hillsdale College excepted, of course. And I wish I could except the service academies too, but when West Point is knowingly commissioning open commies it’s clear that it’s chosen not to meaningfully differentiate itself from the civilian four year resorts. Well, that’s not quite right. At least after you graduate from one of the academies you will get a job – hell, it doesn’t seem the Army can even summon up the cojones to can Comrade Lieutenant yet. But you can’t say that for the rest of academia. Here’s your Feminist Theater Theory degree; welcome to funemployment! I guess being a barista with a $150K student loan debt is a kind of a career. 

“But Kurt, what if I want to nurture my mind and explore my options in an environment of scholastic dedication and intellectual curiosity?” 

Then you should run away from most colleges. Open environments? If you want a sneak peek at the kind of nanny state regime the liberals dream of for all of America, check out your local college campus. An unaccountable ruling class of overpaid administrators controls every aspect of the proles’ lives – yeah, you students are the masses, and if you think they’re going to let you lose your chains you’ve been taking too many bong hits back in your dorm room. Justice? That comes pre-determined based on whatever ideological label they pin on you. Remember, evidence is a bourgeois conceit, while due process is racist and misogynist. Free speech? You’re free to say whatever the grim gargoyles of the Social Justice Stasi approve of, but remember – you can never be woke enough. You’ll always be wrong somehow, because it’s by declaring you a wrongthinker that they gain their power.

“But Kurt, I have a practical concern – I want to go to law school.”

Don’t go to law school. In fifteen years, robots will probably be doing most of what lawyers do today, and most of them will probably wear better suits. Getting a law degree in 2018 is like getting a phrenology degree in 1918.

So what do you do after high school? How about live? How about do something besides march into another soul-crushing conformity factory for four years? Get a job. Do something, anything besides rush to sit behind a desk for another half-decade. Join the Army – realistically, you have a pretty good chance that your platoon leader won’t be an America-hating Marxist or some virtue-signaling, girlfriendless geebo with a #VetsForGunReform bumpersticker on his Prius. Just do something real.

Then, once you’ve lived a little, and once you’ve learned enough about the world to resist the blithering nonsense you’ll be bombarded with on campus, maybe you can consider college. Maybe you’ve earned some dough, or earned the GI Bill, and you don’t have to wreck your financial future. Maybe you’ll have a little maturity, so your college days won’t just be a drunken haze, and you’ll be able to cut through the guff and use the opportunities that college offers to meet your needs instead of just stumbling through it. I came back from the Gulf War and went straight into law school, back when it wasn’t financial and intellectual hara kiri. I was ready, and I made it work for me. UC San Diego undergrad, not so much. Oh, I had some adventures, but I was four years older than most of my law school classmates and every single day I was prepared for class because that’s what I had learned to do leading soldiers. I was ready.

Luckily the college as booze cruise model is collapsing under the weight of its infinite expense and finite returns, as well as under pressure from technology that allows people who really want to learn to use the same machine you are reading this on to find pretty much any knowledge they seek. The academic monopoly is slowly breaking apart, and that’s good. So let’s hope this is the last generation that has to spend the rest of its life paying off a grift.

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  17 Dead Because 'Broward County Solution'
Posted by: WilliamW - 02-24-2018, 01:45 PM - Forum: General Education Discussions - Replies (9)

Why were four (at least, that we know of, so far) Broward County sheriffs sitting on their asses outside the high school while the shooter was busy busy busy inside killing 17 innocents?  After all, aren’t cops hired for their steely-eyed ability to stare down grave danger without blinking?  Well, guess what, that’s just one prerequisite.  Another is to do what you’re fucking told and then STFU.  

The libtards in Broward County hit on a plan to reduce school crime that only a libtard or dead student could fully appreciate.  They simply would "lower arrests by not making arrests."  Instead of continuing to lead the state of Florida in sending students to the state's juvenile justice system, Broward began to treat twelve different misdemeanor offenses as “school-related issues,” not criminal ones.  In four years the result was a drop in arrests from more than a thousand in 2011-2012 to less than four hundred.

The county sheriffs were sitting on their asses, waiting for the city cops to arrive, because they didn’t want to mess up the county stats.  They were “chust folloving ohdahs,” as any good drone must.  So who wants to give up their guns and let these fine public servants protect us?  

Quote:February 20, 2018
Did the Progressive 'Broward County Solution' Cost 17 Student Lives?
By Jack Cashill

"We're not compromising school safety.  We're really saving the lives of kids," boasted Michaelle Valbrun-Pope, executive director of Student Support Initiatives for Broward County Public Schools, in August 2017.

Valbrun-Pope was referring to what an article by Jeffrey Benzing in Public Source calls the "Broward County Solution."  As Benzing relates, Broward County used to lead the state of Florida in sending students to the state's juvenile justice system.  County leaders responded with a perfectly progressive solution: "lower arrests by not making arrests."

Authorities agreed to treat twelve different misdemeanor offenses as school-related issues, not criminal ones.  The results impressed the people who initiated the program.  Arrests dropped from more than a thousand in 2011-2012 to less than four hundred just four years later.

One particular motivation behind programs like Broward County's was the pressure from multiple sources to reduce the statistical disparity between black and Hispanic student arrests on one hand and white and Asian student arrests on the other.  Benzing writes, for instance, how a Denver organization called "Padres & Jóvenes Unidos" successfully advocated for a program like Broward's to help achieve "racial and education equity" in Denver schools.

By virtue of his name alone, Nikolas de Jesús Cruz, the adopted son of Lynda and Roger Cruz, became a statistical Hispanic.  As such, authorities at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland had every reason not to report his troubling and likely criminal behavior to the police.

According to a source who spoke to the Miami Herald, Cruz had been suspended from Stoneman Douglas High for fighting and also for being caught with bullets in his backpack.  This was apparently at least one of the reasons why administrators reportedly emailed a warning to teachers against allowing Cruz on the campus with a backpack.  He was later expelled for reasons that have not been disclosed, but he was apparently not arrested.

This is not the first time that this "solution" to school crime has produced lethal results.  An earlier case in the nearby Miami-Dade County public school system should have been a warning, but unfortunately, the media conspired to suppress the details of the case.  The victim in Miami-Dade was one Trayvon Martin.

Miami-Dade schools have their own police department.  The exposure of the department's practices began inadvertently with the Miami Herald story on Martin's multiple suspensions.  The article prompted M-DPD's police chief to launch a major internal affairs investigation into the possible leak of this information to the Herald.

As the investigation began, the officers realized immediately that they had a problem on their hands.  "Oh, God, oh, my God, oh, God," one major reportedly said when first looking at Martin's data.  He could see that Martin had been suspended twice already that school year for offenses that should have gotten him arrested.  In each case, however, the case file on Martin was fudged to make the crime seem less serious than it was.

As one detective told investigators, the arrest statistics coming out of Martin's school, Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, had been "quite high," and the detectives "needed to find some way to lower the stats."  This directive allegedly came from the police chief.  At least a few officers confirmed that the chief was particularly concerned with the arrest rates of minority males in the Miami-Dade system.

In July 2012, the Obama administration formalized the pressure on school districts with an executive order warning school districts to avoid "methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools."  The White House focused on black students in particular and headlined the press release announcing this dubious stroke of racism "President Obama Signs New Initiative to Improve Educational Outcomes for African Americans."

Like Cruz, Martin was frequently suspended, three times in his final school year.  In one case, Martin had been found with stolen jewelry and burglary tools in his backpack.  Had he been arrested and not merely suspended, his parents and his teachers would have known how desperately far he had gone astray.  Instead, Martin was "diverted" into nothing useful.  Just days after his last non-arrest, he was allowed to wander the Retreat at Twin Lakes high and alone, looking, in George Zimmerman's immortal words, "like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something."

The media's larger motive in suppressing the facts of this story was to protect the narrative of innocent black youth killed by white cop wannabe George Zimmerman.  A secondary motive was to protect Obama's misbegotten quest to achieve racially statistical "equity" for youthful offenders by not arresting them for very real crimes.

Cruz had to have done something more troubling than carry bullets in his backpack.  Before even talking about gun control, Republican leaders should demand a complete audit of Cruz's school records and the rethinking of the "Broward County Solution" wherever it is applied.

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  Hello John
Posted by: Jamescrabb++ - 02-24-2018, 01:06 PM - Forum: John Bear - Replies (7)

It looks like DL truth is a bit ahhhh... quiet. But just in case dear old John still looks in, and, he's still over and not under the hill, he should know that his unofficial biographer is still kicking. Anyone here? By the way John--you still sold degrees that were no better than you condemned. Smile Ahhh, that felt good. It's been awhile...

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  If I oppose abortion but support gay rights, what does it make me?
Posted by: The Bison - 02-10-2018, 02:33 AM - Forum: General Education Discussions - No Replies

I am very much against abortion. I do not understand how people can call themselves pro choice when the choice implied is the taking of life. At the same time I support people's right to be who they are, whether they are gay or whatever.

You chose what car you buy or what house you live in. You chose what kitten to adopt or what school to attend. But abortion is about taking human life so it makes no sense that this should be a choice.

This often makes me feel like an outcast when I meet with other progressives. So really what am I?

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  Trick Accounting Drives High College Costs
Posted by: Albert Hidel - 01-24-2018, 03:18 AM - Forum: General Education Discussions - No Replies

Quote:High College Costs Driven By Deceptive Accounting Practices

Andrew Kerr
9:12 PM 01/22/2018

Widespread use of an accounting trick at public universities may be artificially driving up the reported cost of an undergraduate education, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

Policymakers at the federal and state level rely on financial data collected by the Department of Education from about 7,500 colleges and universities for use in drafting sound policy.

It has become increasingly more expensive for universities to deliver an undergraduate education, according to the data. Reported per-student educational expenditures at public four-year universities rose 16 percent from 2005 to 2015 in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Some experts believe the data reported by universities is a gross overstatement of the true cost of undergraduate education because of an accounting convention that allows universities to “disguise” research expenditures within their reported instructional costs.

Richard Vedder, the director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, told TheDCNF that the financial information reported by universities is a “purposeful misrepresentation” of the true cost of educating students.

“Universities are fundamentally overstating instructional expenditures and fundamentally understating research expenditures,” Vedder told TheDCNF.

“One of the reasons American universities are great is that we do research and instruction,” Vedder said. “But it’s not all positive and we are not being honest about the costs. With rising tuition, students are getting fed up.”

Shifting research expenditures into instruction could have a pronounced effect on tuition rates, especially at research universities where teaching comes secondary to research.

Research is favored over instruction

Teaching loads for full-time faculty at public universities have dropped substantially in recent decades to allow for more time researching.

Only 27.2 percent of full-time faculty at public universities spent nine or more hours a week instructing students in the classroom in the 2014 academic year, down from 39.4 percent in the 1989 academic year, according to a 2014 survey by the Higher Education Research Institute.

“Research is systematically favored over teaching, so it is not surprising that teaching loads have been falling, or that the time freed up is used for research,” the Center for College Affordability and Productivity wrote in a 2010 report.

The systemic shift in focus from instruction to research in higher education isn’t accurately reflected in university ledgers thanks to a very broad definition of instruction provided by the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) survey.

Departmental research

There are two types of university research from an accounting standpoint: organized research and departmental research.

Organized research means any “specifically organized” research activities. This includes any research funded by a federal, state or private grant, and any “separately budgeted” university funded research endeavors. It is this type of research that IPEDS considers research expenditure.

Departmental research is any research activity “not separately budgeted.” Departmental research is an instructional expense, according to IPEDS.

Lloyd Armstrong, a former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Southern California, says most elements of departmental research are the “seed corn” of organized research.

In other words, departmental research is effectively a fundraising mechanism for universities to obtain external research grants. Considering that universities spent roughly $54 billion on externally funded research in 2016 alone, the “hidden cost” of obtaining a piece of that pie could be significant.

“In general, a reasonable estimate is that tenure-line faculty at research universities are expected to spend during the academic year roughly 50 percent time for teaching, 50 percent time for research. Thus roughly one-half of the tenure-line faculty salary costs actually are attributable to research,” Armstrong wrote in 2016.

These hidden research costs are “well-known, but seldom openly discussed,” among university administrators, according to Armstrong.

The financial impact

Oklahoma State University professor Vance Fried believes up to 40 percent of reported instructional costs at research-intensive universities may be hidden research expenditures because such institutions use the broad definition of departmental research to allocate “most faculty salaries to instruction, even though faculty may spend a great deal of time doing research, not teaching.”

“The accounting convention of classifying departmental research as instruction is wrong. It misleads people as to what the true cost of instruction is. It’s not giving us an accurate picture of what the cost of instruction is and what we are spending on research,” Fried told TheDCNF.

Fried detailed in a 2011 Cato Institute study that honest cost accounting at public universities would reveal the true cost of education is between $5,000 to $9,000 a year per undergraduate student, far less than reported per-student cost of $16,520 in 2010.

“Today, tuition not only covers the full cost of providing an undergraduate education, it generates profits,” Fried wrote. “Even at state-subsidized colleges, most undergraduate students now pay the full cost of their education.”

The “profits” generated by undergraduate tuition and state subsidies are diverted to graduate education and research, Fried claims.

Charles Schwartz, a professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, also believes departmental research has a significant impact on the cost of undergraduate education.

His calculations indicate that the actual cost to educate an undergraduate student in the University of California system is $7,500 per year, far less than the $13,222 in tuition and fees charged to in-state students in 2013-14.

“What we face here is not just a (University of California) habit of bad accounting but a longstanding disease infecting all of the nation’s great research universities,” Schwartz told the Budget Committee of the California State Assembly in 2015. “This greatly distorts any rational discussion about undergraduate tuition.”

A 2012 study on the expenditures of research-intensive universities concluded the current IPEDS definition of instruction did not accurately reflect the true cost of research at such institutions.

“Perhaps the time has come to reformulate IPEDS categories for research extensive universities in ways that reflect a multi-product system where faculty are heavily involved in both research and teaching,” the study concluded.

The National Research Council (NRC) also recommended changes in a 2012 report.

“Arguing on principle for inclusion of research costs in instructional cost is tantamount to arguing that the sponsored research itself be included—which, in addition to being intrinsically illogical, would hugely distort the productivity measures,” the NRC wrote.

As alarming as the calculations are by the academic community of the hidden costs of research in higher education, it’s unclear what the true financial impact departmental research has on undergraduate tuition due to its unbudgeted nature.

“Unfortunately, IPEDS does not collect the portion of instructional expenses that are departmental non-budgeted research. I can’t cite any sources that would contain this data,” Bao Le, an associate education research scientist at the Department of Education, told TheDCNF.

Nor has any consideration been made on the potential impact departmental research may have on undergraduate tuition rates, that continue to rise faster than the rate of inflation, Le added.

Changes can be made to the IPEDS survey, but any changes would need to be approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

OMB Circular A-21, originally issued in 1958 under former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also considers departmental research as a part of the instruction function of a university.

OMB did not respond to TheDCNF when asked about its stance that departmental research should be considered an instructional cost.

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  Shithole Countries?
Posted by: Ben Johnson - 01-13-2018, 04:53 AM - Forum: General Education Discussions - Replies (3)

What's the matter?  You can't call shithole countries shithole countries?  No misunderstanding the accuracy of what a shithole country is.

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  Gollin Brat to Marry…A Human!
Posted by: Dickie Billericay - 01-11-2018, 03:34 PM - Forum: George Gollin - Replies (7)

[Image: chlamydiawedding.jpg]

I know it’s hard to believe but, yes, it’s a same-species wedding! Or at least that’s how it appears without a chromosome analysis to be sure.  Most were expecting a farm animal or inanimate object would be that lucky domestic partner.

Congratulations to George Sphincter Gollin and his breeding experiment, Chlamydia.  The young lez, errr, I mean, young lass (if you consider 29 to be young) is planning to be married June 30, 2018, to one Viraj Kamat.  (See related post here.)

Rumor has it that Kamat holds an Ivy League PhD--but did NOT have 15 buddies write his dissertation for him!  The grift is weak with this one.  Such an embarrassment he must be to his ethically challenged future in-laws.  Probably just another way for darling Chlamydia to shame, humiliate and degrade her parental units.  At least he’s not a Papist, right mom?

Which one will be breaking the glass?  Or will unethical George Gollin be breaking wind instead?

[Image: breaking-glass-2.jpg][Image: chlamydia300x.jpg]

Schnozzle Tov!

[Image: ChlamydiaGayHS.jpg]
How many members of the Gay student alliance will be on the guest list?  How many will be on the honeymoon?

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  Bill Would Break Cartel, Restore Competition
Posted by: Winston Smith - 12-15-2017, 07:59 AM - Forum: Unaccredited vs. State-Approved vs. Accredited - Replies (1)

Break up that cartel!  The "iron triangle" of regional accreditation bodies, the universities, and the Department of Education must end!  Allow states to accredit nontraditional education options.  Let trade schools and nontraditional organizations directly compete for funding, and let the marketplace decide, not the government and its elitist drones.

Quote:Student Debt Is a Symptom of Our Broken Education System. This Bill Would Spark a Change
Rep. Ron DeSantis / December 12, 2017

We are facing an education crisis in this country.

While the value of continued education after high school is undeniable, our nation’s singular focus remains on the necessity of traditional four-year degrees, which come at a soaring cost to students and their families.

For many students, a classic bachelor’s degree earned at a brick-and-ivy university is a worthwhile investment that provides the necessary knowledge to succeed in their given field post-graduation. But that is certainly not the case for all students.

Estimates suggest that a quarter to nearly half of college graduates are underemployed, and often work in jobs that do not require a college degree. And college tuition does not come cheap—the amount of student loan debt held by the American people is now higher than credit card debt.

There has to be a better way to give our students the opportunities they deserve while helping drive down the astronomical educational costs that are burdening working-class families.

I recently introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act, a bill that would foster innovative solutions to the process of higher education accreditation and would essentially put choice and affordability back into the hands of students.

Our country’s burgeoning student loan debt has been driven, in part, by the accrediting agencies that accredit higher education bodies and decide who is worthy of government funding by way of student loans.

The regional accreditation bodies, the universities, and the Department of Education essentially act as a cartel that controls who can enter the system. This impedes the innovation that is needed to tackle high costs, lack of school choice, and the decline of value in four-year degrees.

The HERO Act aims to break up that cartel, opening up higher education to more Americans by empowering individual states to develop their own systems of accrediting educational programs. All accredited programs would then be eligible to receive federal student loan money.

The HERO Act would enable our post-secondary education system to become as diverse and nimble as the industries that are looking to hire.

States would be able to accredit nontraditional education options, such as single courses or vocational programs, to meet the particular needs of their local economy. Students would be able to put federal loan money toward single learning courses, online opportunities, and apprenticeships in skilled trades.

Freeing up states to decide how they wish to accredit education options would spark a new era of competition. Trade schools and nontraditional organizations could directly compete for funding, making their appeals to students who have a variety of interests and seek a return on their investment.

Florida could decide to accredit specialized mechanics apprenticeship programs to cater to our robust flight industry, while California might empower Silicon Valley companies to teach coding programs to students who do not necessarily need a four-year degree.

Not only would the HERO Act allow states to fulfill the educational needs they have identified, but it would give students far greater flexibility to tailor their education to their needs. With the fast pace of innovation and an ever-changing economy, workers can often find themselves in need of educational programming mid-career.

Under the reforms proposed by the HERO Act, students could take shorter courses catered to their specific educational needs rather than leave the workforce completely to go back to school.

It is important to note that this bill would not alter current federal accreditation systems. Federal agencies would, however, have to recognize that individual states are on equal footing to know where the current system is failing, and to accredit programs that will fill this void.

Greater competition would force colleges and universities to reassess their federally subsidized pricing practices and help break the cycle of government subsidies that contributes to rising tuition rates. Some students may no longer choose time-consuming and costly four-year degrees if another educational opportunity at a lower cost could impart the necessary knowledge and skills.

Additionally, the HERO Act would require institutions to publish information regarding student success, to prove that they are fiscally accountable, and to ensure schools are held accountable for student loan defaults.

The HERO Act would expand higher education opportunities to millions of Americans who are underserved by our current system. We cannot allow the iron triangle that currently controls accreditation to stifle innovation and shut out potential students from accessing higher education in a manner that works for them.

Simply put, receiving a four-year degree is not the only means of achieving career success, and our federal education policy should reflect that truth.

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