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General Discussions => Urbanbar => Topic started by: jmecklenborg on January 19, 2011, 02:40:56 AM

Title: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 19, 2011, 02:40:56 AM
Peak Education -- the term has been out there for a few years now.  It is of course a play on Peak Oil, but there are some important similarities.  I'm starting this thread as a spin-off from the Law School thread.

The theory:
http://patrickdeneen.blogspot.com/2008/09/peak-education.html (http://patrickdeneen.blogspot.com/2008/09/peak-education.html)


Here's a link to a recent article:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_us/us_college_learning (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_us/us_college_learning)


I agree with the theory, because what I experienced in college was so ridiculous.  Clearly, many if not most of the people shouldn't have been there and should have been stamping widgets instead.  Most *didn't* rack up massive student loan debt because they were from families of 1 or 2 kids and benefited from inheritances.  Meanwhile, many of the individuals who *did* belong there *did* pile on student debt.

The other thing that drove me nuts about college was that the whole thing was about resume padding, not actually learning or doing anything.  In fact, actually becoming an educated person and a critical thinker, if you weren't one already, was to your disadvantage.

None of this would be possible, of course, without the giveaway student loan programs that we have.  But reforming student loans is a political non-starter, so I don't know what the future holds. 

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on January 19, 2011, 09:04:22 AM
As long as high school continues to be just as or more lame, the college game will continue. I think a back to the basics, moderate cost, intense academic experience might be a successful model. It won't draw everybody. There are plenty of folks who think they can/should buy four years of partying and a piece of paper for the old model to go away, but as job situation stays tight, schools that can show that their students are actually better will do well.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 19, 2011, 11:02:01 AM
Clearly all but a few schools are reforming themselves as luxury summer camps -- rebuilding themselves quite literally as advertisements for a product that doesn't really exist and can't exist when tons of non-college material is attending college.  I remember in the mid-90's, a campus tour often started with a walk through the school's newest computer lab and there wasn't a fixation on dorms and "lifestyle".  Simply having dorms wired for the internet was a huge deal up until around 2002.  Now that everyone's parents buy them a computer, the whole emphasis seems to be fitness centers, new dorms, and chain restaurants on campus. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: westerninterloper on January 19, 2011, 12:05:30 PM
As much as I hate to agree, there are nuggets of truth in these articles. I'm less concerned about the effects of energy shortages on campus cosmopolitanism: it doesnt take that much fuel to move a student to campus and back once or twice a year, but what it will mean is that nontraditional students will take even more online classes, or be limited to taking classes at the very closest campus. I'm always shocked when students in my classes drive an hour or more each day each way to get to campus. When gas hits $5-6/gal in a few years, those students will likely make alternate plans.

I added up my salary, benefits, office privileges etc a few years ago, and came to the conclusion that I was personally consuming about 20% of the tuition collected from my students. This semester, it might be closer to 40%, as I'm only teaching 55 students. I would venture that most of the growth in campus expenditures comes not from paying faculty, but from support services, sports and campus activities that, to be frank, don't contribute a whole lot to the academic mission of a university. That said, there are skills that people need that aren't/can't easily be learned in a classroom.  See David Brooks' article on Amy Chua in the NYT yesterday:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/opinion/18brooks.html?sq=brooks%20chua&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1295456415-4ZR+aH4Yqe5DpxJL+deeng (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/opinion/18brooks.html?sq=brooks%20chua&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1295456415-4ZR+aH4Yqe5DpxJL+deeng)

I would venture, though, that the grousing about campus amenities has more to do with 'kids these days' than much else. Sure, college enrollment has expanded to include many first generation students who some might think 'don't belong' at a university. Fine. But when it comes down to human comfort versus gradients in academic quality that cannot be easily parsed, most students and their parents will choose comfort, if they can afford it. Ohio universities are already among the most expensive public institutions in the US, and upcoming budget cuts from the state will only mean higher tuition.

One major contributing factor to the rapid expansion of higher education in the past 20 years also has to do with the expectations politicians place on universities. No longer are they just schools, now they are expected to reform the economy and incubate businesses. Politicians don't have answers, so they burden universities with the task of managing the economy. [/rambling rant]
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 19, 2011, 02:48:12 PM
Guys, the bubble will never burst. Everyone said it would in 2009, then, 2010, and now 2011. There is no such thing as "peak college". We're wrong. College is not just an investment. It's about "playing the field," "gaining life experience," and "getting your foot in the door." At 18, we'll buy into anything. We have no idea how expensive it is in terms of time and money until after graduation. The system is pure gold and much more sustainable than the housing bubble. The target audience is the issue. High school kids get dumber by the year, so they'll sign up for anything. College tuition can go up forever because universities are not selling a commodity or hard asset. They're selling a dream. High schools kids are highly impressionable and they're being pushed by all their family members, teachers, and counselors to go to college. Basically, if you have the grades, they tell you to go. There is not a single person at the high school who studies ROI. If there were such a person, they'd tell all the students to major in finance, accounting, healthcare administration, or nursing.

College is the most rock-solid business model in America. The younger your audience, the easier it is to make the sale. And it's not just American kids who sign up. These schools are selling hard overseas too. Colleges in-source, hence why this is one of the last growth industries. They've done a magnificent job selling the American university experience to kids all over the world. It's almost mythical in a way. The bigger, older universities sell themselves through beauty and social experience. Then there is this issue at a lot of schools:

$80,000 For Beer Pong? Report Shows College Students Learn Little During First Two Years (Besides Party Skills)
By: Kayla Webley

Turns out, students spend more time learning how to master a beer pong than they do completing homework for Psych 101.

Nearly 50 percent of undergraduates show almost no gain in learning in the first two years of college, according to a report based on the book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. The lack of learning is due in large part to the way students spend their time, the study reports. In an average 168-hour week, college students spend just 7 percent of their time studying, while much more of their time is devoted to socializing (50%) and sleeping (24%).

Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/01/18/what-do-college-students-learn-in-the-first-two-years-not-a-whole-lot/#ixzz1BVpz4TgS (http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/01/18/what-do-college-students-learn-in-the-first-two-years-not-a-whole-lot/#ixzz1BVpz4TgS)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: X on January 19, 2011, 03:36:36 PM
High school kids get dumber by the year, so they'll sign up for anything.

I have to take a little umbrage with that statement.  I doubt that high schoolers are any more or less smart than at any other time.  I think people just have a tendency to "back-date" their own knowledge of the world.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 19, 2011, 03:40:18 PM
^Fair point. At any high school, there will always be smart kids and dumb kids, nice kids and jerks, etc. The structure has been the same for quite some time. The issue is more ignorance in the area of predatory lending. Very few kids seem to fully grasp how the student loan system works. But I would be wrong to blame them for it. It's the job of schools and parents to teach them.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on January 19, 2011, 04:00:48 PM
^Fair point. At any high school, there will always be smart kids and dumb kids, nice kids and jerks, etc. The structure has been the same for quite some time. The issue is more ignorance in the area of predatory lending. Very few kids seem to fully grasp how the student loan system works. But I would be wrong to blame them for it. It's the job of schools and parents to teach them.

I think it's a lot harder to get student loans, and less funds are available, at the undergrad level (maybe it's changed since I last took interest in this, so correct me if I'm wrong). In most cases, students in undergrad are likely still claimed as dependents on their parents' tax returns, and as such most lenders don't necessarily consider them 'independents'. It's when you get to grad school that the spigots open wide and you get the $100k+ in loans suddenly available to you.

Much like in law school, where I think the program could be whittled down to 3 or 4 semesters, I think the undergrad experience could be streamlined. If you still want the 4 year 'liberal arts' experience, well you can pay for that, but a 2 or 3 year 'professional degree program' focusing on the specific skills you would need for your chosen profession, without all the fluff, is where I ultimately see college evovling.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: natininja on January 19, 2011, 04:14:00 PM
^ Europeans get Bachelors degrees in 3 years. They get less general ed/liberal arts. The thinking is it is because their high school education is more intense than ours.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: westerninterloper on January 19, 2011, 06:04:09 PM
^ Europeans get Bachelors degrees in 3 years. They get less general ed/liberal arts. The thinking is it is because their high school education is more intense than ours.

It's also quite a bit narrower. British, French and German kids get tracked onto academic or vocational (etc) paths much younger than we do in America, and we keep access "open" at all postsecondary levels in ways that few European and Asian countries do. In Japan, for example, it is almost unheard of for anyone to get into undergraduate university after age 18. Most good Japanese universities limit their clientele to 18 year olds.

I also read recently that European-Americans perform as well or better than Japanese, Finnish, Singaporean and other 'high-achieving" students. When a school system is geared toward your culture, language and experience, as it is for most Whites in the US, the students do great. This makes sense when one looks at the lack of diversity in Japanese, Finnish and Singaporean schools. And also helps explain why "minority" students tend not to do as well. US schools are almost never built around them.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 19, 2011, 07:27:01 PM
It's also quite a bit narrower. British, French and German kids get tracked onto academic or vocational (etc) paths much younger than we do in America, and we keep access "open" at all postsecondary levels in ways that few European and Asian countries do. In Japan, for example, it is almost unheard of for anyone to get into undergraduate university after age 18. Most good Japanese universities limit their clientele to 18 year olds.

And that is one aspect of American universities that I like. We believe that you can change course during your adult years. What Japan does is horrible. For as many problems as our universities have, the openess to non-traditional students is not one of them. It may even be beneficial for kids to see some people in their 30's and 40's. Education is not something that should have set time limits. Four, five, or six years just might not cut it in some careers. Technology is moving much faster than the schools do. Basically, you're learning for life. The days of going to college for four or five years and then being done with it are probably gone. I'm not saying kids should rush to grad school (quite the opposite), but that it's increasingly common to take a course or two to learn a specific piece of software or new technology. And I think it's great if kids work in the real world for a few years after high school before going to college. They will probably be a lot more mature. College is a lot of fun, but it can easily become too much fun.

The bigger problem I see is the explosion of new colleges and for-profits popping up all over the damn country. Ohio unfortunately was one of the states where there was a massive expansion of public university programs. We set the gold standard on over-saturation. No way does a state our size need seven major universities with over 20,000 students and all those duplicated major programs. Why do OU, Miami, Kent, and BG all need journalism schools? Hell, there aren't even good jobs for the Scripps grads...we've done a great job pumping out more grads than the market can handle. There is little to no regard for the job market in Ohio. That's great if you work at one of the universities, but it's terrible if you're a student who desires a career near home. The bubble is probably bigger in Ohio than in any other state. The number of college grads working at coffee shops has gotten out of control.

But still, college is an unburstable bubble due to insourcing. The big universities are now doing what Hollywood did- finding an overseas market. Even if American kids can't afford tuition, there is now a pipeline overseas. This is why higher education is a good field to work in. One day, it might not even matter what is happening with American students ("Hey, screw those kids from Ohio! Check out our numbers from Asia!"). Kids from China will come here to get the American university experience, and then move back to work in Hong Kong or Shanghai. I'll give universities credit where credit is due. They are masters of advertising and marketing. Nobody holds a candle to them- not Ford, not Coke, not Chevy, not even Anheuser-Busch.

Strong increase in international student numbers from China in 2009/10
December 2010

The number of international students at colleges and universities in the USA increased by 3% to 690,923 during the 2009/10 academic year, according to the Open Doors report, which is published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE). This represents a record high number of international students in the United States.

http://www.universitiesintheusa.com/opendoors-2011-news.html (http://www.universitiesintheusa.com/opendoors-2011-news.html)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on January 19, 2011, 09:44:18 PM
If there was another way to get irresponsible 18 year-olds safely into their mid-20s without bankrupting country that isn't sticking them on college campuses that would be great. I can't see a draft even w/ a civilian option ever being very popular w/ the right American fear of large-standing armies.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 19, 2011, 10:54:30 PM
I'll address some points that Deneen makes.  Some I agree with, some I don't.  At least he has the dialectic decency to be up front with his assumptions, however.

(1) The end of cheap energy means the end of cheap money, and therefore the end of higher education as we know it.  I believe the first part of this chain of reasoning is incorrect, but also unnecessary.  The student loan market is ripe for a collapse not because of an impending rise in energy costs, but because of the increasingly dim job prospects for college graduates and the likelihood that federal fiscal and regulatory (e.g., nondischargeability) backstopping of the student loan market will not survive various political pressures of the next decade.

(2) Globalization will decline, and universities will reorient themselves locally in response.  I strongly doubt that either the premise or the conclusion here is true.  Globalization is here to stay, in one form or another.  It will change, but it will not vanish, and universities will need to prepare their students to succeed in a global marketplace--not just against their classmates and the other graduates of whatever their crosstown rival school is.

(3) Ever-growing endowments will end, driving another nail in the fate of the modern university.  Actually, university endowments are often some of the most well-protected and well-managed reservoirs of wealth in the world.  That's not to say that they grew during the recession, but many weathered the recession far better than most retail investors.  In addition, even if their growth slows or even stalls, the amount of money in university endowments is already prodigious.  Universities will need to deploy those assets differently in the future, and that may well mean the death of the relatively upper-middle-class tenured academic (particularly in fields that seldom offer lucrative careers to graduates and purport to offer only personal fulfillment), the bidding war for ever bigger and better showpiece facilities (not that this shows any sign of abating yet), and similar large-scale deployments of resources.  Small endowments may cause the death of a few small schools here and there.  The big schools almost all have enough to survive and adapt--if they learn to so adapt, that is.

(3) "The land-grant institutions, in particular, will return to their original mission and will bear a special responsibility in re-educating a populace in the arts of farming and cultivation."  Utter bunk.  This primordialist folderol presupposes an economic collapse that sends a large segment of the population back into the agricultural sector.  This would basically require a nuclear war--something that eliminated our source of almost all the mechanization of the agricultural sector.  Even a quintupling in the price of energy would not make it more cost-effective to hire mass quantities of farm laborers to replace the machines that currently tend the vast majority of the arable Great Plains.

(4) The mindset of higher education will change, including a reconsideration of whether increasingly specialized faculty publishing increasingly specialized articles in increasingly obscure journals, counts as knowledge creation.  I seriously hope this happens, at least with respect to the liberal arts and soft social sciences; I do not know if that hope is leading me to bias my thinking on whether it will happen, but nevertheless, I do believe it will happen.  Increasingly technical and inaccessible articles in the realms of the hard sciences are, of course, somewhat inevitable, given the difficulty of advancing the frontiers of human knowledge further in those fields than it's already reached.

(5) [Sanctimonious drivel about elite educations being nothing but resume-padding and a shot at joining "the roving corporate class of itinerant vandals."]  Sanctimonious drivel is sanctimonious and drivel.

I am one of those who shamelessly believes, even after reflection on arguments to the contrary, that we are definitely not headed for a world of retrenchment, shrinking real wealth, and the other parade of material horribles that Deneen sees as both inevitable and a some kind of positive as a crucible for a moral revolution.  The world of higher education will be threatened because its business model will be threatened by more innovative competitors, not because it will be suddenly called upon to reorient itself to teaching people how to deal with a world of ever-increasing privation.  Not only are we not headed for such a world, but the kinds of people most threatened by the increasingly globalized world of the future are those who are seldom beneficiaries of a college education in modern America anyway--particularly at its current price point.

No, it is not energy prices or other economic maladies that will doom higher education.  It is precisely the reverse: an explosion in the quality and availability of education untethered to the extraordinarily cost-intensive higher education model.  It is because of this:

http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/06/bill-gates-education/. (http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/06/bill-gates-education/.)
http://www.kurzweilai.net/bill-gates-in-five-years-the-best-education-will-come-from-the-web (http://www.kurzweilai.net/bill-gates-in-five-years-the-best-education-will-come-from-the-web)

Once higher education is reduced from an actual place of learning (a status which, per that article about actual student learning, has basically already happened) to a mere credentialing/access racket, it will be sustained by nothing but inertia--and therefore be very, very vulnerable.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: westerninterloper on January 20, 2011, 01:33:40 AM
It's also quite a bit narrower. British, French and German kids get tracked onto academic or vocational (etc) paths much younger than we do in America, and we keep access "open" at all postsecondary levels in ways that few European and Asian countries do. In Japan, for example, it is almost unheard of for anyone to get into undergraduate university after age 18. Most good Japanese universities limit their clientele to 18 year olds.

And that is one aspect of American universities that I like. We believe that you can change course during your adult years. What Japan does is horrible. For as many problems as our universities have, the openess to non-traditional students is not one of them. It may even be beneficial for kids to see some people in their 30's and 40's. Education is not something that should have set time limits. Four, five, or six years just might not cut it in some careers. Technology is moving much faster than the schools do. Basically, you're learning for life. The days of going to college for four or five years and then being done with it are probably gone. I'm not saying kids should rush to grad school (quite the opposite), but that it's increasingly common to take a course or two to learn a specific piece of software or new technology. And I think it's great if kids work in the real world for a few years after high school before going to college. They will probably be a lot more mature. College is a lot of fun, but it can easily become too much fun.

The bigger problem I see is the explosion of new colleges and for-profits popping up all over the damn country. Ohio unfortunately was one of the states where there was a massive expansion of public university programs. We set the gold standard on over-saturation. No way does a state our size need seven major universities with over 20,000 students and all those duplicated major programs. Why do OU, Miami, Kent, and BG all need journalism schools? Hell, there aren't even good jobs for the Scripps grads...we've done a great job pumping out more grads than the market can handle. There is little to no regard for the job market in Ohio. That's great if you work at one of the universities, but it's terrible if you're a student who desires a career near home. The bubble is probably bigger in Ohio than in any other state. The number of college grads working at coffee shops has gotten out of control.

But still, college is an unburstable bubble due to insourcing. The big universities are now doing what Hollywood did- finding an overseas market. Even if American kids can't afford tuition, there is now a pipeline overseas. This is why higher education is a good field to work in. One day, it might not even matter what is happening with American students ("Hey, screw those kids from Ohio! Check out our numbers from Asia!"). Kids from China will come here to get the American university experience, and then move back to work in Hong Kong or Shanghai. I'll give universities credit where credit is due. They are masters of advertising and marketing. Nobody holds a candle to them- not Ford, not Coke, not Chevy, not even Anheuser-Busch.

Strong increase in international student numbers from China in 2009/10
December 2010

The number of international students at colleges and universities in the USA increased by 3% to 690,923 during the 2009/10 academic year, according to the Open Doors report, which is published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE). This represents a record high number of international students in the United States.

http://www.universitiesintheusa.com/opendoors-2011-news.html (http://www.universitiesintheusa.com/opendoors-2011-news.html)

Change like you described - valuing out of state and int'l students more than Ohio students - is coming soon to Ohio. At my institution (one of those 20K student spots), we are moving from university-funded graduate assistantships and stipends toward departmental funding. One important change that will affect how much (or little) funding we give graduate students are residency requirements to be considered "in-state" and thus benefiting from the e'er-shrinking state subsidy. Until now, you could not count any time in Ohio toward residency if you moved here for the purpose of going to school. That's gone; now, after one year and $10,000 in income, you can be an Ohio resident. This means that the departments will only have to pay the university for in-state tuition after the grad student's second year. And a "year" means 12 months, not a calendar year. It's an interesting way to get the state to fork over a little more for graduate education, but it means that there's less institutional incentive to bring in Ohioans, not that there was a whole lot before, mind you.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on January 20, 2011, 10:29:14 AM
If there was another way to get irresponsible 18 year-olds safely into their mid-20s without bankrupting country that isn't sticking them on college campuses that would be great. I can't see a draft even w/ a civilian option ever being very popular w/ the right American fear of large-standing armies.

Makes me think of the '50s to the '80s when kids in this age bracket spent their days drinking, drag racing on the street, crashing motorcycles, doing speed and PCP, going to massive concerts that drew 50,000+, skinny dipping, getting in bar fights and smoking dope in the basement listening to vinyl. When we were a nearly exclusively rural/urban nation before WWII, kids were occupied with farm or factory work. Suburbs and desk jobs that aren't the best drains of youthful energy put us in this situation of "What do we do with all these kids?"
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: KJP on January 24, 2011, 10:32:57 PM
Cross-posted from the American Wusses thread....

01/19/2011

An Epidemic Of Ignorance

It is painful for me to write about ignorance in America because it is rampant and disturbing. I was at my local watering hole one night talking to a professor at Carnegie Mellon University when, after several libations, I suddenly heard myself exclaiming when did everybody get stupid?  By stupid, I did not mean mentally slow or impaired. Rather, I meant ignorant or untrained to think. As with so many other things, I believe you can lay this at the doorstep of a culture dominated by corporations, aka. the "consumer" society.

I am not going to cite the usual statistics today—the U.S. ranks 27th among developed nations in the share of students getting engineering and science degrees—as I did in American Competitiveness? It's Not A Pretty Picture. Instead, let's look at what's happening on college campuses.

Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa have written a book called Academically Adrift: Limited Learning On College Campuses. Here's an excerpt from the summary—

READ MORE AT:
http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2011/01/an-epidemic-of-ignorance.html (http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2011/01/an-epidemic-of-ignorance.html)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 24, 2011, 11:32:32 PM
Thanks for the post. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on January 25, 2011, 08:55:33 AM
You guys might like the discussion they had about this very subject in the NYT. I tried to read it, but...you know...too many words.

Does College Make You Smarter?

First there was the news that students in American universities study a lot less than they used to. Now we hear, in a recent book titled "Academically Adrift," that 45 percent of the nation's undergraduates learn very little in their first two years of college.

The study, by two sociologists, Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia, also found that half of the students surveyed did not take any classes requiring 20 pages of writing in their prior semester, and one-third did not take any courses requiring 40 pages of reading a week.

The research has come in for some criticism. But a larger question is: Have colleges, in their efforts to keep graduation rates high and students happy, dumbed down their curriculums? If they have, who is to blame? What should parents and federal taxpayers do?

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/01/24/does-college-make-you-smarter (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/01/24/does-college-make-you-smarter)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on January 25, 2011, 11:28:15 AM
The more that I read into this it seems that the student loan industry is really to blame for this. They are fueled by public policy made by lawmakers who don't have a better answer to the question of what to do with the larger pool of the population that has been left behind by the US economy's move from traditional manufacturing to information/service/highly automated manufactiring than everybody goes to college. What is the real answer?  I have no idea but it appears that a large number of people are attending college because they have no other idea what to do and they feel it is what is expected of them.

Things change. I do think the commentors in the NYT do have rose colored glasses on when looking back at the past. The younger generation always has it easier.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: originaljbw on January 25, 2011, 02:34:52 PM
I realized after three years of college that going another $60,000 in debt to get a degree for a near-zero growth industry (Chemical Engineering) where I had less than a 50% chance of getting a job right out of college was a waste. The final tipping point for me was when the school administration decided to double parking fees and put on a $300 per term surcharge to help pay for the football stadium (Oregon State University, the other, OTHER OSU).

There clearly is a problem in the higher education system. Many people would rather spend four years getting a degree in English Composition, History, Fashion, or some other overpopulated subject and end up a hundred grand in debt. Getting an associates degree in one of the many less glamorous trade schools is considered 'beneath' many people even though it often pays just as well as some degrees.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 25, 2011, 02:57:19 PM
I am surprised to hear that chemical engineering is a "near-zero growth industry," since it's both in the hard sciences and on the applied side (as opposed to a "pure science" like chemistry).  Surprising as it is, though, I just Googled, found the BLS page for engineers (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm), and do see that employment growth in chemical engineering is expected to be slightly negative over the "projection decade," whichever ten year span that is (though I presume we're somewhere in the middle of it).  That's disappointing.

At a general level, though, I really think that the "peak education" phenomenon will most significantly hit the fluffy, politicized disciplines (ethnic/gender studies, "peace studies," etc.) hardest, particularly at private schools below the elite tier, but also at large public schools that are starting to have price tags high enough that people are beginning to think harder about the return on investment in a college education.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on January 25, 2011, 03:44:54 PM
Chemical engineering has been slow for a while, even in cities where you think there's be a lot of opportunities. Mechanical engineering is tough to get into as well since so many go to school for it in hopes of doing something with race cars or gadgets.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: seicer on January 25, 2011, 03:45:51 PM
These are my own thoughts and not that of my employer, but I believe the idea behind peak education, in terms of four-year and graduate degrees is at least valid.

When I entered into UK, I was peppered with offers for student loans at "unbelievable" 0% APR's (for a period of time, before jacking up), over a dozen credit card offers (with free pizza!) and other unsustainable practices. I felt that going to college for my B.S. was more like attending a year-round trade show, and not a place of higher education.

Let's look at this example:
(http://stevedenning.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834256bce53ef013487706fe2970c-800wi)

Some time in the 1980s, the cost of higher education and everything related to it, such as books, have exponentially risen without any respect to our current levels of inflation. To put that into perspective, that new car for $20,000 would be more like $60,000 if it would be pegged to that of college tuition. And we thought that housing prices were in this magical bubble that popped?

But not only are we educating more even though the cost of education has risen so much, are we receiving the best bang for our buck? Probably not. When most public universities are accepting people with low ACT/SAT ranks, and people who graduated middle-of-the-pack in high school because they have the money and can pay - or borrow and pay even more, we are looking at unsustainable growth. Something has to give.

I am lucky that I attended a school whose tuition rise was capped at 10% each year. It went up on average, 9% for the five years I was there - think of the outrage if food inflation was 9% for those five years combined! Yet, it goes unnoticed in our legislatures because college education is nothing more than a giant money-making business, and those who are in the for-public education sector stand to reap in more. And there is little to no oversight into either of this.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 25, 2011, 04:08:10 PM
>ethnic/gender studies, "peace studies," etc.

All those getting master's degrees in women's studies, etc., are doomed.  These departments won't be expanding, meaning the first generation crackpots who comprise their faculties will be there for decades more. 

I saw this in the faculties of the art and music departments -- people who got the first master's degrees in stuff like ceramics and glass blowing back in the late 1960's are just now retiring.  So they've been occupying these faculty positions for decades while art departments stopped expanding. 

That said, I'm surprised by the number of people with useless art degrees who I know who have gotten jobs in the arts.  I'd say it's at least 20-30%, so it's not true that there aren't jobs "out there". 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: mikel on January 25, 2011, 04:53:30 PM
I almost see the problem as being the opposite from the idea that these general majors are worthless and technical degrees being great.  Will they get you a job?  No absolutely not but I think technical degrees have shortcomings too.  I think the problem with the education system is that students just want the bling that comes with a certification or degree.  Most students in undergrad are not at all interested in learning as long as they get the grades and title after their name.  Education has become a consumer society and young people see it as degree+grades+school name=living the good life.  American students are not willing to look outside the box and just want to push their way through the system.  It has been a wake up call for many students because all the promises made before the recession about how paying a ton of money for a fancy degree would be worth it has turned out to be a lie. 

Many people I knew in undergrad with technical degrees were not at all what I would consider smart.  They worked hard and got good grades but they knew nothing about the world that they lived in beyond their little bubble.  I studied abroad in Scotland and every student knew about the latest developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict for example and took a general interest in Politics, world affairs and being intellectual.  I could go on forever but here is a start.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 25, 2011, 04:59:52 PM
That said, I'm surprised by the number of people with useless art degrees who I know who have gotten jobs in the arts.  I'd say it's at least 20-30%, so it's not true that there aren't jobs "out there".

^Ditto with journalism, film, and video production. I'd say it's around those numbers. But what you don't hear is what the pay and hours are like. Most working artists and media professionals are still starving (though the smaller the place you work, the better). It's really easy to exploit kids in these fields. You have a situation where some of the biggest media companies in this country are paying 25k and expecting a lot. Teaching is the safest route. Usually those that end up in teaching are much happier. You generally get paid more to teach this stuff than actually make it professionally.

If 80% of those kids never get a job related to their major (or end up teaching), it's a very questionable investment. The ones who land jobs probably get them despite the degree. They were talented all along or had the potential. They didn't need an expensive college degree to tell them that.

All those getting master's degrees in women's studies, etc., are doomed.

You'd think that, but many of them end up working in other fields. Good looks and social skills can go far anywhere. I know some kids with those kinds of degrees who now work in banking or healthcare and are making boatloads of money. The thing about business is that many businesses still take chances on kids with unrelated college degrees (though you better be pretty cool and know how to work an interview). It really comes down to your work ethic, how you look/dress, and your social skills. I know of some ex-newsmen who switched to completely unrelated careers and are making a lot of money. They know how to work their asses off and talk to strangers, so they're pretty valuable anywhere. I also know of some art and communications majors pulling 50-100k bartending in college towns. Getting a bartending gig in town is the safest bet any college kid can make. Some of the wealthiest college grads are bartenders in college towns. Walking out with hundreds of dollars every night is quite a feeling. "Look at those chumps who got real jobs! I make three times as much money as them!"

It's the same feeling plumbers have every day when they see snooty kids with college degrees struggling to survive. The most valuable lesson I learned in college is to never fall into the mindset of elitism that is rampant at universities. I'm glad I've worked sh!tty jobs and know what it's like to be on the bottom of the societal ladder. It gives me perspective. I don't think most of my professors would have survived at the tough jobs I've had, even the ones they were teaching. Some guys have been out of the game for too long to know what it has turned into.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on January 25, 2011, 05:32:00 PM
There's been complaints about the devaluing of college degrees...that they are not so special anymore.... since the mass entry into college with the baby boom generation after WWII. 

Yet that graph that Sherman posted was pretty interesting, seeing that inflation in college costs.  I would never have went to college (at least not "away" to a 4-year college) the way costs are now. 

Before going to college (starting 1977) I had a line into two apprenticeship programs, for ironworkers (the guys who erect heavy metal framing in construction) or moldmaking (part of the machinest/tool & die trades).  Now, if I was offered those two apprenticeship programs I would have taken them becuase college would have been out of the question.

So these high costs are probably pushing people back into the trades or technical things like med-techs and such who might have went to college when it wasn't so expensive.

So it all works out in the end.  Only the super-bright kids who can get scholarships can afford college, or if their folks have a lot of money, or they do what C-Dawg did, or they go into debt.  For guys like me, who shy away from debt and arn't smart enough to snag a scholarship, that leaves either working your way through or going into a trade. 

Still, for knowlege, if you like to learn things, you can read about stuff in the library.  Cheaper than college.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 25, 2011, 07:50:41 PM
Let's look at this example:
(http://stevedenning.typepad.com/.a/6a00d834256bce53ef013487706fe2970c-800wi)

Good graph.  Good find.

Quote
Some time in the 1980s, the cost of higher education and everything related to it, such as books, have exponentially risen without any respect to our current levels of inflation. To put that into perspective, that new car for $20,000 would be more like $60,000 if it would be pegged to that of college tuition. And we thought that housing prices were in this magical bubble that popped? ...

I am lucky that I attended a school whose tuition rise was capped at 10% each year. It went up on average, 9% for the five years I was there - think of the outrage if food inflation was 9% for those five years combined! Yet, it goes unnoticed in our legislatures because college education is nothing more than a giant money-making business, and those who are in the for-public education sector stand to reap in more. And there is little to no oversight into either of this.

I agree with you that the cost goes unnoticed (or at least uncared-about) in the legislatures.  I think you're a little wide of the mark about it going unnoticed because it's a money-making business.  Many major money-making businesses get significant legislative attention (both favorable and unfavorable).  You mentioned the likely consequences if the price of food went up 10% ... you're right, but agriculture is still definitely a money-making business.

I think the more likely explanation is simply that college students don't vote, and college parents are voting other concerns more saliently.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on January 25, 2011, 11:44:11 PM
Sallie Mae is/was a gov't sponsored corporation like Fannie and Freddie. Look at what good those guys did to the housing market. I'd add that there was a perverse cycle driven by parents and increasing spoiled high schoolers in which they flowed to the schools w/ the newest rec center, which forced everyone else to compete or lose students. There just wasn't a large enough base of folks interested in an austere four-year college experience. The austerity folks likely started at 2 yr and then got a job or transferred to their local state school for as short a time as possible and were gone.

In general, it is best to blame the growing size of college administration for the ills of higher ed.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 26, 2011, 10:19:30 AM
That said, I'm surprised by the number of people with useless art degrees who I know who have gotten jobs in the arts.  I'd say it's at least 20-30%, so it's not true that there aren't jobs "out there".

^Ditto with journalism, film, and video production. I'd say it's around those numbers. But what you don't hear is what the pay and hours are like. Most working artists and media professionals are still starving (though the smaller the place you work, the better). It's really easy to exploit kids in these fields. You have a situation where some of the biggest media companies in this country are paying 25k and expecting a lot. Teaching is the safest route. Usually those that end up in teaching are much happier. You generally get paid more to teach this stuff than actually make it professionally.

If 80% of those kids never get a job related to their major (or end up teaching), it's a very questionable investment. The ones who land jobs probably get them despite the degree. They were talented all along or had the potential. They didn't need an expensive college degree to tell them that.

Agreed.

Quote
All those getting master's degrees in women's studies, etc., are doomed.

You'd think that, but many of them end up working in other fields. Good looks and social skills can go far anywhere. I know some kids with those kinds of degrees who now work in banking or healthcare and are making boatloads of money. The thing about business is that many businesses still take chances on kids with unrelated college degrees (though you better be pretty cool and know how to work an interview). It really comes down to your work ethic, how you look/dress, and your social skills.

Then the conclusion here is that these people succeeded in spite of their majors, not because of them.  The women's studies department or Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies did not teach them how to dress for the job, nor did it teach them work ethic or how to "be pretty cool" in an interview.  The undercurrent here is exactly the same as it was in your first section: In your own words, "If 80% of those kids never get a job related to their major (or end up teaching), it's a very questionable investment. The ones who land jobs probably get them despite the degree. They were talented all along or had the potential. They didn't need an expensive college degree to tell them that."
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: natininja on January 26, 2011, 10:39:12 AM
Then the conclusion here is that these people succeeded in spite of their majors, not because of them.

Kind of. They may have been just as fit for the job without the degree, but most jobs like the ones he described require a bachelors degree.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 26, 2011, 01:26:50 PM
^ Then the conclusion here is that these people succeeded in spite of their majors, not because of them.  The women's studies department or Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies did not teach them how to dress for the job, nor did it teach them work ethic or how to "be pretty cool" in an interview.  The undercurrent here is exactly the same as it was in your first section: In your own words, "If 80% of those kids never get a job related to their major (or end up teaching), it's a very questionable investment. The ones who land jobs probably get them despite the degree. They were talented all along or had the potential. They didn't need an expensive college degree to tell them that."

Yup, same type of deal. Also, this is what happens with that other 80% of art and media majors (throw in political science too). They end up working in other fields just like those women's studies majors do.

The only difference is that there are professional artists, professional video producers, professional photographers, professional television/film makers, professional graphic designers, professional writers/reporters/copy editors, etc. There is a heavy entrepreneurial element in these fields too. It's not just about landing a job, it might be creating your own job. I don't know of any career track for Medieval & Renaissance studies. At most schools, you probably have a 100% chance of working outside the field.

One of the big problems with this peak education thing comes down to expectations. With the cost of college completely out of line with wages, people expect it to help them land a job. Unfortunately, that's only true in the right majors- growth fields with moderate levels of competition at home and abroad. The number of those majors is shrinking fast and is now even hitting hard subjects like engineering (somebody in India can do that job for $5 an hour and live the dream). These days, finance, healthcare administration, nursing, and education are just about the only good college degree tracks to get into. For the most part, skilled trades are the best investments of time and money. Kids just can't admit this due to wanting the college dream. Everyone imagines how fun it will be and how much it will set them apart from the kids with high school diplomas. Then graduation comes...

Probably back in the 60's and 70's nobody cared too much about this because college was just a fun time to explore your options, party hard, and maybe learn a thing or two. You barely spent any money on it, so it didn't matter if your major lacked a career track. Hardly anyone had college degrees, so it still was worth something. You didn't worry about your job being outsourced. You didn't worry about 100 graduates for every job opening in competitive fields. And you didn't worry about gambling your life on a piece of paper.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 26, 2011, 02:11:33 PM
>art and media majors (throw in political science too). They end up working in other fields just like those women's studies majors do.

Actually a lot of people in art school and these other useless fields are trust funders, so these hypothetical stats don't really matter for them.  A lot of these people try to act poor on campus, but I think there is a secret handshake or something because they all seem to find each other. 


Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 26, 2011, 02:14:31 PM
^True. There are lots of trustfunders in the art world. Also, I can tell you that television and news are getting pretty similar. Most of the content creators these days are from wealthy backgrounds (which creates quite a contrast with the gritty blue collar workforce of the past). Somebody is covering them during all those unpaid internships. This also has the effect of keeping the kids with the most potential out of the business. They just can't afford to work for free in New York City. The kids with parents who foot the bill for unpaid internships are at a huge advantage. It's creating a whole class of media professionals who have no connection to the other side of things. It's really sad and frustrating to see talented, hard-working kids lose spots to kids who were able to do two or three unpaid internships. Every now and then, you'll see a kid who lives at home with their parents while going to school do an unpaid internship, and those are the ones I'm rooting for.

What the colleges are doing here is downright criminal. I'm starting to fear the whole point of creating these majors in the first place was so the media companies could avoid the labor police. You can only work for free while enrolled in school. On top of working for free, you also are still paying tuition while getting zero instruction from the university. The joke is always, "Hell, I should be getting that tuition money! I'm training these little bastards." Unpaid internships are gold mines for universities. The way kids worship some of the professors who work 20 hours a week or take paid leave of absences to work on their pet projects is terrifying (those types of profs are totally working the system). Kids just don't understand what is really going on until after graduation. Many students today are getting ripped off left and right. They pay tuition while learning all this stuff outside of school. If these jobs paid well after graduation, I might not think as much about it (I do think a well-rounded education is important). But these kids are getting into the rawest, most cut-throat businesses on earth where starting pay is just not enough to survive in most cases.

As crazy as this sounds, it might actually make sense to change the labor laws. If the kids can do unpaid internships while not enrolled in college, they'll actually save a ton of money. The degree doesn't matter. The work experience (even if just internship) does. The system works, it just doesn't work for the students. I'm not sure who is to blame for this, but it's not the kids. Shame on universities for exploiting them, and shame on media companies who happily partake in it as some sort of military or fraternity-style hazing ritual.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on January 26, 2011, 04:38:02 PM
The feds have started to crack down on the unpaid internships. Those are the dark secret of how class and our meritocracy actually work. I'll go to grave defending the right to learn things not directly related to one's future employment.
The problem is that 'picking' that field is actually much harder than it looks. Two bits of evidence from my undergrad days - Physical and Occupational Therapy were really hot majors based on the logical notion that we live in an aging society and that lots of folks would need this in the future, then suddenly the feds placed a very low lifetime limitation on how much they would pay for PT and OT and w/in a year the hot major was just another track that had no particular claim to success.

Likewise, a lot of folks trained in the late 90s in IT, Computer Science and web stuff, were crushed by the collapse of the Web bubble.

History we make new everyday and will as long as we continue to be humans that live and die.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 26, 2011, 04:49:58 PM
Computer engineers, IT professionals, and others in that sector still do pretty well for themselves.  They may not all be buying NBA teams with the proceeds of their dot-com sales, but they still do fine.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Seth on January 26, 2011, 05:00:58 PM
Peak Education -- the term has been out there for a few years now.  It is of course a play on Peak Oil, but there are some important similarities.  I'm starting this thread as a spin-off from the Law School thread.

The theory:
http://patrickdeneen.blogspot.com/2008/09/peak-education.html (http://patrickdeneen.blogspot.com/2008/09/peak-education.html)


Here's a link to a recent article:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_us/us_college_learning (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_us/us_college_learning)


I agree with the theory, because what I experienced in college was so ridiculous.  Clearly, many if not most of the people shouldn't have been there and should have been stamping widgets instead.  Most *didn't* rack up massive student loan debt because they were from families of 1 or 2 kids and benefited from inheritances.  Meanwhile, many of the individuals who *did* belong there *did* pile on student debt.

The other thing that drove me nuts about college was that the whole thing was about resume padding, not actually learning or doing anything.  In fact, actually becoming an educated person and a critical thinker, if you weren't one already, was to your disadvantage.

None of this would be possible, of course, without the giveaway student loan programs that we have.  But reforming student loans is a political non-starter, so I don't know what the future holds. 



Excellent!
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 26, 2011, 05:48:05 PM
The feds have started to crack down on the unpaid internships. Those are the dark secret of how class and our meritocracy actually work. I'll go to grave defending the right to learn things not directly related to one's future employment.

The problem is that 'picking' that field is actually much harder than it looks. Two bits of evidence from my undergrad days - Physical and Occupational Therapy were really hot majors based on the logical notion that we live in an aging society and that lots of folks would need this in the future, then suddenly the feds placed a very low lifetime limitation on how much they would pay for PT and OT and w/in a year the hot major was just another track that had no particular claim to success.


The unpaid internship thing really is the ugliest aspect of our class system. It does effectively shut out poor kids from getting into the media. Some of the smartest people I know have had to change career paths. These are probably the kids who would be doing the best broadcasting and writing in this country (it's no accident that quality is declining). They have perspective that the luckier kids don't have.

And yes, these hot majors come and go. What happens with hot majors is usually what happens with our economy in general. Outsourcing becomes available and thousands of Americans get the axe, and/or companies just implode. Part of the point of university education is learning how to navigate the system so if these things happen to you, you can pick up the pieces and find a whole new career. I just am not sure how effective that education is today. There is just too much blind faith put into the university system to solve our country's woes. When you look at the administrator salaries and the obsession with landing research/project professors who don't teach (but look good in the brochures), it's easy to think the students are just an afterthought. There are people at these universities who get very rich by doing very little work.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on January 26, 2011, 09:10:05 PM
But if we think that more people need to go to trade schools, then we need a more stable economy that allows us to match supply and demand in the trades. Otherwise, we risk training the next generation of telephone operators, carriage builders, and horsemen to say nothing of steelworkers, machinists, or autoworkers.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 27, 2011, 03:04:03 AM
Many people speculate that NAFTA and free trade with China were implemented in order to mitigate the threat of communist revolutions and alliances.  Basically the thinking was if Central America, China, etc., were places where people could make money, there would be interest in keeping it that way.  At some point when these places are respectable players free trade could be curbed an manufacturing brought back to the United States. 


>It does effectively shut out poor kids from getting into the media.

Great point.  But it doesn't seem that poor people are embracing the internet and starting any serious blogs.  Finally everyone has a place to say their piece, but it turns out relatively few really have anything to say.  When I taught at a community college, the students weren't interested in journalism or current events at all.  What were they interested in?  Watching bum fights on youtube in class.   

 

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on January 27, 2011, 06:03:42 AM
Quote
Kids just can't admit this due to wanting the college dream. Everyone imagines how fun it will be and how much it will set them apart from the kids with high school diplomas. Then graduation comes...

The "college dream" is about entry into the white collar world.  That was the impetus for families with an immigrant background, like my grandparents, pushing college as a vehicle to upward mobility.   Yet, this is just an example for one subgroup of people going to college...people coming from 1st or 2nd generation immigrant families.  Of course that dream could be a false one, too.  Historically speaking it wasn't, though.  Classic examples of upward mobility via college: Jack Welch and Charles Kettering (obviously, success  wasn't only due to college for these guys, but it got their foot in the door).

Quote
Probably back in the 60's and 70's nobody cared too much about this because college was just a fun time to explore your options, party hard, and maybe learn a thing or two.

Nobody?  Depends on who you are talking about.  The frat crowd did this, but most of these kids came from middle class backgrounds already, whos folks had already went to college. 

 
But, also a lot of people didnt go to college, either.  Back then it was a bit suprising how little interest there was in college in my high school, and also, when I did go to college, how middle and upper-middle-class (ie kids whos parents already had college) the student body was compared to me and my background.

Quote
Clearly, many if not most of the people shouldn't have been there and should have been stamping widgets instead.


...back in the 1960s.  Nowadays fill in "working at Wal-Mart" for "stamping widgets".



This thread seems to be dealing a lot in stereotypes, or college has changed a lot in the past 30 years or so.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on January 27, 2011, 06:08:16 AM
Quote
But it doesn't seem that poor people are embracing the internet and starting any serious blogs.

Blogging is a waste of time & effort.  I blogged for about two years or so on Dayton urban affairs as an experiment (and because I could be more critical than I am here, respecting the expectations of Urban Ohio), and it was just pissing in the wind.  No one is listening.  Or if they are they just lurk, read, and remain silent.  Minimal feedback.   So why bother?

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on January 27, 2011, 06:12:33 AM
Anyway, back on topic:

The issue of poor people embracing the internet is that they can't afford access?  Maybe?  Or maybe its more entertaining to just do games and stuff like that.  Blogging would be...different somehow?

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 27, 2011, 10:48:39 AM
This thread seems to be dealing a lot in stereotypes, or college has changed a lot in the past 30 years or so.

It has changed a lot in the past 30 years, and probably not for the better. What Mecklenborg talked about in the first post is the new normal:

The other thing that drove me nuts about college was that the whole thing was about resume padding, not actually learning or doing anything.  In fact, actually becoming an educated person and a critical thinker, if you weren't one already, was to your disadvantage.

And that tuition chart says it all, as do those studies about learning. Kids are paying more than ever and learning less. I hope this bubble bursts soon, but I'm just not sure it's possible since college is a political sacred cow (turns out a much bigger sacred cow than defense judging by the talks in Congress right now).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on January 27, 2011, 11:02:30 AM
Outside of some immigrant groups, I don't see the culture of a working-class intelligentsia that once existed. It is worth noting that a whole lot of those working-class intellectuals were Jewish. To a lesser extent some Catholic ethnicities produced a sizable number of them as well (products of the parochial school system of the first 2/3rds of the 20C. In the 19C, Methodists were associated w/ fostering a working-class intelligentsia as well.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 27, 2011, 11:48:39 AM
Anyway, back on topic:

The issue of poor people embracing the internet is that they can't afford access?  Maybe?  Or maybe its more entertaining to just do games and stuff like that.  Blogging would be...different somehow?

Affordability is an issue only for the tiniest portion of the American population.  It's much more of an issue in other countries.  Even among people below the poverty line--I saw this firsthand at my previous place of employment--a vast majority of people have cable TV subscriptions, for example.  Many also have cell phone packages that are much more than just barebones.  If you can afford that, you can afford the Internet if you rearrange your priorities.

This thread seems to be dealing a lot in stereotypes, or college has changed a lot in the past 30 years or so.

It has changed a lot in the past 30 years, and probably not for the better.

I think this might stray a little too far towards romanticizing the past.  It has changed a lot in the last 30 years, definitely, and in some ways has changed for the worse.  In terms of cost, it has far outpaced inflation, and in terms of outcomes, it has been diluted because the focus on access, access, access has given rise to public policy aimed on getting kids in the door (whether they're college material or not) and making cheap credit available to them (which in turn puts upward pressure on prices, or, more accurately, removes a restraint on price increases).

However, these two facts do *not* equate to the conclusion that everything was great and wonderful on America's college campuses in 1980 (or 1970 or 1960).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 27, 2011, 02:12:47 PM
Professor charged with peeing on colleague's door


Thursday, January 27, 2011



A California university professor has been charged with peeing on a colleague's campus office door.

Prosecutors charged 43-year-old Tihomir Petrov, a math professor at California State University, Northridge, with two misdemeanor counts of urinating in a public place. Arraignment is scheduled Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in San Fernando.

Investigators say a dispute between Petrov and another math professor was the motive.

The Los Angeles Times says Petrov was captured on videotape urinating on the door of another professor's office on the San Fernando Valley campus. School officials had rigged the camera after discovering puddles of what they thought was urine at the professor's door.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 27, 2011, 03:34:22 PM
^Pretty fratty. :lol:
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 27, 2011, 03:49:53 PM
I think this might stray a little too far towards romanticizing the past.  It has changed a lot in the last 30 years, definitely, and in some ways has changed for the worse.  In terms of cost, it has far outpaced inflation, and in terms of outcomes, it has been diluted because the focus on access, access, access has given rise to public policy aimed on getting kids in the door (whether they're college material or not) and making cheap credit available to them (which in turn puts upward pressure on prices, or, more accurately, removes a restraint on price increases).

So where is the positive change? :lol:
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on January 27, 2011, 05:01:01 PM
C-dawg mentioned finance as a hot major for jobs. It's slowed down as well, especially since 2007. Many of the good jobs in finance go to accountants, physicists and mathematicians. If you're just a "finance guy" it can be really tough out there. The easiest jobs to get with that major are investment advisor (which requires a deep application of salesmanship techniques and often a lot of driving), working at a bank branch (not bad work at all; it just takes quite a while to make an income that can support a spouse and children) or doing customer service at a call center.

I've been down the financial road, and I suggest accounting for those looking for a classic corporate desk job crunching numbers during somewhat normal hours.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on January 27, 2011, 06:58:33 PM

Hi everybody I highly suggest reading the linked article.

I just got back from Ohio U. in Athens. My wife and I went down to see Ben Folds (always an excellent show) and to visit some old watering holes. Neither of us had been back there in a number of years and spent this morning walking around town and visiting some new additions to campus. Ironically enough we scoping out the new monstrosity of a student center when this article in one of the students publications caught my eye. It pretty much lays out the exact same arguments made in the linked articles and upstream conversations  in this thread about how amenities are driving up the cost of education. This articles puts actual numbers to the abstract ideas, and gives the impacts at OU such as forcing  budget cuts  and other unintended consequences, such as impacting uptown businesses that have been there for years.

I am probably on the record somewhere on this forum supporting the project, unfortunately I was in the unquestioning majority, swayed by shiny and new, that did not critically think about the impacts of this project. Yes, OU needed a new student center but unfortunately it did not need this project which will be a financial cross to bear by the university for decades to come.

There is one particular design issue I would like to call bullsh!t on. First its now possible for students to go from West Green /lower campus to uptown/College Green by cutting through Baker and taking 3 or 4 escalators up and not walking up Athens (in)famous hills or taking stairs.The second part of my gripe is that there are no stairs immediately adjoining the escalators (think something like the tunnel to Terminal D at CLE), meaning even if you were health conscious, it's harder to take the stairs. T


Baker or Bust

By Stephanie Stark
With a snip from the celebratory scissors, the big red ribbon was cut. President Roderick McDavis, surrounded by architects, builders, administrators and students gave a golf clap, oohing and ahhing at the unveiling of Ohio University’s newest ornament at the end of South Court Street: the new Baker University Center. Simultaneously, the citizens of southeast Ohio saw the first escalators in the area. But gliding stairways and shining pillars aside, the new Baker Center hid something beneath its gloss and glamour: a stairway to monstrous debt.Students are increasingly paying more in tuition, room and board and fees to cope with OU’s growing $13.5 million deficit while simultaneously dealing with less available resources. Students, faculty and administration have been dissecting each dollar paid and spent at the university, from Intercollegiate Athletics to the Buddhism program (or lack thereof). While the parties involved continue to eye one another in spending habit suspicion, there is a failure to acknowledge the recent $65 million investment that increasingly engulfs student pocketbooks whilst decreasingly accommodating the student body. Four years after OU’s student center spending spree, the university’s governing bodies are forced into lesser-of-two-evils debates that reach to every corner of the university, yet fail to recognize the colossal rift they walk every day.

Read more at:
http://backdropmag.com/feature/baker-or-bust (http://backdropmag.com/feature/baker-or-bust)
[/i][/i]
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: HHS78 on January 27, 2011, 08:14:07 PM

Hi everybody I highly suggest reading the linked article.

I just got back from Ohio U. in Athens. My wife and I went down to see Ben Folds (always an excellent show) and to visit some old watering holes. Neither of us had been back there in a number of years and spent this morning walking around town and visiting some new additions to campus. Ironically enough we scoping out the new monstrosity of a student center when this article in one of the students publications caught my eye. It pretty much lays out the exact same arguments made in the linked articles and upstream conversations  in this thread about how amenities are driving up the cost of education. This articles puts actual numbers to the abstract ideas, and gives the impacts at OU such as forcing  budget cuts  and other unintended consequences, such as impacting uptown businesses that have been there for years.

I am probably on the record somewhere on this forum supporting the project, unfortunately I was in the unquestioning majority, swayed by shiny and new, that did not critically think about the impacts of this project. Yes, OU needed a new student center but unfortunately it did not need this project which will be a financial cross to bear by the university for decades to come.

There is one particular design issue I would like to call bullsh!t on. First its now possible for students to go from West Green /lower campus to uptown/College Green by cutting through Baker and taking 3 or 4 escalators up and not walking up Athens (in)famous hills or taking stairs.The second part of my gripe is that there are no stairs immediately adjoining the escalators (think something like the tunnel to Terminal D at CLE), meaning even if you were health conscious, it's harder to take the stairs. T


Baker or Bust

By Stephanie Stark
With a snip from the celebratory scissors, the big red ribbon was cut. President Roderick McDavis, surrounded by architects, builders, administrators and students gave a golf clap, oohing and ahhing at the unveiling of Ohio University’s newest ornament at the end of South Court Street: the new Baker University Center. Simultaneously, the citizens of southeast Ohio saw the first escalators in the area. But gliding stairways and shining pillars aside, the new Baker Center hid something beneath its gloss and glamour: a stairway to monstrous debt.Students are increasingly paying more in tuition, room and board and fees to cope with OU’s growing $13.5 million deficit while simultaneously dealing with less available resources. Students, faculty and administration have been dissecting each dollar paid and spent at the university, from Intercollegiate Athletics to the Buddhism program (or lack thereof). While the parties involved continue to eye one another in spending habit suspicion, there is a failure to acknowledge the recent $65 million investment that increasingly engulfs student pocketbooks whilst decreasingly accommodating the student body. Four years after OU’s student center spending spree, the university’s governing bodies are forced into lesser-of-two-evils debates that reach to every corner of the university, yet fail to recognize the colossal rift they walk every day.

Read more at:
http://backdropmag.com/feature/baker-or-bust (http://backdropmag.com/feature/baker-or-bust)
[/i][/i]

I echo these sentiments. This seems to be happening with many college campuses across the country. I'm almost positive UC's tuition costs, which continue to rapidly increase are a direct result of the perpetual construction that goes on there.

NKU seems to be headed down that track too. I don't know how all of it is being funded, but they are certainly building a lot of new things within a relatively short amount of time. I know a few people who go to school down there and they have the same complaints; increasing tuition costs while building unnecessary amenities. NKU seems to be placing too much emphasis on shedding their image of not being a "real" school.

I've heard great things about their law school btw.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 28, 2011, 04:20:47 AM
>NKU seems to be headed down that track too.

Oh yeah -- both Xavier and NKU built new arenas within the last five years, and UC wants to build something to replace Shoemaker Center.  I remember going to Shoemaker the year it opened and thinking it looked cheap.  Obviously that didn't stop Huggins from fielding many #1 teams. 

UC and Xavier are 2.5 miles apart and I always thought they should have built a shared arena on the huge lot at Reading & MLK.  But that would have saved too much money. 


>I've heard great things about their law school btw.

My dad graduated #1 from Chase in 1981 or 82 and will be featured in the next alumni magazine. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on January 28, 2011, 05:44:27 AM
Quote
... and in terms of outcomes, it has been diluted because the focus on access, access, access has given rise to public policy aimed on getting kids in the door (whether they're college material or not)

This was an issue in the mid-late 1970s.  Back then there was a policy of open admissions, where if you could afford the tuition and had a high school diploma you could attend college (this was for public universities in Kentucky, I don't know about other states). 

But there was a concern that you couldnt properly teach or absorb a) that many students and b)the quality of student was low, that they were not prepared. 

So there was a push to move away from open admisssions to some standard of demonstrated performance before you could get admitted.   This was the case already in the pre-professional and professional programs, but became more of a university-wide policy.

So you can see how there could be a policy conflict between limiting access to the qualified (which is a bit, in terms of policy, like the German one) and maximizing access, ie.: 'gettting kids in the door'.

Of course in the 1970s the cost inflation issue wasn't what it is now (based on the charts), so college was, in theory, more affordable then, too. So the access issue was seen more in terms of academic qualifications vs financial ability.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 28, 2011, 09:45:03 AM
I think the problem is the other way around, to the extent that it is a problem: The universities are able to build all these glitzy new facilities because of how much they've been able to jack up tuition without hurting enrollment, not the other way around.  Or, perhaps more dishearteningly, all these glitzy new facilities really do increase demand for enrollment at a given college more than increasing academic outcomes and career placements would.  Whatever the case, though, universities would not be able to increase tuition and fees at whatever astronomical rates they've been increasing if students weren't both able and willing to pay it.  They're able to pay it largely because of cheap credit, as was previously mentioned in this thread, which haunts the students only later, after the university has gotten four years of the proceeds of those loans out of the student.  (Of course, the universities *also* want to keep a steady stream of alumni dollars coming in, and I'm getting a little frustrated with what I see, and am starting to wonder if other OSU alumni are feeling likewise.)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on January 28, 2011, 01:29:14 PM
I really think it's a problem that goes both ways. It reminds me a lot of the housing prices, everybody knew that they were rising too fast but everybody kept buying in despite the risk for personal gain. But collectively we pushed it too hard and what we ended up was a collapse instead of what have been a period of price correction 2 to 4 years earlier. If this spending and lending orgy had been able continue we were probably going to see a collapse of several universities or even statse university systems . Luckily the recession and state budget crises probably kept this from happening due to budget cuts. Now the universities are going to have get creative getting the most out of these stranded investments. Probably by closing older facilities and selling off some other assets if possible to minimize operating costs.

Another fact pointed out in the OU article that I linked was that often the approval of these decisions are made by an ever revolving staff of Administrators and a student senate who seldom are there to see such a large capitol project, as the student center, open and have little concern for the potential long term negative consequences. They can get press on the positives a when they approve it and leave the mess for the next guy. The accountability is not there in most cases.
 
The one prof points out that the main justification for the student center was increasing applications and there by selectivity, but at the time they approved the project OU applications were at an all time high and they were one of the most selective state school. So why build this huge new student center instead of something more reasonable if you are already achieving the goals?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 27, 2011, 03:05:33 AM
New study says college education probably not worth it:

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/forget-harvard-4-degree-more-plumber-long-run-20110318-063704-224.html (http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/forget-harvard-4-degree-more-plumber-long-run-20110318-063704-224.html)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on March 29, 2011, 03:09:39 PM
^excellent interview. Kotlikoff hits all the main points.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on March 29, 2011, 04:22:03 PM
A likely somewhat more high-falutin' presentation on this topic next month will take place via the Akron Roundtable series sponsored by the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, the Akron Beacon Journal, and the Kiwanis Club of Akron:

http://www.akronroundtable.org/Speakers/speakers.asp?ID=451 (http://www.akronroundtable.org/Speakers/speakers.asp?ID=451)

5/19/2011
Richard K. Vedder
Professor of Economics, Ohio University

Presentation Topic: “Why College Costs Too Much and What We Can Do About It”

Richard Vedder is Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ohio University, an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in Washington, DC. He is an economic historian by training specializing in the history of American labor markets and issues such as immigration, internal migration, slavery, unemployment and education. His book, Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in Twentieth-Century America, co-authored with Lowell Galloway, was the 1994 recipient of the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award and was a Mencken Award finalist for Best Book. In addition to his several books, he has authored over two hundred scholarly papers which have appeared in The Journal of Economic History, Agricultural History, Explorations in Economic History and numerous other prestigious academic journals. Dr. Vedder has also written hundreds of shorter pieces for the serious popular press including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, The American Enterprise, Forbes and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

...

Over the past decade, Dr. Vedder's research has increasingly addressed the issue of education. In 2004, he offered a critique of American higher education in his acclaimed book, Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much. The next year he was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to serve on her Commission on the Future of Higher Education. In 2006 Dr. Vedder founded the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), an independent research institute in Washington, DC that is dedicated to researching public policy and economic issues relating to post-secondary education. CCAP aims to facilitate a broader dialogue that challenges conventional thinking about costs, efficiency and innovation in American higher education.


I expect to be in the audience and will see if I can take enough notes to give a highlight-reel recap on UO for those that miss it, especially if he says anything interesting or different from what the other articles and pundits in this thread have already said.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on March 29, 2011, 09:52:03 PM
Hah!  And on a completely different note, I just found this gem from last year on Best of Craigslist, from a disgruntled alumnus of an unnamed private institution of higher ed:

http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sea/1619190174.html (http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sea/1619190174.html)

Dear University Alumni Office,

I'm sorry to hear that the university's $750 million endowment has fallen in value to $500 million because of the recession and because your bank died. I'm also sorry to hear that you're dealing with declining enrollment due to the fact that middle-class families are no longer willing or able to bet their homes on a $45,000-a-year higher education for their children. I really am.

So, what I want to know is, why are you wasting money on glossy fundraising brochures full of meaningless synonyms for the word "Excellence"? And, why are you sending them to ME? Yes, I know that I got a master's degree at your fine institution, but that master's degree hasn't done jack shit for me since I got it! I have been unemployed for the past TWO YEARS and I am now a professional resume-submitter, sending out dozens of resumes a month to employers, and the degree I received in your hallowed halls is at the TOP OF IT and it doesn't do a fucking thing.

You know, maybe if you wanted a little bit of money from me (and these days you'd get about $3) maybe you should send me a fancy color brochure admitting your role in the bubble economics that got us all in to this mess.

For example, since 1987, higher education expenses have gone up 450 percent, while personal income in this country has gone up 87 percent, making tuition IMPOSSIBLE to afford without special financing. But, during this time, you were thriving because people could come up with the cash in two ways:

1. Get a home equity loan and use the inflated value of their house to pay for their kid to get drunk and/or raped at your school and then lose the house when the market crashed.
2. Get a federal loan.

HAD IT OCCURRED TO YOU THAT NEITHER OF THESE SOURCES OF MONEY ACTUALLY EXIST? THAT IT WAS BEING MANUFACTURED BECAUSE YOU MADE PEOPLE THINK THAT ONE OF YOUR DEGREES WAS NECESSARY TO CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE BUBBLE?

Oh yes, federal loans. I've got $40,000 of those, which are in "forebearance" right now because I'm unemployed, meaning that the feds are paying the interest for a while, which is convenient for me, but not for our government which is now owned by China. You know, the idea behind federal loans was that it would allow more students to attend your university, not let you INFLATE your tuition to obscene levels! I mean, what the fuck were you spending the $16,000 per semester on, anyway? I was in a public policy program, so that meant we got to sit in classrooms and listen to Professor God up at the front of the lecture hall glorify Himself and Creation as He saw it and talk about how much smarter he was than anyone else and how much he'd learned at MIT and the RAND Corporation.

Really, that's about all you did for us -- gave us a lecture hall, gave us an arrogant bastard to listen to, and gave us a room full of computers we could use sometimes, and you gave us a degree that employers look at and say "This guy knows how to write reports. Amusing." And I will be paying for this privilege until I am 51 years old.

So I'm sorry that the economy's been rough on you. Maybe, if you wanted to save a little money, you could stop printing and sending brochures to my parents' house (oh yeah, that's where I live because I can't afford rent on ANYTHING). And, maybe I'll donate a little bit of money to you in 2030, when I get the loans for your imaginary education PAID OFF!

Sincerely yours,
Alumnus
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on March 30, 2011, 09:53:01 AM
^Flawless rant.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 31, 2011, 03:55:10 AM
It's not going to change until the federal student loan program is reigned in, but it seems politically untouchable.

That said, and I'm speaking about my own situation, I worked more in low-wage restaurant and warehouse work than most people from a similar background.  People always said "you're learning the value of a dollar", etc.  No -- I didn't learn anything about money until I got into a lot of debt.  My situation isn't too unusual and I think it's going to spur a cultural change, with people like me being very skeptical of buying a home, to take out a home equity loan, very cautious to go into business, and so on.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on April 01, 2011, 08:28:08 AM
More fuel for the fire....

Read more at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/03/an-anti-college-backlash/73214/# (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/03/an-anti-college-backlash/73214/#)

An Anti-College Backlash?
By Professor X Mar 31 2011, 7:55 AM ET 173
Americans are finally starting to ask: "Is all this higher education really necessary?"

Since the appearance in The Atlantic of my essay "In The Basement of the Ivory Tower" (2008), in which I questioned the wisdom of sending seemingly everyone in the United States through the rigors of higher education, it's become increasingly apparent to me that I'm far from the only one with these misgivings. Indeed, to my surprise, I've discovered that rather than a lone crank, I'm a voice in a growing movement.

I hadn't expected my essay, inspired by the frustrations of teaching students unprepared for the rigors of college-level work, to attract much notice. But the volume and vehemence of the feedback the piece generated was overwhelming. It drew more visitors than almost any other article on the Atlantic's web site in 2008, and provoked an avalanche of letters to the editor. It even started turning up in the syllabi of college writing classes, and on the agendas of educational conferences....

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 01, 2011, 09:35:10 AM
Meanwhile, I was talking to someone last night who's mother is a public middle school teacher, who reports that students aren't learning how to write cursive because it's not on the standardized tests.  She's in 7th grade teaching cursive.  I think we learned it in 3rd grade. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 01, 2011, 10:52:55 AM
I figured cursive was going to be something that was going to end up be downplayed with all this computer stuff going on. Schools might be spending too much time on computer stuff anyway; today's kids learn most of the stuff they need to know to be "normal" computer users on their own between social networking, looking for porn and online gaming.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on April 01, 2011, 12:26:32 PM
There is strong argument that we should be teaching italic writing instead of cursive.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: urbanpreppie05 on April 01, 2011, 12:40:23 PM
Working in the field of Higher Education, I can see some strong, strong, points from these articles. I do believe that too many people are going for Bachelor's in fields that are overcrowded or require more than just a bachelor's degree. Not enough people are going into the technical side of jobs because they've been drilled that a bachelor's is it.

On the other hand, i also see too many students that lack basic skills that are so vital in the working world- public speaking, interaction with others, critical thinking and creativity, etc...all things you develop inside and OUTSIDE the classroom. Of course, you do this through extra curriculars and internships, which many students (most, even) can't be bothered with because they're more concerned with Facebook, clubs, and video games.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 01, 2011, 12:51:14 PM
Yeah I don't mind that people are out partying.  It's all the sitting around watching TV and movies that is disgusting.  Some of the stats for how much TV the average college student watches per week are staggering, something like 44 hours, meaning there are a lot watching 50-60 hours.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: natininja on April 01, 2011, 01:45:09 PM
Many are too busy working low-wage jobs to do extra curriculars or internships (which usually aren't paid, these days).

The unpaid internship has become a great enforcer for the aristocracy.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on April 01, 2011, 02:03:24 PM
Many are too busy working low-wage jobs to do extra curriculars or internships (which usually aren't paid, these days).

The unpaid internship has become a great enforcer for the aristocracy.

This happened to me (and most of the other nght students) during law school.   We had to pass up a lot of opportunities because they involved unpaid work during business hours.  Invaluable experience, there for the taking... as long as you're wealthy and don't need to hold down a job.  And we were always told (by the rich kids) that if we just had more initiative, more desire, we'd be able to find time in our schedules like they did.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 01, 2011, 02:29:13 PM
^Rich people always pull that card.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 01, 2011, 02:31:23 PM
Yeah I don't mind that people are out partying.  It's all the sitting around watching TV and movies that is disgusting.  Some of the stats for how much TV the average college student watches per week are staggering, something like 44 hours, meaning there are a lot watching 50-60 hours.

Based on stats earlier in this thread, college kids might be partying too much, not too little. I find those television numbers impossible. If that's true, they're spending more time watching TV than studying, doing projects, and going to class!

Based on my experience, I didn't see anything like that in college. Schoolwork, clubs, working out, and partying filled the schedules of most kids.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on April 01, 2011, 02:38:17 PM
^I can see the TV being on 40 hours a week but being watched that much? I highly doubt that.

Thank god engineering internships were paid. Or at least when I was in school.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: natininja on April 01, 2011, 02:47:19 PM
And we were always told (by the rich kids) that if we just had more initiative, more desire, we'd be able to find time in our schedules like they did.
No matter how true or not true that might be, the rich kids without initiative and desire still get the benefits.

There needs to be a real crackdown on unpaid internships. Most are illegal, but there doesn't seem to be much done about it.

Quote
The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) clarifies the differentiation between a "trainee" and an employee in regard to the Fair Labor Standard Act (FSLA) by these six federal criteria:
•   The training given in the internship must be similar to what would be given in an educational setting, or vocational school
•   The training should be for the benefit of the trainee
•   The trainee's work not replace workers who are regularly paid
•   The employer receives no immediate advantage from the trainees' activities, and the employer's operations may actually be impeded on occasion
•   At the end of the training, the trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job
•   Both the trainee and the employer understand that the trainee is not entitled to wages during the training period.
via http://www.californiaemploymentlawyersblog.com/2010/04/federal-criteria-defining-legality-of-unpaid-internships.html (http://www.californiaemploymentlawyersblog.com/2010/04/federal-criteria-defining-legality-of-unpaid-internships.html)

The NYT had an article about the phenomenon a year ago:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 01, 2011, 05:27:35 PM
I'm not sure if I should publicly share my deep views and experience regarding the plethora of unpaid interns in my industry, but if anyone is down to hear the details and dark secrets of the trade (from someone who has had the "pleasure" of "mentoring" about a dozen of these kids), send me a PM.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on April 01, 2011, 09:36:01 PM
They aren't watching TV. Facebook dominates their world (well that and porn for the guys). A night of hard partying isn't a problem, but three or four days a week is serious problem and it shows in the classroom. Some are hurt by jobs, though the smart or diligent kids generally have no problem holding down a job and doing well in school. Across a number of campuses, there is a general lack of curiosity about the world.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 02, 2011, 09:33:18 AM
The girls are more into TV than the guys. There's the MTV trance, celebrity news garbage and endless reality shows for them to consume. And don't forget the Disney movies! Remember, not every college kid is a social butterfly or even a weekend warrior. Some just show up to class, are in a daytime extracurricular or two (or have a part-time job) and go home for evenings of homework and screen.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on April 02, 2011, 09:59:42 AM
My evidence for a lack of TV time is that they have absolutely no cultural awareness that isn't tied to the Internet and social media (and that includes celeb gossip and movies).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 02, 2011, 02:04:57 PM
I had a (male) roommate who watched soap operas every day in between classes.  Also, many people who watch a lot of TV NEVER watch any news or informational programming.  For example they've never watched or even heard of Meet the Press, despite it having been on the air for the last 50 years. 

When I was a kid I liked watching the political shows and the history shows.  For people on this website, that's probably not all that unusual.  I finally saw American Idol this week.  It was mind-rot.     
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: urbanpreppie05 on April 02, 2011, 02:07:29 PM
Across a number of campuses, there is a general lack of curiosity about the world.

BINGO. I've noticed this, it seems that many students dont care about, well...anything. There's a lot of issues with school funding, Busing, etc...and you wouldn't believe how many students can't be bothered to even ask for a simple opinion.

Quote
When I was a kid I liked watching the political shows and the history shows.  For people on this website, that's probably not all that unusual.  I finally saw American Idol this week.  It was mind-rot

I watch a lot of shows that wouldn't be considered "Intellectual" by any means- The price is right, some occassional cartoons, other game shows...with the RARE reality show. At the same time, I also like to read classic literature and history books...so i guess one balances out the other?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 02, 2011, 02:12:15 PM
>it seems the students dont care about, well...anything.

Well then just figure out a way to make money off their stupidity.  Oh wait -- that's what the colleges and Sallie Mae are doing!
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on April 03, 2011, 01:09:05 AM
Jmech, the biggest difference in college students in 2011 and 1998 is that we shared however tenuously a common culture experienced mostly through television - kids today don't have that experience. I would say their common culture is the medium rather than the content.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 03, 2011, 03:28:53 AM
I had a conversation with someone tonight on a related topic -- that people who are 20 seem to be totally incapable of understanding that the things they are excited about are the exact same things young people from previous generations were excited about at their age, the difference being that for generations past, to some extent that energy was focussed around specific cultural ideas.  Now, "counterculture" is simply a fashion look, with a meaning differing little from formal clothing, if only because now each and every article of clothing is something to be photographed for the purpose of one's Facebook profile.     

Personally, because I had a teenage parents (if, technically, age 20 is still counted as a teenage year), I grew up in a hippie and rock & roll environment.  Somewhat notoriously, my mom went to a Rolling Stones concert at the old Cleveland stadium when she was 8 months pregnant with me.  I grew up with the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, and Crosby, Stills, & Nash being played in the house, often at a volume to be heard over the vacuum cleaner.  Therefore I grew up with the idea that our age was "late to the party", so far as the whole 1960's Woodstock and counterculture stuff was concerned. 

But these youngsters raised with their perverted Disney Channel view of the world don't, in the least, understand the actual meaning of the music and clothing that accompanied past countercultural movements.  To wear the mainstream clothing of the 60's is to them the same as to where the countercultural clothes of that time.  Moreover, they actually DON'T CARE that there was actual meaning to countercultures, because they don't seem to understand that anything ever actually meant something.  I really think that this skepticism started with those who graduated from high school in the 90's, who were the nexus of the hipster non-movement, and I was there right at the beginning of it in the late 90's when my curiosity took me to see "rock" groups that, as part of their act, made fun of rock & roll.  These soon after came to be known as the hipster and emo and indie groups that more or less ruined rock as not just a music genre but as a medium which accompanied true countercultural sentiments. 

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 03, 2011, 11:18:34 AM
Don't forget SPORTSCENTER!
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Eigth and State on April 03, 2011, 09:54:04 PM

   When I was in school, everyone basicly watched the same shows on TV - because there were only 5 channels, no videos to rent, and no internet. Today's kids must be much more diversified from a media perspective. I never thought about that until just today.

   "The problem is not the quality of television, though most television is of low quality. The problem is the quantity of television."
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: natininja on April 03, 2011, 10:59:58 PM

   When I was in school, everyone basicly watched the same shows on TV - because there were only 5 channels, no videos to rent, and no internet. Today's kids must be much more diversified from a media perspective. I never thought about that until just today.

   "The problem is not the quality of television, though most television is of low quality. The problem is the quantity of television."

How old are you?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Eigth and State on April 03, 2011, 11:28:05 PM

   Not as old as Rob.  :-D

   In my neighborhood, cable TV came around in 1981 if I remember correctly. I can't remember anyone having a VCR earlier than 1984, though I'm sure they were invented before then. Before those two things, we had channels 5, 9, 12, 19, and 64, and that was it. Oh, and the Atari 2600 came out about the same time.

    This wasn't that long ago, really.



   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 04, 2011, 12:41:24 AM
Also, TV went off the air every night around 2am. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on April 04, 2011, 09:46:44 AM
Across a number of campuses, there is a general lack of curiosity about the world.

BINGO. I've noticed this, it seems that many students dont care about, well...anything.

I'm not sure that our current educational institutions do much to foster that kind of curiosity about the world beyond the walls of the ivory tower.  In fact, there are definitely some departments where I think that the professors need additional exposure to the real world even more than their students do.

The required reading for one of my girlfriend's MBA classes is the Wall Street Journal.  I don't know what to think about that.  On the one hand, setting an expectation that people will keep up on current events in the business world makes sense.  On the flip side, you might also wish that a business school professor wouldn't need to make the WSJ required reading for an MBA course.  You'd think that aspiring business leaders at that level would be seeking out at least a couple of business media on their own.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on April 04, 2011, 10:50:55 AM
  On the flip side, you might also wish that a business school professor wouldn't need to make the WSJ required reading for an MBA course.  You'd think that aspiring business leaders at that level would be seeking out at least a couple of business media on their own.

My senior year in college I had to take a 'capstone' class, where we were supposed to apply all of the principals that we'd learned in the previous three years. Basically, the class consisted of the professor (who's name escapes me now), but who was some local muckety muck in the Syracuse business scene, repeatedly reminding us of the fact that none of us knew sh!t about running a business. He was right. Invariably in any business restructuring exercise, we just ended up laying off everyone. We all thought we were real smart until the professor pointed out we were going to need people to eventually work at that facility. Meh...details.

Anyway, to Gramarye's point, he mentioned that a colleague had interviewed a candidate for an entry level position in his firm. The colleague asked a series of questions related to a specific subject that had been covered in a recent issue of Business Week. Interviewee had no idea what he was talking about.

It's nice to think that MBA level students would, as a matter of hand, read trade periodicals, financial publications, etc., but I'm guessing most don't, for reasons ranging from pure apathy, to lack of sufficient time based on coursework. You lose sight of the bigger picture (i.e. that there's a world out there) when you're caught up in the day to day of being a student.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 04, 2011, 12:44:49 PM
Eh, I never found much use for business magazines when I doing MBA or MS coursework. The WSJ came in handy somewhat often, but you're out there you're better off reading about products in your industry and trade journals, watching what your competitors are doing and learning about customers/clients and their behavior. People in school often don't have an industry. Business magazines always seemed to me like they're aimed at people who are looking at business from the outside or just want to get rich. It's like, if you asked them what field they were in or wanted to get into, they'd just say "Business." Perhaps I spend enough time on the internet getting pointed to articles that affect the macro scene enough that I don't need supplemental info.

When you're doing research on public companies and don't have access to something like a Bloomberg terminal, Reuters, the company's website/reports and Yahoo Finance are a lot more useful than some article that might have an agenda.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 04, 2011, 01:28:59 PM
Also, to touch on the "youth monoculture of the past vs. hyperindividualism of modern students" topic, I'd say that Metal was at the forefront of the hyperindividualistic "that guy likes this, this other guy likes that, and she is into this other thing and that's the way it is". In 1982 metal fans pretty much all agreed that Priest, Maiden, Sabbath, Scorpions and UFO kicked ass (though there was always disagreement reading Zeppelin). You get into the late '80s and everybody was either into Thrash, Hair, Death, punk/metal Crossover or the old British stuff. Fans wouldn't go shows outside their favored sub-genre except maybe a few thrashers would show up to a Crossover show. Of course, considering the time frame, the Internet didn't split all this up; there were so many magazines, fanzines, tape trading networks, band mailing lists/club newsletters, record stores and hotlines that you could find out tons about your favorite obscure bands -- and don't forget the often-inaccurate word of mouth.

When I was in high school in the '90s being into unusual stuff overall, not just music, was frowned upon... musically, not listening to rap exclusively was odd -- even those who listened to the biggest bands of all time such as Nirvana or the Beatles were looked at with a stinkeye. You get past 2002 or so, and you start to notice that nobody cares what weird stuff other young people are into, because they're all into weird stuff themselves. Weird sports teams, weird cars, weird clothes, weird food, weird movies etc. aren't weird any more. It seems that things become un-weird when there's lots of information about them on an easily accessible basis.

It seems that the only way a young person can be weird these days is to dress well or have a grating personality.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 04, 2011, 01:46:21 PM
My own belief is that music will collapse (if it already hasn't) as a gathering place of contemporary culture because there are now so many alternate avenues of communication.  With this, there is less incentive to form a band, and therefore the quality of what's being produced will continue to slide. 

In the "Guitar Hero" thread on this site, I observed several years ago that kids prefer to play fake guitars to real ones.  It's gotten so bad that they actually make fun of people who play real instruments.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on April 04, 2011, 01:57:36 PM
That's OK.  They also make fun of students who study real books instead of Twilight, too.

Still, I agree that music is not going to be much of a gathering place of contemporary culture for too much longer.  I consider that a blessing.  Look at the Billboard Top 40.  How much of an influence over our culture do you want that to have? :-P
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 04, 2011, 02:04:01 PM
THIS hit #17 and had tons of MTV airplay in 1992:

Megadeth - Symphony Of Destruction (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfpgpf6QVnI#)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 04, 2011, 02:57:01 PM
My own belief is that music will collapse (if it already hasn't) as a gathering place of contemporary culture because there are now so many alternate avenues of communication.  With this, there is less incentive to form a band, and therefore the quality of what's being produced will continue to slide. 

In the "Guitar Hero" thread on this site, I observed several years ago that kids prefer to play fake guitars to real ones.  It's gotten so bad that they actually make fun of people who play real instruments.   

As someone who works in the game biz, I can tell you that Guitar Hero and Rock Band are DEAD. They've stopped making the games; people don't buy them and game stores have completely stopped taking the equipment in on trade since everybody is dumping the stuff. Just like end of disco in the States except that people haven't brought all their stuff down to the ballpark to be blown up -- yet.

I'd say that all those sub-genres are what destroyed rock and roll more as youth entertainment more than anything, and as far as live shows go, smoking bans, greedy large venues, massive additional sprawl from '85-2005 and overzealous DUI enforcement were the final blows.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 04, 2011, 03:21:32 PM
That's OK.  They also make fun of students who study real books instead of Twilight, too.

Still, I agree that music is not going to be much of a gathering place of contemporary culture for too much longer.  I consider that a blessing.  Look at the Billboard Top 40.  How much of an influence over our culture do you want that to have? :-P

Ever since the Balkanization of music became final around 2000, charts have been practically meaningless as far as what people are actually into. Probably only 300-400 pop records a year come out versus thousands of metal records, thousands of country records, thousands of Bluegrass records, trillons of rap records and so on.

In fact, if you look at the album charts, today it only takes about 10% of of what it took sales-wise to make it to #1 as it did in the late '90s. 10%! Sales of albums overall are much higher than 10% of what they were then, but the sales are spread out over many more releases.

As far as music's future goes as a form of entertainment goes though, as sprawl continues to lose popularity you'll see see it become much more important in the entertainment mix and cohesion will return to some degree.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: mikel on April 04, 2011, 03:29:23 PM
As somebody who recently graduated from a top 50 college I can definitely agree with some of the sentiments on UrbanOhio that people of my generation lack any cultural awareness.  I am a big believer in a traditional liberal arts education or a technical education that at least stresses the liberal arts at some level.  I realize that the liberal arts do not prepare people for a job but they really do teach people how to think.  School is seen by many of my generation as a way to get a diploma and be qualified for a job by taking somewhat mindless technical classes.  They end up thinking that they are smart educated people but they can't remember the last time they read a book or even a newspaper (or online news).  I studied abroad in Scotland for 5 months and it was instantly noticeable how much more interest EVERYBODY took in the world around them.  Politics and world affairs were commonplace for everyone to discuss and only a few circles of students at home would regularly discuss these things.  America is supposed to be the most creative free place in the world but my generation has been taught from a young age to take the safe route and do what we are told and we will be successful.  We have had our lives planned out from the time we are in middle school.  I think the recession opened peoples eyes up a little bit though and made them realize that being truly creative and flexible would be necessary to either find a job or make a job in the post recession economy.  All the promises we had been told all of these years were not true, we did not get anything we want just for following the rules, getting a technical degree, and becoming part of the machine.  I mean no disrespect to people that are involved in technical fields because many people I know that have technical jobs are very culturally aware and involved, I just feel that many young people today value a degree or qualification much more than the ability to actually think. 

My classmates were apathetic to politics, the arts, and the world around them.  Someone may bring up the Obama campaign as an example of how my generation got involved, I volunteered for the Obama campaign and I felt like people were doing more because it would help them get a job than actually believing in the message.  They may have leaned more towards Obama'd ideas but looked at the campaign as a way to further their self-interest than to help out their country.  I could rant for hours on this subject but I am too tired and will have to save some for later.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: X on April 04, 2011, 04:10:43 PM
So... any real evidence (not lame personal anecdotes or unsubstantiated pet theories) that proves that young people are more shallow/stupid/apathetic than in earlier times?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on April 04, 2011, 04:27:22 PM
^ Can I cite my father as a reference?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Eigth and State on April 04, 2011, 06:54:17 PM

   I'm not sure whether this proves that kids are more shallow or not, but the average age of first marriage for Americans has risen by 5 years in the last 20 years. That is definitely a big change.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: mikel on April 04, 2011, 07:06:57 PM
Am I not allowed to have an opinion X?  Sometimes personal anecdotes and observation can be useful, but if you need academic studies this is close to what I am getting at:

"Another cause may be changing expectations about success. Since the 1980s, there has been a steady trend in people feeling more stressed about trying to "get ahead," Konrath says.  "With so much time and effort devoted to yourself so you can succeed, who has time for others?" O'Brian says."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-06-08-empathyresearch08_st_N.htm (http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-06-08-empathyresearch08_st_N.htm)

"But the authors speculate a millennial mixture of video games, social media, reality TV and hyper-competition have left young people self-involved, shallow and unfettered in their individualism and ambition."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/fashion/27StudiedEmpathy.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/fashion/27StudiedEmpathy.html)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: X on April 04, 2011, 09:44:55 PM
You certainly are allowed your own opinions, Mikel.  I wasn't directing my comments at you specifically, but at the board in general.  I've just noticed a page and a half or so of unsubstantiated claims and opinions shorn of anything that might resemble a fact posted in a short period, so I called it out.

As for your articles, they occasionally flirt with something like facts, though all it really relies on is survey data of people's self perceptions.  Is there a less reliable thing that can be considered a fact?  So less college students agree with the statement that "I often have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me".  It's possible that equates with lower social empathy as the articles posit in a number of ways, it's equally possible that college students are more open or honest about themselves, even when it risks making them look bad.  That statement is just my pet theory, but it's no less substantiated than the speculation that makes up the rest of those articles. 

Nearly the rest of the article is fact free opinion- though there is this one other fact-

"Claire Raines, author of The Art of Connecting and an expert on generations, says such a study focusing on college students leads to stereotypes of the Millennial generation — people born between 1980 and 2000 — as more narcissistic and materialistic, which Raines says isn't necessarily true. She notes that the Millennial generation volunteers more than twice as often as Generation X, or people born roughly between 1960 and 1980. They also have better relationships with their parents, she says."

Hmmm....I'll let that stand on its own, except to say that actions speak louder than words to me.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on April 04, 2011, 10:01:47 PM
The current state of the literature on the decline of American civilization is: the sky is falling, the sky has always been falling, but this time it is falling faster and without any safety in place.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: mrnyc on April 04, 2011, 10:16:30 PM
actually people's self perceptions can be measured quite validly and reliably, so according that study people likely are less empathetic. it's the discussion of the results section of research that is of course speculative. that 'why' question is a real bugger.

also, younger people volunteer more than people in the prime of their working years, so no doubt gen x volunteers less than gen y (aka millenials?). anyway, i'd imagine that trend again reverses itself when people retire, seems to me retired folks volunteer a lot too like at polling stations and stuff, but i suppose thats grist for another study or book.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: mikel on April 04, 2011, 10:20:17 PM
The rise in community service is an easy one.  Students have to do hundreds of hours of community service for graduation requirements for high school and college.  I remember my high school doubled the number of hours required about 6 years ago.  Facts for this issue are hard to come by because it is such a complicated issue.  What exactly can we measure to look at this?  I don't even quite know what I am trying to get at with this so that doesn't help the conversation but I think my basic argument is that the current generation is just so busy and stressed out from trying to do better than their parents that they don't have time to sit back and think about the larger world around them.  It is by no means a guarantee these days that we will do better than our parents and the stress from that problem is difficult to deal with. 

I try not to idealize the past because older generations did a lot of not so great things that we have tried to reduce in the present day and because I am still a youngster I don't have as much experience with the past as some on this board so I am open to being corrected.  This issue also may be more of an American thing that i just noticed when i lived in Scotland.  I am not trying to say that today's young people are stupid or careless, I just think a certain skillset is being replaced with a new one that has some positives but also some drawbacks for the future. To connect this to UrbanOhio, I think growing up in far-flung suburbs has made young people less empathetic and less understanding of problems that plague cities.  Anyway I'll let it go at this because this is really an education thread and should probably move more that way.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on April 05, 2011, 08:32:20 AM
One point about Europeans, I do believe that Europeans are more tuned into the world because the basically the world, well European world, is right on top of them and there is far more international interaction. We are a huge, for the most part isolated country and even our cities are far apart compared to Europe.

I think it's more of a cultural change, and the older generation which just as consumed by thier cell phones and movies on demand are looking back unfairly and comparing their college years with these kids. There are knocks against every generations. The WWII/Greatest generation bombed the hell out of the rest of the world and then spent the 50s and 60s drinking Pabst, mowing the lawn and working 40 hours weeks while having 3 martini lunchs, The Boomers, were strictly motivated politically because they had huge numbers of their generation killed in Viet Nam, then spent the rest of the 70s and early 80s partying and being greedy. These are gross generalizations, but the nostaligic notion of the previous generation being unselfish are generally unfounded.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: X on April 05, 2011, 03:25:19 PM
In my experience, Europeans are more in tune to Europe, and to hear them tell it, that's the world.  Nothing more.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: mikel on April 14, 2011, 05:33:05 PM
This is a bit more about what I mentioned earlier in this thread.  It applies to Business school but the lessons from it may apply to some other fields as well.

The Default Major: Skating Through B-School
By DAVID GLENN
Published: April 14, 2011

This article is a collaboration between The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education, a daily source of news, opinion and commentary for professors, administrators and others interested in academe. David Glenn is a senior writer at The Chronicle covering teaching and curriculum.
PAUL M. MASON does not give his business students the same exams he gave 10 or 15 years ago. “Not many of them would pass,” he says.

Dr. Mason, who teaches economics at the University of North Florida, believes his students are just as intelligent as they’ve always been. But many of them don’t read their textbooks, or do much of anything else that their parents would have called studying. “We used to complain that K-12 schools didn’t hold students to high standards,” he says with a sigh. “And here we are doing the same thing ourselves.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/education/edlife/edl-17business-t.html?pagewanted=1 (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/education/edlife/edl-17business-t.html?pagewanted=1)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 14, 2011, 09:27:49 PM
Thanks for the article.  I think the stuff about the group projects is obvious -- I never learned a damn thing from a group project.  I can only imagine what the small group meetings are like now, with everyone checking smart phones every 90 seconds. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on April 15, 2011, 08:27:27 AM
^
I did take some graduate courses a few years ago (at WSU) and it was all around group work.  I HATED group projects.  The entire concept was anathama to me. 

We did sort of work in a group in architecture studio, but the studio enviroment wasnt a real group project, we worked on our own projects for the same design problem, and critiqued each others solutions over the course of the term.  It was a different kind of learning than these impromptu forced group things that they had us work on.  It added this whole social dimension to the class that complicated things. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on April 15, 2011, 08:29:27 AM
mikels article was really enlightening as to whats going on in college these days.  Or I guess B-school.  Interesting.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 15, 2011, 09:57:24 AM
When I was in undergraduate "general business" school 10 years ago, I sure had a lot of free time as compared to a lot of the other majors.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on April 15, 2011, 10:21:55 AM
When I was in undergraduate "general business" school 10 years ago, I sure had a lot of free time as compared to a lot of the other majors.

The engineering students certainly noticed this too. One of the issues I had at OU was the biz undergrads week basically ended on Thursday, their four per week classes were  all M-T-W-Th while for whatever reason the Engineering schools were M-T-Th-F. And our "off" day was Wed.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on April 15, 2011, 10:42:53 AM
Biz undergrads need time for networking. That's how we 'got things done' ;-)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on April 15, 2011, 03:28:00 PM
"got things done"

sure, whatever you tell yourself AJ to justify what you paid in tution to beer bong Gennese...  ;)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 28, 2011, 04:07:05 AM
Alex Bag - Untitled "Fall '95" [7th Semester segment] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO63MKw9fu8#ws)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 28, 2011, 02:43:59 PM
Well, that was about as '90s as it gets.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 28, 2011, 03:13:32 PM
There were a lot of girls like that.  Where are all of them now?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 28, 2011, 03:14:23 PM
A prime example of what's wrong with passion majors.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 28, 2011, 03:23:54 PM
There were a lot of girls like that.  Where are all of them now?

Her wiki page (if it's real) sounds pretty legit. She hit it big. I have to admit that video hits most of the major points about college. I just found it hilarious when she said "the job market is terrible." In 1995 in New York City? That must be a joke. I think she could use a taste of Detroit or Toledo in 2008 (or really any time after 2006). So many of these New York art kids are completely out of touch with the Rust Belt and real Americans. They have no clue what is going on. Most people I know would kill someone to have a job at Starbucks. Where I'm from, Starbucks is a dream job. It gets you out of hard manual labor or lower end retail/food service. Starbucks is high class and can be more desirable than many entry-level professional jobs in this city. Starbucks is lgendary for its health insurance.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on April 28, 2011, 03:25:29 PM
There were a lot of girls like that.  Where are all of them now?

Married, no more nose ring, living in a bedroom community in Westchester, driving an Odyssey to piano lessons, bitching to the other PTA moms about how she's "so 'over' cupcakes, you know?"

Oh, and she's blond now and wears mom jeans.

Edit: Ok, so C-Dawg's post would indicate I was incorrect, but I maintain that she's fabricated that wiki page
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 28, 2011, 03:33:46 PM
This was a satire, btw.  This lady was already a fairly famous artist when she made these.  I saw these first I think in 1998, pretty soon after they were made, but they are funnier now.  Here is the first one, when she arrives at school:

Alex Bag - Untitled "Fall '95" [INTRO - First Semester Segment] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S75oLIYbWc#ws)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 28, 2011, 03:35:01 PM
Edit: Ok, so C-Dawg's post would indicate I was incorrect, but I maintain that she's fabricated that wiki page

She's big time:
http://www.elizabethdeegallery.com/artists/view/alex-bag (http://www.elizabethdeegallery.com/artists/view/alex-bag)

Wow, someone I went to high school with is in that gallery. Small world.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 28, 2011, 03:57:41 PM
This was a satire, btw.  This lady was already a fairly famous artist when she made these.  I saw these first I think in 1998, pretty soon after they were made, but they are funnier now.  Here is the first one, when she arrives at school:

She nails it. I know some kids exactly like that character, and have had the "pleasure" of working with them too.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on April 28, 2011, 03:59:06 PM
This was a satire, btw.  This lady was already a fairly famous artist when she made these.  I saw these first I think in 1998, pretty soon after they were made, but they are funnier now.  Here is the first one, when she arrives at school:

Alex Bag - Untitled "Fall '95" [INTRO - First Semester Segment] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S75oLIYbWc#ws)

I figured that out after reading her wiki page. That said, she did a dead on impression of quite a few people I knew at that time (I wouldn't say they were friends, but I was aware of them...I was much too busy working toward becoming a corporate drone...which, BTW...Mission Accomplished!) .
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on April 28, 2011, 04:01:49 PM
Edit: Ok, so C-Dawg's post would indicate I was incorrect, but I maintain that she's fabricated that wiki page

She's big time:
http://www.elizabethdeegallery.com/artists/view/alex-bag (http://www.elizabethdeegallery.com/artists/view/alex-bag)

Wow, someone I went to high school with is in that gallery. Small world.


BTW, I was right about her being blonde!!
 :-D

(http://www.elizabethdeegallery.com/img/thumbnail.php?img=gallery/bag.jpg&w=474&h=370&crop=0)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 28, 2011, 04:09:52 PM
Haha! :-D Gold.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on May 07, 2011, 05:17:09 PM
It definitely tapped into a particular moment. I will note that the first half of the 90s was still quite rough economically - it isn't really until 96/97 that the real boom takes off. That the era of downsizing as a dominant word in the economic vocabulary. Also the rust belt collapse was a lot more recent then. UT had just come off a peak enrollment era related to the factory closures of the 80s and early 90s.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 08, 2011, 01:59:27 PM
Also, New York was still pretty rough.  The Times Square Disneyfication started right around 1995 from what I remember. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on May 09, 2011, 12:35:48 PM
Lots of interesting stats in this:

20 Most Useless College Degrees
http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2843/1/ (http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2843/1/)

Journalism looked worst by far. The numbers are gut-wrenching. Under 70,000 total people are currently employed nationwide, that number is plummeting, and 78,000 kids graduate every year with degrees in this field. Imagine how much bigger the industry would have to be to even start to absorb new entrants. The supply and demand issue raises every red flag under the sun. What makes this Daily Beast article so great is that they break down every major by number of yearly graduates and total employment base in the field (just divide change in number of jobs by percentage change- for journalism it's 4,400/.0632). It's very easy to see what the competition is like in fields like journalism.

Change in number of jobs, 2008-2018: -4,400

Percentage Change in number of jobs, 2008-2018: -6.32

Undergraduate field of study: Communications

Number of students awarded degrees 2008-2009:: 78,009

I think every kid should look at these numbers before declaring a major. Public universities should be required by law to disclose these numbers to prospective students. Kids would make much more informed decisions if they knew this stuff before declaring a major. In my experience, most of the advice given by high schools and universities is along the lines of, "just go to college," or "it doesn't matter what major you pick as long as you're passionate about it."
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on May 09, 2011, 01:26:10 PM
So, according to this article, is everyone supposed to be a management major, pre med or pre law? I'd argue we need more science majors, along with math and engineering, so that we can actually innovate and create things, which we're seriously starting to lag in.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on May 09, 2011, 01:34:31 PM
I have degrees in management and law... and while I've rarely been unemployed, I wouldn't call these lucrative fields for 2011.  But most people I know who are in healthcare, like nursing or therapy, get regular calls from recruiters.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on May 09, 2011, 01:48:28 PM
So, according to this article, is everyone supposed to be a management major, pre med or pre law? I'd argue we need more science majors, along with math and engineering, so that we can actually innovate and create things, which we're seriously starting to lag in.

The pure natural sciences (e.g., chemistry, as opposed to chemical engineering) really are different animals than the applied fields like engineering, and the weakness in the market for chemists should not be taken as a sign of weakness in the market for chemical engineers, for example.  However, there really is more weakness in the market for chemists than you might think.  "Degrees in math and science" is a buzzphrase that I hear a lot, but a degree in pure mathematics doesn't open too many doors (unless you're a quant of hedge fund caliber), either, and not all scientific fields are created equal.

I have a legal degree and I'm an attorney in private practice now, but I would never recommend law as a career for everyone.  On the diametrically opposite side, I admittedly suck at working with my hands, but have definitely suggested the skilled trades for others who are less cerebral and more hands-on.  A good plumber or electrician or mechanic can make a lot more than a lot of white collar occupations, though obviously the work environment won't be consistently air-conditioned and carpeted.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on May 09, 2011, 02:29:42 PM
Let me rephrase that I think we need to direct undergrads today to majors that apply math and/or science. A solid grasp of higher mathematical concepts can be applied to any number of fields, engineering, financial principals (not just limited to quants...who in many cases are physics majors these days), medicine, etc.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 09, 2011, 02:30:05 PM
Thanks Calvin for the link.  I saw that a week or so ago when the forum was down so didn't post it. 

Some of the numbers are a little suspect.  They list both "art" and "fine arts" as each producing 89,000 graduates per year.  I'm not sure quite what their stated difference is between an art degree and a fine arts degree is, although I do recall my school offering both BA (Bachelor of Arts) and BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degrees, which meant pretty much that a declared major in the art school and so took a few more of those classes. 

I think most of the jobs that are out there for art, theater, and music majors are as teachers in grade schools and high schools.  If you want to do those things, then great.  But the really cruel thing about the arts, generally, seems to be that a lot of the people in the administrative roles in the non-teaching jobs don't even have a background in their particular art (ballet, art museum, whatever). 

Obviously, some young people are passionately drawn to theater or music or whatever.  I just think that we should be very cautious in allowing people to borrow tons of money to pursue these things, especially since in my experience I've seen the non-majors often get the jobs in the arts. 

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 28, 2011, 12:52:28 PM
Found this photo from I think 1997 today...this is the exact kind of girl being parodied in that earlier video:

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j231/jmecklenborg/fashion/jennychapman.jpg)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on June 17, 2011, 12:28:55 PM
Thu Jun 16, 3:00 pm ET
The more debt college students have, the higher their self esteem
By Liz Goodwin

It turns out there is an upside to mounting college debt: self confidence! A new study shows that the higher a young person's debt, the more self-esteem he or she has. Ohio State University researchers surveyed more than 3,000 adults aged 18 to 34 for the study, which is published in Social Science Research. Their study found that the more debt from college loans and credit cards individuals had in their name, the more control they felt over their lives. There is, however, a catch: People over the age of 28 started to show signs of stress and worry about their debt. The downshift in debtors' moods stems from the ongoing growth of their debt obligations over time--though it is of course also true that adults have a general propensity to worry more as they age.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110616/us_yblog_thelookout/the-more-debt-college-students-have-the-higher-their-self-esteem (http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110616/us_yblog_thelookout/the-more-debt-college-students-have-the-higher-their-self-esteem)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: MyTwoSense on June 17, 2011, 12:30:14 PM
Thu Jun 16, 3:00 pm ET
The more debt college students have, the higher their self esteem
By Liz Goodwin

It turns out there is an upside to mounting college debt: self confidence! A new study shows that the higher a young person's debt, the more self-esteem he or she has. Ohio State University researchers surveyed more than 3,000 adults aged 18 to 34 for the study, which is published in Social Science Research. Their study found that the more debt from college loans and credit cards individuals had in their name, the more control they felt over their lives. There is, however, a catch: People over the age of 28 started to show signs of stress and worry about their debt. The downshift in debtors' moods stems from the ongoing growth of their debt obligations over time--though it is of course also true that adults have a general propensity to worry more as they age.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110616/us_yblog_thelookout/the-more-debt-college-students-have-the-higher-their-self-esteem (http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110616/us_yblog_thelookout/the-more-debt-college-students-have-the-higher-their-self-esteem)


That is some crazy shit!  Thank goodness I had no debt after college!
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 17, 2011, 12:37:49 PM
$23,000 is not a lot of debt, relatively speaking.  A monthly payment of say $250 is manageable in most situations.  When a monthly payment approaches $1,000, that's when you're in trouble.  With such a payment it is hard to build up an emergency fund that would allow you to keep making those payments for any length of time.  Someone with $50K in debt is typically not going to have $10K in cash reserves. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on June 17, 2011, 03:03:02 PM
Well, the critical missing piece of information is just what level of income that level of debt enabled the graduate to secure.  Someone with $50k in debt and a degree or certificate in law, accounting, engineering, etc. is not in the same position as someone with $50k in debt and a degree in art history or women's studies (as a general rule, of course).

The interest rate on the debt is also important, but not quite as important as the income question.

The findings of that study that children from lower-income households have a high level of confidence associated with a high level of debt could make perfect sense to me if we're talking about children who are the first member of their family to go to college and got a good degree and are using it well.  Even with $50k in debt (leave aside law and medicine since those require postgraduate degrees), an accountant or engineer is still probably achieving a respectable standard of living, and if they came from a poor household, then they may also have achieved many a dream of generational progress: not just to have the next generation finish ahead of where the previous one finished, but to have the next generation basically *start* ahead of where the previous one finished.

If it's just that children from poorer families have so little experience with debt (since people weren't lending to them or their parents before they reached college age and entered the cheery world of student loans) and haven't gotten the cold shock of reality with respect to those debts yet, then that's a slightly different message.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 17, 2011, 04:20:28 PM
I think it's difficult for most people to pay off $50K in 10 years with a middle class income.  There are too many pressures to buy new clothes, go to restaurants, go on trips, etc.  Dave Ramsey, the personal finance guru, always tells people if you cut back on these things that "people are going to say you're nuts".  I have lived in a cheap apartment in a "bad" part of town for four years and have saved, by my estimation, at least $10,000 by doing so.  Most people have too much ego to live in a cheap place.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: HHS78 on June 17, 2011, 07:01:01 PM
Thu Jun 16, 3:00 pm ET
The more debt college students have, the higher their self esteem
By Liz Goodwin

It turns out there is an upside to mounting college debt: self confidence! A new study shows that the higher a young person's debt, the more self-esteem he or she has. Ohio State University researchers surveyed more than 3,000 adults aged 18 to 34 for the study, which is published in Social Science Research. Their study found that the more debt from college loans and credit cards individuals had in their name, the more control they felt over their lives. There is, however, a catch: People over the age of 28 started to show signs of stress and worry about their debt. The downshift in debtors' moods stems from the ongoing growth of their debt obligations over time--though it is of course also true that adults have a general propensity to worry more as they age.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110616/us_yblog_thelookout/the-more-debt-college-students-have-the-higher-their-self-esteem (http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110616/us_yblog_thelookout/the-more-debt-college-students-have-the-higher-their-self-esteem)


I remember reading that article last week. I would surely love to know how they came to the conclusions they did. Luckily I received pretty good scholarships from UConn and the state of Connecticut. If it were not for the scholarships and grants, I probably would not have been able to go to college being that my parents are not wealthy by any means. Even with the scholarships, grants, and whatever aid my parents could give me when they had it, I still had to take out loans to cover remaining tuition costs and living expenses I had.

I sometimes loathe the fact that I have student loans that I will have to pay back after I finish grad school, but my debt will be very, very minimal compared to others I know (around $16,000). I have instructors in their 50s still paying off student loans - unfathomable! I also know Xavier alumni who are well over 100k in student loan debt!

IMO, if I had to break into the debt range above 60k-ish, I would really start questioning as to whether the investment is really worth it, especially if I were majoring in History, Philosophy, Communications, Organizational Leadership, etc. I'm a huge advocate of education, but ultimately, some people end up relinquishing their quaility of life for the rest of their life to obtain a degree. On the flipside, I know too many people who go to college for the sole purpose of "getting a job" and because it's primarily what's expected after high school.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on June 17, 2011, 07:03:34 PM
I think it's difficult for most people to pay off $50K in 10 years with a middle class income.  There are too many pressures to buy new clothes, go to restaurants, go on trips, etc.  Dave Ramsey, the personal finance guru, always tells people if you cut back on these things that "people are going to say you're nuts".  I have lived in a cheap apartment in a "bad" part of town for four years and have saved, by my estimation, at least $10,000 by doing so.  Most people have too much ego to live in a cheap place.

This may very well be true.  However, to the extent that it's true, I find that the diagnosis of the problem is sliding a little way away from "peak education."
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 18, 2011, 12:13:33 AM
>If it's just that children from poorer families have so little experience with debt

Great point.  But then again, with graduate school at least, you don't need a cosigner for the loans.  So a lot of people from middle class upbringings are getting $50K in debt thinking it will be a cinch to pay off. 

The bright side of student loan debt is that people are learning the danger of debt early in life and will be much more likely to avoid it entirely for the rest of their lives.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on June 20, 2011, 04:30:18 PM
May 19, 2011
Economic Troubles Reduce Pay for Recent Graduates
By Lauren Sieben

It's common knowledge that the recession has hurt job prospects for college graduates. But a new study has found that when graduates do find work, their jobs often have little to do with their college studies, or don't require degrees at all.

A report by Rutgers University, "Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy," says that 53 percent of college graduates from 2006 to 2010 have full-time jobs, while 21 percent are in graduate school, 12 percent are working part time, and 9 percent are unemployed. Of 517 respondents to a Rutgers survey, 90 percent of 2006-7 graduates said they had held at least one job since graduating. Around 80 percent of 2008-9 graduates said the same. But only 56 percent of 2010 graduates said they'd had at least one job since graduation.

Among those who did find work, 44 percent said their jobs were very closely related to their academic work, but 30 percent said their jobs were not very closely related or were not related at all to what they had studied in college. For 27 percent, the first job was "just a job to get you by." And 40 percent said their first jobs didn't require a college degree. Respondents who graduated into the down economy faced more challenges landing jobs and were paid less than those who graduated earlier. Graduates entering in job market in 2006-7 earned a median salary of $30,000, compared with $27,000 for those who entered the market in 2009-10.

https://chronicle.com/article/Economic-Troubles-Reduce-Pay/127597/ (https://chronicle.com/article/Economic-Troubles-Reduce-Pay/127597/)

Original Rutgers study
http://www.heldrich.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/content/Work_Trends_May_2011.pdf (http://www.heldrich.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/content/Work_Trends_May_2011.pdf)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on June 20, 2011, 04:37:46 PM
Teen entrepreneur asks: College? Who needs it?

By LAUREL ROSENHALL
McClatchy Newspapers
Published: Monday, Jun. 13, 2011 - 5:13 am
Last Modified: Monday, Jun. 13, 2011 - 6:13 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- He calls it the UnCollege movement.

Nineteen-year-old Dale Stephens is urging his peers to rethink the need for college, arguing that they can get more out of pursuing real-world skills than completing homework assignments and studying for exams. "I want to change the notion that a college degree is the only path to professional success," said Stephens, who grew up in Winters and now lives in San Francisco, where he is building the UnCollege movement and developing a Web-based company.

Stephens is part of a small but growing chorus of entrepreneurs, free thinkers and former students who are questioning the value of higher education. The attack is coming from multiple directions: those who say college costs far more than it should; those who say students learn far less than they should; and those who argue the graduation rates are abysmal.

With tuition rising much faster than inflation, borrowing for college has reached record heights. Two-thirds of graduates now leave school with debt, with the typical borrower owing more than $34,000, according to FinAid.org, an authority on student lending. Nationwide, student debt is likely to top $1 trillion this year signaling to some that education is the next mortgage bubble.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/13/3696460/teen-entrepreneur-asks-college.html#ixzz1PqnaJJAX (http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/13/3696460/teen-entrepreneur-asks-college.html#ixzz1PqnaJJAX)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Eigth and State on June 20, 2011, 05:41:19 PM
 UnCollege. I like it.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: psikeyhackr on August 01, 2011, 12:35:25 PM
Quote
Clearly all but a few schools are reforming themselves as luxury summer camps -- rebuilding themselves quite literally as advertisements for a product that doesn't really exist and can't exist when tons of non-college material is attending college.  I remember in the mid-90's, a campus tour often started with a walk through the school's newest computer lab and there wasn't a fixation on dorms and "lifestyle".  Simply having dorms wired for the internet was a huge deal up until around 2002.  Now that everyone's parents buy them a computer, the whole emphasis seems to be fitness centers, new dorms, and chain restaurants on campus.

Let's face facts.

In 1980 an IBM 3033 mainframe cost $3,000,000.  How many schools could afford that back then?

That mainframe was about equivalent to a 300 MHz Pentium.  Everybody can get cheap computers and give them to grade school kids.  Colleges can't impress parents with computers anymore.  But if the concern is really EDUCATION the question is, "What to do with the computers in grade school?"

In ten years college could be obsolete.

The Tyranny of Words by Stuart Chase
"The Tyranny of Words" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9H1StY1nU8#)

Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics, by Stan Gibilisco
http://www.mhprofessional.com/product.php?isbn=0071459332 (http://www.mhprofessional.com/product.php?isbn=0071459332)

The Art of Electronics by Horowitz and Hill
http://books.sharedaa.com/2010/01/the-art-of-electronics-horowitz-hill.html (http://books.sharedaa.com/2010/01/the-art-of-electronics-horowitz-hill.html)

Celestia: space simulation of the universe in 3D
http://www.shatters.net/celestia/ (http://www.shatters.net/celestia/)

GeoGebra: Interactive graphics, algebra and spreadsheet
http://www.geogebra.org/cms/ (http://www.geogebra.org/cms/)

Solve Elec: draw and analyze electrical circuits
http://www.physicsbox.com/indexsolveelec2en.html (http://www.physicsbox.com/indexsolveelec2en.html)

Logisim: Digital logic circuit simulator
http://sourceforge.net/projects/circuit/ (http://sourceforge.net/projects/circuit/)

Cost of Living by Sheckley Robert
http://www.onread.com/book/Cost-of-Living-20266/ (http://www.onread.com/book/Cost-of-Living-20266/)

Subversive  by Reynolds Mack
http://www.onread.com/book/Subversive-13972/ (http://www.onread.com/book/Subversive-13972/)

The Space Merchants  Frederick Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth
http://www.zone-sf.com/spacemerch.html (http://www.zone-sf.com/spacemerch.html)

Educators could have created a National Recommended Reading List decades ago.  It ain't about education.  It's about making money off education and using the schools to maintain the class structure.

psik
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on August 01, 2011, 02:04:51 PM
^The class structure fails when the college educated are less apt to earn a higher income than those without a higher education. A lot of my buddies didn't go straight through school, instead becoming things like elevator techs, parts managers, cops, and car salesmen. They all make, on average, more (sometimes much more) than my college educated friends, except for the ones that went into the medical field or became military officers.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on August 01, 2011, 02:29:58 PM
^The class structure fails when the college educated are less apt to earn a higher income than those without a higher education. A lot of my buddies didn't go straight through school, instead becoming things like elevator techs, parts managers, cops, and car salesmen. They all make, on average, more (sometimes much more) than my college educated friends, except for the ones that went into the medical field or became military officers.

The occupations I'd list might be different, but I can say much the same.  I know a fair number of my undergrad friends who are unemployed or "underemployed"--I add the scare quotes because I don't know what the career track for a women's or ethnic studies major is these days, or a below-average history major, for that matter.  Also in that vein, my old roommate from undergrad majored in aviation management, didn't get a job with an airline, and is now making a pretty decent living as a handyman and contractor, which he wouldn't have needed a college degree to do.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on August 01, 2011, 03:45:41 PM
Judging by my high school class, the wealthiest people I know didn't go to college. In fact, the only people I know making $75k don't have college degrees. Part of this is due to the big disruptions that happen from relocations since Toledo is so cut-throat for college grads. Even engineering, accounting, finance, education, and nursing grads struggle here. Most kids have to move away without a job, which always sucks. These days, you really have to move to where the jobs are since most employers are now only looking at local applicants. I'd say about 70% of my high school class is out of the Toledo area. It's incredible how far they have spread. It's everything from Florida to Australia. You don't just leave Toledo, you run from Toledo.

The ones who stuck around in Toledo are just high school grads who are making far more money than any of the college grads I know. A lot started small businesses and/or are skilled tradesmen. Toledo has low start-up costs and rock bottom wages, so it makes sense that starting a business is your best shot. It seems college wipes out all common sense from most people. What you don't get is that if you took that $50,000 (or more) and started a business, bought a bar, or bought a foreclosed property, you'd be far better off now than you will be four/five/six years from now with a piece of paper that says you have no experience and are likely to have an "entitlement attitude". I've seen college hurt employment chances just as much as it has helped. In the media, it's well-known that college grads tend to have the worst attitudes. The newer college grads don't last long. It's now getting rare to see them more than a year. Most of them leave the industry and move to higher-paying jobs unrelated to their degree. Good for them, but it raises a lot of questions about the value of going to college in the first place.

Unlike housing, we already have all the solutions to this problem. First, axe all the bad majors, though keep some of those classes for kids who can pay without going into debt. Journalism, dance, film, art, music, etc. should be minors, not majors. Majors should be marketable. Minors should be fun or "passionate". Lord knows why so many of us in Generation Y keep falling for the same crap over and over, but it wouldn't be possible if the schools didn't milk "passion" for all it's worth (there is a place for passion, and that place is not debtor's hell). Second, axe all the third and fourth tier public schools that are dropping the ball in terms of quality of instructors and quality of student body. Third, axe federally-backed student loans. We just almost watched the United States default. We can't afford this anymore. A private sector bank isn't going to give Suzy Q a $50,000 loan for her to major in dance in Ohio. Maybe she's really hot and has dancer's feet, but it's still too big of a gamble. Now major in marketing and minor in dance? That's a different story.

After all this happens, watch everything crash back to reality. The political solution is so simple, but it won't happen until it is too late. Right now, the student loan bubble is about right on par with the mortgage bubble (the Fed bought up about $1.4 trillion in toxic mortgage securities). This is going to get much bigger. I expect when it finally bursts, it could be twice as big as the mortgage bubble, and the damage to the economy will be twice as bad. Outstanding student loan debt could easily climb to $3 trillion in the next couple of years since record numbers of people are hiding out in school and are going to graduate very soon. The housing crisis triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. The college crisis will trigger the Great Depression 2.0.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on August 01, 2011, 04:58:49 PM
Judging by my high school class, the wealthiest people I know didn't go to college. In fact, the only people I know making $75k don't have college degrees.

I won't go that far with my own experience.  The high earners at my recent 10-year reunion were the attorneys, veterinarian, IT professionals, etc. that had college degrees.  The difference-maker in several cases is student loan debt (and the extra four years of earnings that those who went into the workforce straight out of high school had, though the stronger part of the college crowd is hopefully catching up on that score now).  That veterinarian has an absurd debt load that is going to wreak havoc on her take-home even if her gross pay is good.

Quote
After all this happens, watch everything crash back to reality. The political solution is so simple, but it won't happen until it is too late. Right now, the student loan bubble is about right on par with the mortgage bubble (the Fed bought up about $1.4 trillion in toxic mortgage securities). This is going to get much bigger. I expect when it finally bursts, it could be twice as big as the mortgage bubble, and the damage to the economy will be twice as bad. Outstanding student loan debt could easily climb to $3 trillion in the next couple of years since record numbers of people are hiding out in school and are going to be out very soon. The housing crisis triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. The college crisis will trigger the Great Depression 2.0.

I don't think a widespread wave of student loan defaults is going to have quite the massive economic impact you suggest, particularly if the federal government revises the Bankruptcy Code to make student loans easier to discharge in bankruptcy.  The nondischargeability provisions are a serious potential long-term drag on the economy because of the number of young lives that they potentially ruin by preventing the "fresh start" (a common term in the trade) that bankruptcy normally provides.  The loans themselves?  A fair number of those loan losses would fall on the government itself, since the government guarantees many of those loans.  They are unsecured debts, much like credit cards, so we're not looking at houses or any other tangible property sitting out there with no owner; you can't foreclose on someone's brain, and a brain with a major in African-American studies with a minor in queer theory probably wouldn't fetch that much on the open market, anyway.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on August 01, 2011, 05:52:43 PM
The key here is that the student loan debt is not dischargable in bankruptcy. It won't be a fast bubble burst. It will drag out over years, but man, it does have real destructive potential. This could produce millions of kids who have their credit destroyed and are looking at very high interest rates for quite some time. It could be a long generational drag. That's why I think it would be more depressionary (structural) than the housing bust (cyclical). I highly doubt bankruptcy laws are changing anytime soon. Wouldn't the United States default on its debt if student loans were dischargeable through bankruptcy? We're not talking pocket change here. We're talking about unprecedented losses for the federal government. They have no interest in going soft on college kids. They need this money. They need it bad.

I think the bubble burst has already started. Looking at default trends for the most recent years, it's hard to deny things are getting out of hand:

What happens when the kids can’t pay? The federal government only uses data on students who default within the first two years of repayment, but its numbers have the default rate increasing every year since 2005. Analyst accounts have only 40 percent of the total outstanding debt in active repayment, the majority being either in deferment or default. Next year, the Department of Education will calculate default rates based on numbers three years after the beginning of repayment rather than two. The projected results are staggering: recorded defaults for the class of 2008 will nearly double, from 7 to 13.8 percent. With fewer and fewer students having the income necessary to pay back loans (except through the use of more consumer debt), a massive default looks closer to inevitable.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/are-student-loans-an-impending-bubble-is-higher-education-a-scam-2011-5#ixzz1TohxuRPx (http://www.businessinsider.com/are-student-loans-an-impending-bubble-is-higher-education-a-scam-2011-5#ixzz1TohxuRPx)

The reason I'm saying this is a giant and dangerous bubble is because 60% of kids aren't paying off their student loans at all! A record number of people rushed back to school and/or are in deferment. The deferment stats are what have me worried. This ramping up of debt seems to be happening faster than it did with the housing bubble. The education bubble is the mother of all bubbles.

I won't go that far with my own experience.  The high earners at my recent 10-year reunion were the attorneys, veterinarian, IT professionals, etc. that had college degrees.  The difference-maker in several cases is student loan debt (and the extra four years of earnings that those who went into the workforce straight out of high school had, though the stronger part of the college crowd is hopefully catching up on that score now).  That veterinarian has an absurd debt load that is going to wreak havoc on her take-home even if her gross pay is good.

I think timing is the issue here. Most people who grauated in 2008, 2009, 2010, etc. are going to have vastly different experiences from those who graduated before the crash. With that said, I will readily admit that few in my high school class became lawyers or doctors (in fact, I don't think any did).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Eigth and State on August 01, 2011, 06:29:07 PM

I remember that a student councilor told the class that taking on debt was ok because it will result in a higher pay rate, and the take-home pay will be greater even considering the loan payments, and that the government will turn a profit on its investment in the form of higher payroll taxes.

Well, I guess that promise was a bit rosy.

Borrowing money makes a good business better, but it makes a bad business worse.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on August 01, 2011, 06:48:38 PM
There's also a partial circular argument built into that statement: A good business, by definition, is one that incurs a responsible amount of debt, and has at least a reasonable feel for what level of debt that is and isn't.

C-Dawg: I think you're overstating the government's dependence on student loan repayment revenues.  We're not talking about losses for the federal government any more "unprecedented" than what it experienced in normal tax revenue loss from the bubble peak to the recession trough; in fact, we're talking about numbers far smaller, and spread out over more years.  The entirety of student loan debt in this country is about $930 billion as of this writing: http://www.finaid.org/loans/studentloandebtclock.phtml. (http://www.finaid.org/loans/studentloandebtclock.phtml.)  (That's a "debt clock" akin to the popular national debt clock.)  That's a lot of money, but keep in mind that (a) that includes both public and private loans (mine, for example, are private); and (b) that includes all loans, not just those in default.

For comparison's sake, the total outstanding mortgage debt is estimated by the Federal Reserve at $13.7 trillion: http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/releases/mortoutstand/current.htm. (http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/releases/mortoutstand/current.htm.)

Yes, $930 billion is a lot of money ... but nowhere near in the same league as >$13,700 billion.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Eigth and State on August 01, 2011, 07:13:58 PM
^ I didn't realize that debt was a requirement of a "good" business. Some businesses don't take on any debt.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on August 01, 2011, 07:43:47 PM
Heh.  Yes, on second thought, I shouldn't have worded that the way I did.  I should say that a good business will take on no more than a responsible amount of debt.  Or, perhaps, that sometimes that responsible amount of debt is zero.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on August 01, 2011, 07:44:55 PM
When talking housing though, the Fed only took on $1.4 trillion of that debt through toxic mortgage-backed securities. The vast majority of that $13.7 trillion number is losses for banks and homeowners, not taxpayers. What is scary about student loans is that we could be looking at losses larger than $1.4 trillion in the near future. The percentage of student loan debt that the taxpayers are on the hook for is much, much larger than it is with housing debt (75% of all student loans).

Given the explosive growth in federally-backed student loan debt, there is little doubt that if this continues, it could exceed the $1.4 trillion the taxpayers ate due to the housing collapse. I'm predicting $3 trillion is the turning point where we see major cut-backs, but it of course could be earlier or later. Regardless, this is fiscally reckless. I think we'll be lucky if taxpayer losses equal the housing collapse. Nothing is being done to slow this train down. It's the exact opposite. "Go back to school kids! You'll be more marketable! Don't worry about that debt! Education is always a good investment!"

Everybody in America is drinking the education Kool-Aid. Any meaningful change is years off, and will probably only happen after economic disaster (seems to be a trend for us).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on August 01, 2011, 07:45:36 PM
^ I didn't realize that debt was a requirement of a "good" business. Some businesses don't take on any debt.

That means they already had money starting out... it has to come from somewhere, and good luck selling stock in a company that has zero assets.  Starting out with money works pretty well in college too.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on August 01, 2011, 10:51:30 PM
I will note that the point of going to college ought not be measured by income alone. Also liberal arts grads (history for sure) tend to have a longer curve to the earnings potential (check back at 45 or 50 instead of 25 or even 30). Many of the high school folks will run into issues of growth (handyman are only worth as much as they themselves can produce). Maybe a few will be able to expand beyond themselves but that is very rare.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on August 02, 2011, 12:57:24 AM
I wrote a blog entry about OU once again being named #1 Party School, and how Cincinnati suffers because UC can't party:

http://cincinnatimonocle.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-does-university-of-cincinnati-know_01.html (http://cincinnatimonocle.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-does-university-of-cincinnati-know_01.html)

Yes, I usually write in such a way as to look a little dumb and obscure my actual opinion. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on August 02, 2011, 08:18:38 AM
I will note that the point of going to college ought not be measured by income alone.

If we as a society want to preserve that older mentality about self-fulfillment and personal growth (whether or not such growth involves the growth of marketable skills), then we need to find a way to make college cost less again.  A lot less.

Quote
Also liberal arts grads (history for sure) tend to have a longer curve to the earnings potential (check back at 45 or 50 instead of 25 or even 30). Many of the high school folks will run into issues of growth (handyman are only worth as much as they themselves can produce). Maybe a few will be able to expand beyond themselves but that is very rare.

With respect to liberal arts grads, that used to be the case, but I'm unconvinced that that will remain so.  Those higher paydays at 50 generally require at least starting somewhere with advancement potential.  A long post-graduation period of unemployment can permanently alter one's career path, not just in the short term but in the long term as well.  Also, there's the time value of money to consider: the lost value of not being able to save much of anything during one's 20s is significant, since money saved in one's 20s tends to turn into a lot more by 60 than money saved in one's 30s, because of compound returns.

I agree about the ceiling for handymen (and other skilled tradespeople), but that ceiling is high enough to be able to provide for a family.  And, of course, there will be those few who go into business for themselves and expand.  The ones who expand into the next Bechtel might be rare, but the ones who end up with a small crew working under them in order to handle slightly larger projects are more common.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on August 02, 2011, 01:45:01 PM
I wrote a blog entry about OU once again being named #1 Party School, and how Cincinnati suffers because UC can't party:

http://cincinnatimonocle.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-does-university-of-cincinnati-know_01.html (http://cincinnatimonocle.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-does-university-of-cincinnati-know_01.html)

Yes, I usually write in such a way as to look a little dumb and obscure my actual opinion. 

When I was at UC I couldn't figure out what was missing. When I found out that there was a bar on campus and that you could drink at games (I cant think of another state school around here where you can do that) I figured that this place must know how to party! Nope. I wondered where the spirit was that I felt at Shawnee State and Marshall -- of course they're not OU, but students at those schools still made both partying and "opening their minds" with friends a priority.

Top Cat's and Sudsy's were still open when I started attending UC and I met way better partiers in the metalheads that congregated there than I ever met around campus. I don't think any of them were in school. One guy was Skeletonwitch's roadie, so those guys would stay at his place when they played around Cincy -- they were fun to drink and BS with. Now I hear there's a bunch of Skeletonwitch clone bands that turned up in Athens since they got big.

Of course, since UC has so many students, there are parties around for sure. People still get kicked out of bars; you can find vomit and beer cans in the street. But it seems like the students are focused on their education more... could UC be turning into Ohio's Michigan? Another cause is that today's average kid is terrified of getting hurt or in trouble ("nerd" is rapidly becoming the dominant male culture) while Athens is known for miles around as the destination for those seeking misadventure.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on August 02, 2011, 05:37:49 PM
The debt deal includes some changes to student loans.

Put your student loans on autopilot. The debt bill will eliminate the rebate that education borrowers get when they make a year's worth of loan payments on time. But they still may be able to get an interest-rate discount if they arrange to make their payments automatically through a bank account debit - that's worth doing.

Many graduate students will have to pay more for loans, as this deal eliminates the federal subsidies that paid interest costs on some of their loans while they were in school. Grad students may find it worthwhile to pay the interest themselves while they are in school, if they can, to avoid those costs compounding until after they graduate.


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Analysis-After-the-debt-deal-rb-295449291.html?x=0 (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Analysis-After-the-debt-deal-rb-295449291.html?x=0)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on August 03, 2011, 04:48:12 PM
This is a pretty interesting discussion.  I think it's clear that the higher education model that we've had since pretty much the end of World War II is not working anymore.  That said, I do worry about those who will be stuck with worthless degrees and potentially hundreds of thousands in loans when the paradigm starts to shift more thoroughly.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Eigth and State on August 03, 2011, 05:38:12 PM

Probably 30 years ago, it made sense financially to take a student loan which resulted in a higher salary. Since then, every thing has changed, both on the financing side and the job market side, and it just doesn't make sense anymore. However, today's parents and high school councilors still believe in it, since it worked for them, and kids are steered into college when it may not be in their best interest.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on August 03, 2011, 07:59:50 PM

Probably 30 years ago, it made sense financially to take a student loan which resulted in a higher salary. Since then, every thing has changed, both on the financing side and the job market side, and it just doesn't make sense anymore. However, today's parents and high school councilors still believe in it, since it worked for them, and kids are steered into college when it may not be in their best interest.



Well, in fairness, it is almost impossible to get any professional/white collar type of job these days without having a four-year college degree.  The degree could be in basket-weaving in many cases, but it's still more valuable to many potential employers than not having a degree.  It acts as an easy and lazy way for them to weed out candidates.  It's important that we don't let these businesses off the hook for perpetuating the idea that everyone who wants to work in these otherwise unspecialized industries needs to have a degree.  The financials may not make sense, but there is often no other option.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on August 03, 2011, 10:22:49 PM
At the company I work at, about half of the people went to college briefly or not at all.  The choice not to go to or finish college seems to correlate pretty directly with a lack of a curiosity about the world.  The non-college grads regularly get suckered into ridiculous car loan/leases, contribute much less to their retirement plans, and busy themselves with sending porn to each other on their phones. 

Oddly, more recent college graduates have a helluva time with the computer system, since they still use a circa-1986 system with a green and black screen and no mouse.  Consistently, the non-college graduates pick it up as or more quickly, and certainly complain about it much less, because they tend not to think about the underlying structure of things.   

Again, the question is would "college material" have ended up this way anyway, or did college actually point them in a more intellectual direction? 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on August 03, 2011, 10:30:16 PM
Again, the question is would "college material" have ended up this way anyway, or did college actually point them in a more intellectual direction?

That is indeed the million-dollar question, and I don't have a final answer.  I'll take the cop-out answer and say that it's probably some of each.  However, my critique would trend in the other direction: it's that college quite often does not seem to point people in a particularly "intellectual direction," nor impart the critical thinking skills that would lead people not to do what your non-college-educated coworkers do and get suckered into ridiculous car loans/leases, or contribute too little to their retirement plans, etc.  That's part of why I see the value proposition of a four-year degree as waning; it isn't just because of the increase in tuition (and, thus, debt).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on August 03, 2011, 10:39:22 PM
People have been bemoaning the lack of jobs for humanities majors for literally a hundred and fifty years. I don't see anything in our current economy that is any less likely to benefit the uneducated. Now it is a whole other question of the number of folks our economy can carry doing humanities related work as a full-time middle class situation.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on August 03, 2011, 11:08:14 PM
Yeah I went to state schools and got very little in the way of a classical education, nor did almost anyone else.  The classics are now electives.  Required in place of Latin, Rhetoric, etc. were classes like Women's Studies, which was okay, but not particularly rigorous.

Dave last year I read a history of St. Xavier High School published in 1981 or 1982.  The school's curriculum circa 1840 went a little something like this:

English
French
Greek
Latin
Rhetoric
Mathematics
Magnetism

Imagine if you spent four years studying three non-native languages, plus rhetoric.  You would have all the tools to both decode rhetoric and stomp the semi-educated.  And yes, "Magnetism" was a big deal back in those days.  There was a great description of Cincinnati written in 1841 (and revised in 1849) that dedicates an entire chapter to Cincinnati's magnetic characteristics.  It's in the main reading room of the Historical Society Library.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on August 04, 2011, 01:30:30 PM

Oddly, more recent college graduates have a helluva time with the computer system, since they still use a circa-1986 system with a green and black screen and no mouse.  Consistently, the non-college graduates pick it up as or more quickly, and certainly complain about it much less, because they tend not to think about the underlying structure of things.   

Those old computer systems can wind up being a lot faster to use than today's systems once you're used to them. Those function keys can make you really tear ass.

But man, if you want to hear somebody whine, complain and swear up a storm, just make a technophile use any non-current technology like a cash register or a VCR. They think that they are so good at learning technology, yet they can't learn how to use something a few years old. Take away the ability to Google their query and they turn into Ozzy trying to service a mainframe on acid. You show them a safety video from 1991 and they'll make fun of the fact that it's not in HD and come unglued when they see a guy with a mustache and a mullet. They won't pay attention to the content. Of course, kids have always been like this. In middle school, when they'd bust out the film projector that had to be synched up with a tape deck we'd snicker a bit -- but we were in the 7th grade, not 25 years old.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on August 04, 2011, 03:00:08 PM
25-yeard-olds today are equivalent to 7th graders.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 20, 2011, 11:06:20 AM
It seems to me that old people are completely unable to understand that college is WAY more expensive than it ever was, and still expect kids to work their way through, even though that's basically impossible, AND it denies them the opportunity to participate in the clubs and internships that will make them employable. 

Meanwhile, many of the finger-wagging old people are running into serious money problems.  I don't mind saying that my grandparents are in declining health and cannot afford to move to a retirement home after blowing huge sums of money during a retirement that saw them travel overseas no fewer than 10 times amid countless lesser domestic trips (saw all 50 states, etc.).  I estimate that they spent at least $150,000 traveling since the mid-1980's, money that they would kill to have back. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-what-happens-when-parents-go-broke-during-their-golden-years/2011/11/02/gIQAG1GGSN_story.html?tid=pm_pop (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-what-happens-when-parents-go-broke-during-their-golden-years/2011/11/02/gIQAG1GGSN_story.html?tid=pm_pop)

Every old people's home I see has catalogs for packaged trips.  They have convinced themselves that these trips aren't status symbols (like a Cadillac), when in fact they are.  I've seen that repeatedly, right after a $50,000 visit stay in the hospital, the old people need to go on a trip immediately to prove to themselves and everyone else that "they're back". 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on November 20, 2011, 02:43:24 PM
^ All true, but that doesn't take anything away from the fact that some degrees are definitely worth more than others ... and yet they are often priced very similarly.  This is particularly true of those who take five or six (or more) years to get liberal arts degrees.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: DanB on November 20, 2011, 02:58:59 PM
All the more reason not to go to college for a general liberal arts degree unless you intend to go all the way with it.  You can still go to a state school and pay for it yourself.  You shouldn't expect to be able to go to a private school and manage it yourself.

Not sure what you are saying about old people.  Should they not spend their money while alive?  Must they leave it as an inheritance?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 20, 2011, 03:03:05 PM
The problem is that if everyone gets "real" degrees, then the fluff internships and clubs matter even more than they do now.  I don't see how we get ahead if everyone is a business major, especially since so many business classes appeared to me to be junk.  The purpose of the university, more than anything, should be:

-professors should introduce students to items that they're unlikely to find or investigate on their own
-force students to do real research (not just "papers")
-abandon the myths of their upbringing and return to their families on their terms
-cultivate contempt for popular culture and the mass media

We're seeing right now the extent to which the university has been at odds with itself.  On one hand, it is expected to make people eligible for corporate jobs.  On the other hand, the university is pretty much the only place where that whole culture is critiqued. 

We watched this in a film history class I took 13 years ago, and it's now on youtube, meaning you don't have to pay thousands to sit in a classroom to watch it. But nobody is:
Inextinguishable Fire- Harun Farocki, 1969 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JBbgWSBTdA#)



Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on November 23, 2011, 06:07:34 AM
Anyone (else) think that the availability of grants and loans simply caused the price of tuition to rise?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: StapHanger on November 23, 2011, 10:43:27 AM
^I think there's near consensus that the availability of funding has helped push up the sticker price, but it's much less clear how much the actual amount paid by students has been rising after you factor in all those grants and loans.  And the availability of all those grants and loans effectively allows colleges to charge wealthy families more than poorer ones, which is probably a good thing.  There was a nice write up of some of the latest research on the issue on the Times economix blog a couple weeks ago: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/college-is-cheaper-than-you-think/ (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/college-is-cheaper-than-you-think/)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: shs96 on November 23, 2011, 11:29:41 AM
I wrote a blog entry about OU once again being named #1 Party School, and how Cincinnati suffers because UC can't party:

http://cincinnatimonocle.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-does-university-of-cincinnati-know_01.html (http://cincinnatimonocle.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-does-university-of-cincinnati-know_01.html)

Yes, I usually write in such a way as to look a little dumb and obscure my actual opinion. 

Coming into this a little late, but as an OU alum, I enjoyed this post.  I will also say however that after spending summers on Put-in-Bay throughout college, I often looked forward to returning to OU for a bit of a break from partying...

Anyway, as for the rest of this, I don't see a society where not having a college degree is beneficial.  Most of the people I know who didn't go to college or dropped out after a few years aren't doing much more than living paycheck to paycheck.  If nothing else, college teaches you how to think for yourself, manage time effectively, and interact with others.  I can't tell you much of what I actually learned in a classroom in undergrad...and I am sure I'd have to study pretty hard again to pass some of my graduate school courses.  But I was tought how to learn and apply knowledge, as well as how to build relationships with people - all types of people, not just ones who would normally be a part of my social circle.

I'm already socking away money to help pay for my kids college education.  I only wish Ohio had some of the college programs like other states do with pre-paid tuition.  My wife's parents locked in her tuition rate in Florida when she was born and paid it off over 18 years, rather than paying whatever the cost would be 18 years later - whether it be in loans, savings, or some combination of both.  Much better than a 529 plan (although limits you to state schools).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on November 23, 2011, 07:26:19 PM
^I think there's near consensus that the availability of funding has helped push up the sticker price, but it's much less clear how much the actual amount paid by students has been rising after you factor in all those grants and loans.  And the availability of all those grants and loans effectively allows colleges to charge wealthy families more than poorer ones, which is probably a good thing.  There was a nice write up of some of the latest research on the issue on the Times economix blog a couple weeks ago: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/college-is-cheaper-than-you-think/ (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/college-is-cheaper-than-you-think/)

I don't think easing the availability of loans really does kids many favors. 

The whole funding scheme (and costs) is a big mess.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: cinner on November 24, 2011, 12:19:31 AM
Easing the availability of loans does no favors to anyone, except for the people who actually "sell" loans.

Getting back to a somewhat related aspect of this thread:
Are kids getting dumber?  I don't think so.  What is happening to them, is that they are more and more inundated with distractions which divert their attention from some of the things which we as adults deem important.

My night job is in a pizza place in one of the ritzier 'burbs in North East Hamilton county.  There are always a bunch of high school kids employed there, and I have watched them become less and less competent over the past few years, each wave (of kids) more worthless than the last.
I blame cell phones.  I have a friend who is approaching 60 Y.O.A., and he blames computers.  I'm going with cell phones, because nearly everyone everywhere is distracted by these things, causing them to disrupt everything from the flow of vehicular traffic to the flow of pedestrian traffic to - oh wait, I just got a text message... :roll:
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on November 24, 2011, 09:08:06 AM
Cell phones, video games, computers, etc.  Kids these days are too "plugged-in."
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Robert Pence on November 26, 2011, 08:48:58 AM
Read The Dumbest Generation - Or, Dont Trust Anyone Under 30, by Mark Bauerlein. The author brings together information from studies and test results that show that immersion in technology in schools only builds proficiency in the use of technology, and that students' ability to assimilate fundamental knowledge and an understanding of how past and current events shape the future actually has declined with the implementation of digital technology and media in classrooms. Developing the ability to find quick answers to simple questions on the internet is not the same as learning how to acquire knowledge and understanding from life's experiences.

Social media have encouraged a self-involved culture that sequesters itself and focuses instant gratification in the form of reinforcement and approval among peers, and rejects exposure to civilizing influences like interaction with people of previous generations.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 26, 2011, 11:11:50 AM
If you ask me, they shouldn't even teach kids about the internet at school since they're almost all going to learn how to use it on their own. Sure, teach 'em work skills such as Word, Excel, web design, CADD and Photoshop as electives and cover netiquette somewhere, but imagine if schools wasted actual class time (not recess) on bike riding, hoop rolling, roller skating or watching cartoons in the old days. That's what surfing the net, online gaming and such are today. Kids get home from school and hang out on the internet until bed. Then they go to school the next day and the schools saying "we gotta get kids really good at the internet" and have them spend 3 hours of the school day reteaching them stuff they've known how to do for five years. The computer teachers know this, but the curriculum people don't.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on November 26, 2011, 10:47:04 PM
I think there's actually something of a digital divide on that point still, unfortunately.  Certainly, most of the kids in our best schools--wealthy suburban schools and private schools--are probably just as you described.  There are others who still don't have it at home and don't have a data package for their cell phone, either (though most do have cell phones now, which wasn't the case 10-15 years ago).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 27, 2011, 12:44:46 AM
When I go to the main library in Cincinnati, the 50+ computers are hogged by homeless people on facebook and watching videos on youtube.  This stuff is obviously not that hard to figure out.  This past week a teenager was walking around the library playing gunshot sound effects on his cell phone. 

My point is you can lead the people to water but they won't drink.  The libraries have been free for 100 years but hardly anyone there is doing serious research.  Similarly, computers are upheld as learning tools (left over from the days when computer companies, especially Apple, pushed school districts to buy their products for computer labs), but they have primarily become entertainment centers.

I taught at a community college 2007-2009.  Teaching in rooms with computers was nearly impossible since it was impossible to compete with Facebook.  Also, the boys often watched sports reruns or bum fights during class. 
 

>Social media have encouraged a self-involved culture that sequesters itself and focuses instant gratification in the form of reinforcement and approval among peers, and rejects exposure to civilizing influences like interaction with people of previous generations.

Yeah, I see that al the time.  I think each age group is using the internet in very different ways, and there is disapproval amongst generations in how the other generations are using it, older and younger. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 28, 2011, 12:14:22 PM
We got the internet when I was 16. It took maybe a year for me to learn how to use it properly i.e. avoid viruses, cite things properly, not be an ass on USENET, figure out which websites are dodgy. That was with little help from the outside since the it wasn't mainstream yet. Of course, my folks still can't figure it out because they hadn't grown up around other electronic things besides radios and TVs.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: DanB on November 28, 2011, 02:02:20 PM
I'm reaching my limit on some electronics at the age of 58!  The one VCR I have isn't flashing 12:00, but the sound system to the big screen isn't hooked up yet!  I'm not having computer problems, probably only because I don't do anything "new", no games etc.  I grew up industry wise with computers so I'm proficient with word and excel etc.

But, I can still make change and do all kinds of math without a calculator, and I even own a slide rule!  I still remember not being allowed to use calculators during tests in college.  One analytical chem professor actually searched our personal belongings before the final.

What do they do these days with cell phones?  Sure would be easy to text somebody the questions!
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on November 28, 2011, 02:13:43 PM
^ they actively encourage cheating. It helps their test scores and make them look better. LOL

I bet kids today can't even memorize 20 multiple choice answers off an old test like we used to have to in the old days. They probably would have to text the answers to themselves. It's not that cheating is new. I went to a small engineering school for a year in the mid-90's, that happened to be mostly Greek, and the crib system that they had at the house I rushed was top notch. Old tests for basically anything that they would want. And if they didn't have it you could probably get it from somebody else's crib system.

But seriously, there is a certain art for the instructor in crafting test question that makes sure that the students understand the concepts. I know that I was burned multiple  times by  test questions that had just a little nuance that changed the answer from the homework or example questions, that were impossible to solve if you didn't understand the whole concept.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on November 28, 2011, 02:19:02 PM
Easing the availability of loans does no favors to anyone, except for the people who actually "sell" loans.

Getting back to a somewhat related aspect of this thread:
Are kids getting dumber?  I don't think so.  What is happening to them, is that they are more and more inundated with distractions which divert their attention from some of the things which we as adults deem important.

My night job is in a pizza place in one of the ritzier 'burbs in North East Hamilton county.  There are always a bunch of high school kids employed there, and I have watched them become less and less competent over the past few years, each wave (of kids) more worthless than the last.
I blame cell phones.  I have a friend who is approaching 60 Y.O.A., and he blames computers.  I'm going with cell phones, because nearly everyone everywhere is distracted by these things, causing them to disrupt everything from the flow of vehicular traffic to the flow of pedestrian traffic to - oh wait, I just got a text message... :roll:

It was happening long before cell phones and the internet became so commonplace.   I saw a big difference between 1995 and 2002, as well as 2002 and today.

I'd blame "self esteem" teaching, and a decrease in critical thinking taught in schools, particularly public schools.  There's more "what to think" being taught than how to think....and question.   There's also a tremendous drop in basic work ethic stuff like timeliness.

Has anyone else noticed that the trends mentioned above seem to be more prevalent with public than private school kids?  The latter are just as plugged in as the former....maybe moreso.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on November 28, 2011, 02:29:42 PM
^It's because Public schools are forced to be teaching to the proficiency tests. Especially since NCLB. Private schools have more leeway. They are introducing and tracking test concepts in my 6 YO's kindergarten class. I about fell out of my chair at Open House when I heard that. It's not that they are being taught "what to think" as much as they are spending too much time on making sure that everybody has an understanding of the bare minimums required by the tests and  barely anytime on "how to think".



 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on November 29, 2011, 12:48:02 PM
^It's because Public schools are forced to be teaching to the proficiency tests. Especially since NCLB. Private schools have more leeway. They are introducing and tracking test concepts in my 6 YO's kindergarten class. I about fell out of my chair at Open House when I heard that. It's not that they are being taught "what to think" as much as they are spending too much time on making sure that everybody has an understanding of the bare minimums required by the tests and  barely anytime on "how to think".

Speaking of "tracking", that's something that was commonplace when I was in school and from what I've understood, has been phased out due to "self esteem" issues.   There were "track one", "track two", and "track three" classes, and IMO they did a better job of keeping up with the level of the students in the class.  No boring the you-know-what out of the smart ones, or leaving the slower ones completely lost.

During my generation (I graduated in 1980), basic discipline was laxer than before or since, yet one was still held responsible for one's one accomplishments and spent time, at least in math and the sciences, in classes with kids who had similar abilities.  This is why I think things like regimentation, "school uniforms", and even classroom prayer are strongly overrated.  We had none of those things, and we didn't do too badly.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on November 30, 2011, 02:52:25 PM
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-we-ruined-occupy-wall-street-generation/ (http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-we-ruined-occupy-wall-street-generation/)

This guy nails it with this blog on how the younger generation are screwed. It's very tongue in cheek but he has a ton of good points. 

 5 Ways We Ruined the Occupy Wall Street Generation    By:  John Cheese (http://www.cracked.com/members/John+Cheese/)                         November 10, 2011      289  At this moment, a whole lot of people, most of them 15 to 20 years younger than me, are protesting in every major city. What are they angry about? A lot of things, some of which are partially my fault.
See, I'm a part of Generation X, the post-Baby Boom era kids who grew up on a mental diet of Beavis and Butthead and Alice in Chains. We wrote poems about how angry we were at our fathers, wore goatees like weapons and made panties burst into flames by playing Pearl Jam's Black on our acoustic guitars. We were a bridge from the Baby Boomers to all you guys who are in high school and college now. And I'm pretty sure we fucked up that handoff pretty badly.
This is not a sarcastic apology, I'm not a big enough dick to write all of this as a backhanded insult about how lazy and entitled you are. Because you're not.
I'm honestly apologizing for ...
Read more:  5 Ways We Ruined the Occupy Wall Street Generation | Cracked.com (http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-we-ruined-occupy-wall-street-generation/#ixzz1fDido3Qq) http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-we-ruined-occupy-wall-street-generation/#ixzz1fDido3Qq (http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-we-ruined-occupy-wall-street-generation/#ixzz1fDido3Qq)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on November 30, 2011, 03:47:35 PM
I don't get his first point re: fast food jobs. He's saying we (I'm an 'X') glorified the jobs, and now made it so nobody wants them anymore? I'm missing the connection.

Also, I sort of feel like the Napster thing passed me. Maybe I'm an 'Old X' or something, because at the time I could have used that the most, the internet was in its infancy. They were just handing out email accounts my sophomore year in college, and it was a mainframe based monstrosity that you could only access via a dummy terminal in certain computer clusters (don't get me started on the non-threaded Usenet boards). The other computers weren't connected to anything. Enjoy your Wordperfect and Lotus 1-2-3.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 30, 2011, 05:05:49 PM
^He's saying that the Baby Boomers spent decades telling younger people that McJobs suck, portrayed those with ones as losers and told their own children to never settle for one, but now all of a sudden they're saying that people should take anything they can get and not complain. I read that article a couple weeks ago. John Cheese nailed it.



I remember that OU was still using TELNET for e-mail when I went back to OU-Lancaster for a summer class in 2001. You couldn't mistype your arcane assigned e-mail address or password on login because backspace was considered a character. If you screwed it up you'd just have to start over again. I amazed my friends by using a TELNET client that I found online to access school e-mail from home; none of them thought it was possible.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on November 30, 2011, 07:14:02 PM
Wow, Cracked did hit the nail on the head.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 30, 2011, 08:40:24 PM
We still have TELNET at my company. 

As for the manual labor jobs -- again -- it's those people whose parents support them totally and completely in college who have the big advantage now.  If you spend your college summers loading trucks and sweeping warehouse aisles like I did then you're f*cked. 

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on December 01, 2011, 09:05:20 AM
I like the part about the working class parents telling the kids to get a degree who really had no idea why. They just saw that the people who had gone to school had good jobs. Similarly, my parents (both worked their way through school and have degrees from YSU) pushed me towards higher level schools but I don't think they really knew why. After working with executives and their high priced corporate lawyers I have a much better understanding of the networking and school connections that help your career. It doesn't just happen because you went to such and such a school. A good school can open a ton of doors if you do it right, but you can also end up with a $150k Bachelors degree teaching elementary school (not knocking on teachers by anymean, but teaching has a definate income ceiling), if you aren't careful.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on December 01, 2011, 09:30:39 AM
^He's saying that the Baby Boomers spent decades telling younger people that McJobs suck, portrayed those with ones as losers and told their own children to never settle for one, but now all of a sudden they're saying that people should take anything they can get and not complain. I read that article a couple weeks ago. John Cheese nailed it.


I get that. I just don't know how that became the Xer's fault. Blame the boomers for the mess this country's in. I certainly do. It's fun!

I love the comments to this article. Specifically, I love the moral outrage expressed by the Millenials, Y'ers, whatever, about being generalized in a satirical piece that really wasn't even criticizing them but rather aimed at skewering Gen X. Kind of ironic. Which, given that all millenials are hipsters, I guess fits perfectly. Maybe if you stopped wearing skinny jeans and big stupid glasses all the time someone would hire you. See? I'm blaming you now. Fun!
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: taestell on December 01, 2011, 11:31:41 AM
People seem to get offended whenever their particular generation is criticized as a whole.  I don't think it's wrong to look at trends and say things like "Baby Boomers generally do X," as long as you keep in mind that no one person is representative of a whole generation and there are lots of exceptions.

As someone who's on the older end of the Millennials, I was pretty shocked when I started reading articles about how the majority of my generation views work and education.  I never experienced any "helicopter parenting" growing up, and I was unfamilar with the concept of parents managing their kids' extracurricular activities in high school, arranging their college visits, saving up for their tuition or paying for their housing and meal plans.

I blame Baby Boomers for suburbia and Jay Leno.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on December 01, 2011, 12:47:48 PM
As someone who's on the older end of the Millennials, I was pretty shocked when I started reading articles about how the majority of my generation views work and education.  I never experienced any "helicopter parenting" growing up, and I was unfamilar with the concept of parents managing their kids' extracurricular activities in high school, arranging their college visits, saving up for their tuition or paying for their housing and meal plans.

Depnding on who's counting, I'm either an Xer or a Millennial. I don't know anybody my age who had that kind of upbringing and I also don't know anyone who is say, 26 now who had it either. Perhaps we're too tough here in Ohio for that; must be people in wuss states doing that.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on December 01, 2011, 01:36:12 PM
People seem to get offended whenever their particular generation is criticized as a whole.  I don't think it's wrong to look at trends and say things like "Baby Boomers generally do X," as long as you keep in mind that no one person is representative of a whole generation and there are lots of exceptions.

As someone who's on the older end of the Millennials, I was pretty shocked when I started reading articles about how the majority of my generation views work and education.  I never experienced any "helicopter parenting" growing up, and I was unfamilar with the concept of parents managing their kids' extracurricular activities in high school, arranging their college visits, saving up for their tuition or paying for their housing and meal plans.I blame Baby Boomers for suburbia and Jay Leno.
I read about this a few years ago in a NY Times article (so it must be true!) and couldn't believe it. It's all part of how baby boomers had to be "best friends" with their kids (calling them every other minute while away at college as if attached to an umbilical cord and micromanaging their every move), in effect smothering them (while simultaneously overpraising junior as to what a "genius" he or she is, when realistically--as for most of us--that's hardly the case), instead of acting like parents. No wonder kids today have such inflated expectations and a sense of entitlement. They've never left the womb.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on December 01, 2011, 03:19:49 PM
I don't know anybody my age who had that kind of upbringing and I also don't know anyone who is say, 26 now who had it either. Perhaps we're too tough here in Ohio for that; must be people in wuss states doing that.

Yeah, I never really experienced helicopter parenting. I don't think it's too common in Ohio. I agree that could be a "wuss state" thing. Keep in mind states like Ohio, Michigan, etc. tend to be a little tougher and hardass than the rest of the country (the Rust Belt cities tend to be the toughest in the country- there are still masculine males in them!). Most news articles about Gen Y are coming from the coasts. They're a different country as far as I'm concerned.

Keep in mind where hipsters tend to congregate in the biggest numbers. It is not in cities like Toledo or Cleveland. The problem with our generation is the hipster thing. It's not the terrible style as much as it's the poor attitude, pretentiousness, shallowness, and lack of morals. I don't understand it and feel really out of place around this demographic despite being in the same age group. I don't have much in common with them, and they really test my patience. I can see why employers are so risk-averse these days. They're worried everyone they hire could be a potential hipster. This movement (which is dominated by college-degreed people) is just making a bad situation worse.

A lot of people our age are unfriendly, judgmental (while pretending to be "open-minded), unprofessional, and unreliable. I think college is surely fueling this fire since a lot of it is rubbed off from tenured professors. I don't blame young people as much as I blame the abundance of terrible role models and leaders at our universities.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on December 01, 2011, 07:05:15 PM
I like the part about the working class parents telling the kids to get a degree who really had no idea why. They just saw that the people who had gone to school had good jobs. Similarly, my parents (both worked their way through school and have degrees from YSU) pushed me towards higher level schools but I don't think they really knew why. After working with executives and their high priced corporate lawyers I have a much better understanding of the networking and school connections that help your career. It doesn't just happen because you went to such and such a school. A good school can open a ton of doors if you do it right, but you can also end up with a $150k Bachelors degree teaching elementary school (not knocking on teachers by anymean, but teaching has a definate income ceiling), if you aren't careful.

If your goal is to break into Wall Street, then there is some truth to this.  They really are exclusive clubs (one reason that I think much of the anger directed at the staggering bailouts of that sector is justified).  That is not the case with much of the non-financial sector, however.  If you look at the senior leadership teams of many big-league Ohio companies, you might be surprised how few of them have Ivy League and similar top-tier colleges on their resume.  Tony Alexander, the CEO of FirstEnergy, graduated from UA and Akron Law.  Leila Vespoli, its general counsel, was Miami (OH) undergrad and CWRU Law.  Richard Kramer, the CEO of Goodyear, graduated from John Carroll (which is private, but not Harvard).  Les Wexner is a Buckeye, as was John G. McCoy, the long-serving CEO of BankOne (and the one who presided over its real growth spurt from a little community bank into a major player, long before it was acquired by Chase).  Many of the senior management teams of mid-cap and small-cap public and private companies that I encounter as part of my practice are similarly not staffed only with people from elite $45k+/year schools.

There are some counterexamples, of course--George Barrett (Cardinal Health) is a Brown undergrad and NYU MBA.  Bob McDonald at Procter & Gamble is West Point, which in some ways is even more exclusive than Brown.

However, while networking connections definitely help your career, school connections only help that get started.  I have a small group of UVA Law connections here (and a much larger contingent of OSU alumni connections, of course), but my real network here is others in my profession, not others from my school.  It is absolutely possible to break into the higher echelons of corporate management and the professions from public colleges and universities.  You just have to learn (early) to appreciate that it will take more than just academic success in college to make that happen.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 01, 2011, 08:26:01 PM
>you might be surprised how few of them have Ivy League and similar top-tier colleges on their resume.

Yeah, that's absolutely the case, because the people who ascend to senior management aren't necessarily good test people or were even "good" students.  The guys I've known in senior management tend to be quite creative in general and are able to find connections where others see nothing. 

I think also, being from Ohio, it's got to be fun flying into New York to negotiate a loan or deal of some kind, then trick the hell out of those guys. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Robert Pence on December 01, 2011, 09:02:01 PM
Some of the "dumb jocks" I've known since high school ascended to top jobs and accumulated a sh!tload of wealth during their careers. I infer from that that the main prerequisite for accumulating wealth is the desire to do so; apparently it doesn't take a lot of brains. I ran circles around most of them academically, and while I've done OK and have an adequate retirement that meets my needs and keeps me mostly contented, I couldn't present near the resume or claim the affluence that many of them could. I guess the determining factor is that I've never desired to be wealthy.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on December 01, 2011, 09:44:27 PM
I'm a gen-X person, a younger one, but old enough to frown upon hipsters.  I don't have much common ground with the Cracked article though.  It's hard to develop a work ethic when work isn't available.  And the fact that any given McDonalds is hiring does little to solve the wider problem.  Many will apply, few will get in.  Last summer I helped run a jobs program for teens.  We had 11,000 applicants for 5000 part-time minimum-wage jobs.  It isn't like the kids don't wanna work.  More recently I did HR for a nursing home.  One ad for entry level aides would yield hundreds of responses, and we had to produce applications by the stack because the volume of walk-ins was so high.  And that was before the place was even open.  People just saw a new building and came in looking for work.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: MayDay on December 02, 2011, 07:33:01 AM
"I like the part about the working class parents telling the kids to get a degree who really had no idea why. They just saw that the people who had gone to school had good jobs."

Or those (like mine) who were working in the lower paying machine shops saw the bigger picture; that manufacturing was going both south and overseas and they knew the days of "getting a job at the shop" were numbered.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on December 02, 2011, 10:27:42 AM
I'm a gen-X person, a younger one, but old enough to frown upon hipsters.  I don't have much common ground with the Cracked article though.  It's hard to develop a work ethic when work isn't available.  And the fact that any given McDonalds is hiring does little to solve the wider problem.  Many will apply, few will get in.  Last summer I helped run a jobs program for teens.  We had 11,000 applicants for 5000 part-time minimum-wage jobs.  It isn't like the kids don't wanna work.  More recently I did HR for a nursing home.  One ad for entry level aides would yield hundreds of responses, and we had to produce applications by the stack because the volume of walk-ins was so high.  And that was before the place was even open.  People just saw a new building and came in looking for work.

There's a disconnect right now between the jobs that are available, and the skill sets that the applicants have. I was just at a meeting yesterday where Marcellus Shale and the opportunities it presents were being discussed. One participant mentioned that at a recent job fair, a trucking company had 30 open positions for drivers, with starting salaries of $80K or more, depending on skills. They turned up 0 qualified applicants from that fair. Either the applicants didn't have the right license, or they couldn't pass the drug test.

Similarly, I'm seeing a large demand for what might be considered shop type jobs. Welders, and people with training in drilling are going to be in high demand the next few years. But you don't learn that in college. You have to go to a trade school. These jobs can pay in the six figures. I think there has to be a modification of the mindset that college is the end destination. Yes, training post high school is mandatory (none of these jobs could be filled by a kid just coming out of high school), but a liberal arts college degree isn't going to get you those jobs either.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: taestell on December 02, 2011, 03:49:21 PM
There's a disconnect right now between the jobs that are available, and the skill sets that the applicants have. I was just at a meeting yesterday where Marcellus Shale and the opportunities it presents were being discussed. One participant mentioned that at a recent job fair, a trucking company had 30 open positions for drivers, with starting salaries of $80K or more, depending on skills. They turned up 0 qualified applicants from that fair. Either the applicants didn't have the right license, or they couldn't pass the drug test.

Similarly, I'm seeing a large demand for what might be considered shop type jobs. Welders, and people with training in drilling are going to be in high demand the next few years. But you don't learn that in college. You have to go to a trade school. These jobs can pay in the six figures. I think there has to be a modification of the mindset that college is the end destination. Yes, training post high school is mandatory (none of these jobs could be filled by a kid just coming out of high school), but a liberal arts college degree isn't going to get you those jobs either.

To be fair, when I was in high school, representatives from the local vocation school visited us several times. I even remember them showing us a video once that talked about how college isn't for everyone and that many of the trades you could learn will pay as well as jobs that require a degree. I was a little bit surprised by that message at the time. Of course, I doubt that any of the students who were college-bound at the time changed their mind and went to vocational school. But maybe some of the other kids were actually convinced to learn a trade.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on December 02, 2011, 04:54:20 PM
They had us spend a day split between the two vocational schools. I got to try my hand at the construction trades, auto repair, electronics and auto body shop. In electronics, they had me solder three 9v batteries together to make a shocker for blasting people in the arm when they weren't looking. My folks thought that I wouldn't get into college if I went to the Vo-Tech, but I probably would have gotten into more schools with the better grades I would have gotten studying something that I actually cared about at the Vo-Tech.  I even signed on to do the auto repair program before my folks c-blocked it and told me that I had to either go to college or start a business.

Fine Mom and Dad, I spent my 20s partying rather than making money like my friends that went to the Vo-Tech did.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on December 12, 2011, 01:22:38 PM
I just picked up "The Dumbest Generation: Don't Trust Anyone Under 30," and it's a must-read. Everything I suspected was happening at Ohio University is laid out in this book. Kids really are getting dumber when it comes to American/world history, government, high art, current events, math, spelling, and basically anything required to be a reasonably informed citizen. While I can see critics arguing the book takes an alarmist tone, there are mountains of data to back up Bauerlein's central argument. More people are going to college than ever, but their minds are closing, not opening.

It kind of brings back memories of my sister's visit to OU. It was during Three Fest (or Four Fest, I can't remember for sure). While walking back from the party with a few friends, a bunch of loud, drunken meatheads in the back of a pick-up truck threw schoolbooks at her as if to say, "This is a drinking school, not a learning school." Admittedly, my sister is bookish and spends too much time reading, but I just thought that was a pretty ridiculous thing to have happen to her. Obviously, those douchebags weren't what the founders of Ohio University had in mind when building the school.

With all this said, there are good reasons this is happening. Bauerlein takes a few hits at the popularity of business school and other pre-professional vocational tracks. He's missing the point on why kids go to college. They go in hopes of landing a job, not to broaden their minds. One trend I'm noticing in the post-graduate years is that usually the brightest, most broadly-educated people spend the most time in the unemployment line. The most focused, narrow-minded kids land jobs because employers hire "has done before" versus "can potentially do." Talking to baby boomers, I get the impression this is a major shift. Up until the 1980's, people from unrelated backgrounds could work their way into different industries as long as they had college degrees. That seems to have closed off. Employers rarely hire by "potential." They want a real track record in that specific job in that specific industry (less money spent on training).

Perhaps the hyper-specialization of our economy is leading to this general ignorance. There is no time to waste on intellectual matters since most jobs have laundry lists of requirements and nobody wants to take the time to train new hires. If kids waste time in subjects outside their major, they will not land jobs related to their major. Anecdotally, I'm seeing a lot of this with friends. Only the finance, education, nursing, and engineering guys have good jobs. Almost everyone else is living a nightmare or just got extremely lucky. Degrees don't matter, major choice and networks matter. I know plenty of CS guys who dropped out of college who are making 100k. Even though they don't have degrees, they learned in-demand skills in a growing industry. Luck is also playing a dangerously big role in recent years (and by luck, I mean family support on rent, networking, etc.).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 12, 2011, 11:15:52 PM
Noam Chomsky has been speaking on the problems of the corporate funding of universities:
Noam Chomsky on Academic Freedom and the Corporatization of Universities (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HxRUc7BpUI#ws)


He has at least 10 pretty good points, many which overlap what we've already discussed here.  The one thing he mentioned that was pretty interesting is that in the postwar years when he started at MIT the Pentagon funded the majority of the programs at MIT.  But at the same time the university was the center of the anti-Vietnam movement.  The government has pulled back funding of many college programs and the corporations have swooped in to fund scientific research that will benefit them. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on December 12, 2011, 11:31:05 PM
C-Dawg you bring up an interesting point... if you need to make money and don't have any, your choices are very limited.  But if you already have money, you can afford to pursue a more rounded education, or even a non-essential major.  This leads to the intellectual fields being increasingly dominated by a certain group of people with a certain set of experiences.  I don't see much good coming from that arrangement.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 12, 2011, 11:47:48 PM
>his leads to the intellectual fields being increasingly dominated by a certain group of people with a certain set of experiences.  I don't see much good coming from that arrangement.


It's already that way to some extent -- but also, women actually have much more freedom than men.  A woman who majors in art or dance will not be vilified for the rest of their life the way men are.  Actually I know a dance major from OU who is now in Columbia's MBA program. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on December 13, 2011, 09:59:22 AM

C-Dawg you bring up an interesting point... if you need to make money and don't have any, your choices are very limited.  But if you already have money, you can afford to pursue a more rounded education, or even a non-essential major.

This has been going on for decades. 

I know I didnt go to college for a well-rounded education.  I went for upward mobility, becuase for my generation and my background you went to college so you could get a white-collar job or enter the professions.  So, upward mobility, but also better working conditions (working in AC vs a foundry) and maybe more status.

It wasnt about this so-called "liberal education".
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: natininja on December 13, 2011, 11:11:46 AM
The liberal arts were founded by aristocrats, so their domination in those fields has been entrenched essentially for millenia.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Robert Pence on December 13, 2011, 07:03:10 PM
In "Dumbest Generation," Bauerlein also makes a strong case that implementing technology in the classroom produces a generation proficient in the use of technology, but not really better educated in the fundamentals of how to acquire and apply new knowledge.

And I agree that prior to the 1980s many of my friends found jobs in fields that were unrelated to their college majors. One who graduated with majors in fine arts and architecture found his career in banking, and his wasn't an unusual case. Another majored in English education and then went to work in a data center at a large bank.

I was trained as a draftsman and machinist toolmaker through an apprenticeship program, worked a few years at that, and then spent 16 years in manufacturing cost analysis. That job morphed into becoming a programmer-analyst and developing applications to streamline the cost analysis work. From there I became a systems analyst, and ultimately retired from tech support, providing software, network, and hardware support for PC users in financial services. As I moved from one field into the next I took some college coursework, but most of my education was from self-study and hands-on experience.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on December 15, 2011, 09:12:40 AM
http://intelligencesquaredus.org/index.php/past-debates/too-many-kids-go-to-college/ (http://intelligencesquaredus.org/index.php/past-debates/too-many-kids-go-to-college/)

Excellent debate on this subject, there is a link to the video or the podcast on the page. The debate sort of breaks down into what is the value of a BA as opposed to too many kids going to school. All of the debaters agree that people need secondary education but the argument turns into is the traditional 4 year college expectation good or bad? Those against, argue that it can be stifling for many or can be down right financially harmful for some.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on December 15, 2011, 10:03:36 AM
In "Dumbest Generation," Bauerlein also makes a strong case that implementing technology in the classroom produces a generation proficient in the use of technology, but not really better educated in the fundamentals of how to acquire and apply new knowledge.

IMNSHO the issue is teaching kids what to think, not how to think.  PC has created a culture that some ideas and questions are unacceptable.

The "Reagan Kids" (as the transition between the baby boomers and generation X is sometimes called) were quite proficient in technology, but for the most part we didn't learn it in school.  We learned it initially with video games, and some of us did by messing around with computers as a semi-hobby.  Even at CWRU, computer science was done in cattle classes with assignments that had to be completed at centralized labs with time strictly rationed, a really poor way to learn computer skills.  Throw in that programming language should be taught by those proficient in the language of their students and......
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on December 15, 2011, 02:52:03 PM
In "Dumbest Generation," Bauerlein also makes a strong case that implementing technology in the classroom produces a generation proficient in the use of technology, but not really better educated in the fundamentals of how to acquire and apply new knowledge.

IMNSHO the issue is teaching kids what to think, not how to think.  PC has created a culture that some ideas and questions are unacceptable.

The "Reagan Kids" (as the transition between the baby boomers and generation X is sometimes called) were quite proficient in technology, but for the most part we didn't learn it in school.  We learned it initially with video games, and some of us did by messing around with computers as a semi-hobby.  Even at CWRU, computer science was done in cattle classes with assignments that had to be completed at centralized labs with time strictly rationed, a really poor way to learn computer skills.  Throw in that programming language should be taught by those proficient in the language of their students and......

I agree generally with the critique of the politically correct culture at universities, particularly including the liberal arts and other disciplines in which publication decisions can be more tinged by political and cultural orthodoxy.

However, the cold numbers issue still should not be ignored.  The percentage of the population with bachelor's degrees has risen dramatically over the past generation.  The percentage with graduate and professional degrees has risen even more dramatically (though of course it's still smaller in terms of absolute numbers).  Are we that much better prepared for college than we were a generation ago, such that we can increase college admissions (and graduations) without diluting quality in some fashion?  I find that a bit of a stretch.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 15, 2011, 07:40:23 PM
This is front page on Yahoo News right now:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-working-starbucks-three-weeks-141100878.html
Why Working at Starbucks for Three Weeks Was the Toughest Job I've Ever Had


By Aimee Groth | Business Insider

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to work for Starbucks as a barista.

I had recently moved to New York City, and I was freelancing at the time. But I had to get a part-time job in order to pay next month’s rent. So one afternoon, I printed off a stack of resumes,and hand-delivered them to nearly 30 Starbucks in Lower Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.

Only one manager called me back: the one from Brooklyn, just a few blocks from my apartment — and the last store I visited. She offered me the job at $10/hour; and if I worked part-time for three months, I'd be eligible for health insurance.

I'd later find out that the store is located next to the busiest transit hub in Brooklyn, which makes it the busiest Starbucks outside of Manhattan. My initial idea of working a leisurely part-time job was completely false. This was going to be hard work. And a lot of it.

My first day was deceptively easy – watching videos of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on the store’s laptop with my fellow three trainees, and taste-testing coffee and tea. We had some pamphlets that explained the drinks, and our task was to memorize all of them — including some several dozen variations of shots, sizes and flavors.

We tried making a few of these with our trainers at the bar, but it wasn’t easy. There was usually a steady stream of 20-some people waiting in line, and there simply wasn’t the space or environment to train properly. It was always chaotic, with several people on the floor, calling orders, shifting from station to station, and asking you to get out of the way. Not to mention 10 customers waiting at the end of the bar for their drinks.

My first real 7:30 a.m. shift was jarring. The intensity of what goes on behind the counter is simply not visible from the customer’s point of view. During the peak morning hours, we’d work through around 110 people every half hour with seven employees on the floor.
Since there was no chance my new colleagues — or “partners,” as Starbucks calls its employees — and I would ever memorize all the drinks, we handled everything else: brewing and changing coffees (staying on top of which ones are decaf, light and bold roasts, while rotating them via Starbucks’ “coffee cadence” using 2-minute timers and grinding the beans, having them all prepared to brew — and never leaving one pot sitting longer than 30 minutes without dumping, since it’s no longer “fresh”), marking drinks (there’s a complicated shorthand that you’ve got to memorize, while translating what a customer is saying into “Starbucks speak” and calling it properly), rotating pastries, the food case, and tossing hot items into the oven — all while managing the register.

Just as I was tempted to remind my coworkers that they were new once, too, I wanted to tell customers that I was way over-qualified for this job, and hoped they’d see me on the street in normal clothes, not in khakis, a black T-shirt, bright-green apron and baseball cap.
On my third day, my boss handed my fellow trainee — who would later disappear after a 10-minute break never to return — and me a mop and supplies to clean the bathroom, because the toilet was broken. It turned out not to be so horrible, but again, I quickly learned to swallow my pride.

We got two 10-minute breaks and one unpaid 30-minute break for every 8 hours on the floor, where we’d have to decide between running next door to use the restroom (because ours was always had a line of customers in front of it), quickly eating a bag lunch (there was never time to stand in line and buy something from the store), or making a cell phone call. If you’re lucky, you got to sit down on the one chair in the break room, or on the ladder, because there were never any open seats in the store.

Some of my coworkers were more demanding than others. Most were nice and welcoming. And there were office politics. On more than one occasion I walked into the break room to see someone crying, or talking about other coworkers. I mostly avoided this, until what would be my last week on the job.

I told my boss that I got a new, full-time job, and could work until I started at Business Insider. But the next day my name disappeared from the schedule. 

For many people, service industry jobs are not a supplementary income or short-term solution. And hats off to them — especially those who do it without even complaining.



Did she do this all as a stunt for material for this column?  Looks like she needs to do a bunch more, because she's a boring writer because she's a boring person. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on December 16, 2011, 10:53:40 AM
^J,  that last comment is quote worthy.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on December 16, 2011, 11:35:06 AM
It always sounds easy to someone who doesn't have to actually do it....
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: DanB on December 16, 2011, 11:35:48 AM
Who gets to make the determination?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 22, 2011, 07:10:10 AM
From a Yahoo News story:

http://financiallyfit.yahoo.com/finance/article-113810-11701-4-11-things-you-should-never-put-on-your-resume?ywaad=ad0035&nc (http://financiallyfit.yahoo.com/finance/article-113810-11701-4-11-things-you-should-never-put-on-your-resume?ywaad=ad0035&nc)


2. Cut out all the irrelevant work experiences.

If you're still listing that prized shift leader position from your high school days, it's time to move on. Yes, you might've been the "king of making milkshakes," but unless you're planning on redeeming that title, it's time to get rid of all that clutter.


Again, more proof that people are not just not impressed by "working your way through" college (not that it's even possible anymore, given the high tuition), but it actually works against you.  Better be lucky and have rich parents if you want your degree to be worth anything!

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: seicer on December 22, 2011, 08:04:52 AM
My employment experience that I listed for my first full-time, permanent job (at Xavier) included 3 years of work at UK part time doing design and programming, a summer job doing databasing that was relevant to the job being applied for and overseeing individuals in distance learning. Perhaps a better takeaway from the article is that you should only put down on your resume, items that are relevant to the job being applied for.

Of course, if I was to apply for a job today (and what currently shows on my updated resume), I would omit everything before my current job at Xavier. No one really cares at this point what I did during college and before. It's just not relevant, and skill sets change.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: DanB on December 22, 2011, 08:26:58 AM
Well said.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on December 22, 2011, 08:57:38 AM
I agree with Sherman as well.

If the milkshake-mixing position really is your most recent work experience, then you have a decision to make regarding whether to put it on.  However, if you have even a single more relevant point of work experience to put on your resume, I'd use that and leave off the former work experience--it says very little about your qualifications for the job that you're seeking.  You should be able to find other, more relevant (or, frankly, simply more interesting) things to put on your resume to fill up a page.  And if deleting the milkshake-mixing experience gets your resume back under one page, it's all the more imperative to do so.  A two-page resume littered with excessive irrelevant information is a liability, not an asset--it says that you have trouble prioritizing.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on December 22, 2011, 09:29:14 AM
Also, I'd point out that as an undergrad coming into the workplace with limited relevant work experience, you should focus on relevant classwork, outlining work you did in projects that relates to the job you're applying for, leadership positions you took with on campus associations (again, related to the job), etc. I'm presuming that if you're applying for a certain job, you took classwork that increased you skill sets in that particular profession, and were involved in at least some extracurriculars pertaining to the career path you've chosen.

There are ways to promote your strenghts without having to rely on the unpaid internship
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on December 22, 2011, 12:36:19 PM
I'd say employers do care about your past work experiences in high school, college or some crap jobs you worked in your 20s. But that has to come out in the interview in the way you speak. Does this person have a work brain or are they stuck in school mode? Some people have work brains even before they start college from working a lot at terrible jobs as teens. Basically, if someone has worked a tiring job with a ton of nights and weekends and abrasive co-workers (or customers), the notion of having a 9-5 job working on fulfilling projects with an intelligent staff can sound like heaven. But, if you don't have the room, the choice between putting a crap job on your resume and something specific to the job description is a no-brainer.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Eigth and State on December 22, 2011, 11:28:34 PM
^I was told that a resume should fill up one page, no more and no less. For my first job interview, I listed experience cutting grass, and my interviewer actually asked about it and seemed interested. I wouldn't think of putting that on a resume today because I don't have room.

I had a more recent interview where the interviewer pretty much ignored all my work experience, and instead asked where I went to high school and talked about high school football. If he even read my resume, he didn't show it.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Robert Pence on December 23, 2011, 09:36:59 AM
^I was told that a resume should fill up one page, no more and no less. For my first job interview, I listed experience cutting grass, and my interviewer actually asked about it and seemed interested. I wouldn't think of putting that on a resume today because I don't have room.

I had a more recent interview where the interviewer pretty much ignored all my work experience, and instead asked where I went to high school and talked about high school football. If he even read my resume, he didn't show it.

I'm not sure I'd want to work for that guy, anyway. He sounds like someone who doesn't know enough about the job/profession to steer questions and discussion in an appropriate direction, and wouldn't recognize competence and commitment if he saw it. I had a boss like that, who looked after an employee who could bs about sports and go golfing with him, at the expense of the employees who kept the place running. Appropriately, after a couple of years he was reassigned to a created "special assignment" where his real task was to find another job within six months.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on December 23, 2011, 11:18:13 AM
I had a more recent interview where the interviewer pretty much ignored all my work experience, and instead asked where I went to high school and talked about high school football. If he even read my resume, he didn't show it.

Sounds like this interview was in Cincinnati.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: natininja on December 23, 2011, 11:40:27 AM
I had a more recent interview where the interviewer pretty much ignored all my work experience, and instead asked where I went to high school and talked about high school football. If he even read my resume, he didn't show it.

Sounds like this interview was in Cincinnati.

West side, too.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 23, 2011, 02:00:44 PM
Job hunting and resume writing are the sort of thing that everyone thinks they are an expert on.  The fact is you either stand out to that specific person looking at your resume or you don't, and there's no way to know. 

I have all of my cover letters saved on my computer and I have made major errors on those letters (gotten the name of the company a little wrong, misspelled interviewer's name, etc.) and still gotten hired.  I've also worn old clothes and forgotten to wear a belt and gotten hired. 

My dad is head of HR and legal at his company and generally does not hire people from top colleges and law schools.  They have had a lot of trouble with those people coming in and not being particularly good or loyal employees.  I don't think they're unusual in that respect -- a too perfect resume, graduate degrees, etc. can work against you. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 10, 2012, 09:30:01 PM
This is an email from my friend's wife, who went to Cornell for undergrad,did a 6-year PhD at MIT, and who finally got a job as a professor after several years as a postdoc.  My point is if academia is your goal, these days even with a top 1% resume you're not going to teach at a flagship state university. 

I recently heard that there are more NIH grantees above age 70 than under age 40!  (I assume this data is specifically for the major research grant, the R01.)

And now there is this study:

http://scienceprogressaction.org/intersection/2012/01/most-nobelists-were-1-year-younger-than-todays-average-first-time-nih-grantee-when-they-did-their-breakthrough-research/ (http://scienceprogressaction.org/intersection/2012/01/most-nobelists-were-1-year-younger-than-todays-average-first-time-nih-grantee-when-they-did-their-breakthrough-research/)

Combine that with the fact that most biology PhD students now take 2 (or more) years working in a lab between undergrad and grad school, plus 6 years in grad school and 6 years of postdoc, and the picture looks even bleaker.

BTW, I am now 33 years old and just got my first "real" job, which I have been training for (post-bachelors degree) for over 10 years now!  I will be starting as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the ____________ mid-August.  Rob is looking for part-time adjunct work in the area and will be working the rest of the time on finishing his dissertation.  Hopefully he also will be able to find a tenure-track position nearby...
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on January 11, 2012, 10:45:49 PM
Young academics were screwed by the elimination of forced retirement and unwillingness to kill the old.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 11, 2012, 10:54:27 PM
Not only that, but many of the professors at the second-tier universities would have never gotten hired today.  They benefited from the expansion of colleges that started around the time of the Vietnam War. 

Dmerkow, someone both you and I know googled suspicious passages from the book of an old professor in his program (he just got hired as an assistant prof), and found that it was partly plagiarized.  He of course has found himself in a dilemma because he could be punished for reporting him.  Definitely, some of those professors at the second-tier state schools have lived charmed lives. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Robert Pence on January 11, 2012, 10:55:52 PM
Young academics were screwed by the elimination of forced retirement and unwillingness to kill the old.

Perhaps that will be fixed by the time you get old.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: westerninterloper on January 11, 2012, 11:04:35 PM
The experiences noted below about the search for a tenure-track position aren't representative of all disciplines. My limited understanding of the environment for those in the hard sciences suggests that their start up costs - sometimes approaching a million dollars or more for lab equipment, etc, are often fronted by the university, but have to be recouped by getting huge federal research grants before tenure. No grants, no tenure. For someone like me in a professional school, the costs, and expectations, are much less daunting. In our college (one of six), there were 23 new tenure-track hires last year, and now about 180 total t-t faculty. My university bought out many of the elder faculty members about three years ago, opening the ranks for recent graduates. My point is that tenure-track jobs are not nearly so difficult to find in other parts of the academy.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on January 12, 2012, 08:44:16 AM
Soylent green anyone?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on January 12, 2012, 12:46:10 PM
Young academics were screwed by the elimination of forced retirement and unwillingness to kill the old.

Klingons were running things before Vietnam.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on January 12, 2012, 01:17:33 PM
Young academics were screwed by the elimination of forced retirement and unwillingness to kill the old.

Logan's Run?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 12, 2012, 07:33:29 PM
Alright, thread over, it looks like everything the colleges have been telling us is true! It's the investment that just keeps on giving. From here, it looks like smooth sailing ahead. Those waves look pretty small and shouldn't cause any problems at all...

SS American University
(http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/4193/edmundfitzgerald1.jpg)

(http://img507.imageshack.us/img507/1223/mandel.png)

(http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/3949/youngfemalegrads.png)

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/10/why-the-current-revenue-model-of-higher-education-is-in-trouble.html (http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/10/why-the-current-revenue-model-of-higher-education-is-in-trouble.html)

*Keep in mind this is just for full-time workers. It doesn't factor in all the grads doing part-time jobs against their will, which would make these numbers much worse.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on January 13, 2012, 10:53:37 AM
^ C Dawg, I clicked through a couple of pages, but didn't see this addressed. I am assuming that is an average salary for full employed college grads. How much of that decline is  people in the sub group making less in the same type of jobs, and how much is grads being forced into non-degree type jobs to make ends meet? Is it 50/50? With wage freezes and what I have seen in job opportunities, it seems that both factors are greatly contributing.

Also I if you notice that huge spike in 2000 for male grads. I was actually some what relieved that I didn't graduate on time because there were was a fairly large group of kids that I knew that got crazy job offers, moved across the country (I remember Motorola in PHX, giving out jobs like candy) and then were layed off in a matter of 9 months when the recession started in early 2001. They all were basically F'd.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 13, 2012, 02:44:57 PM
I am assuming that is an average salary for full employed college grads. How much of that decline is  people in the sub group making less in the same type of jobs, and how much is grads being forced into non-degree type jobs to make ends meet? Is it 50/50?

Those charts only count full-time employed grads, which are quickly becoming a minority. And keep in mind that age bracket ignores a good chunk of 2008, 2009, and 2010 grads. The most recent grads have been brutalized and the oversupply is going to continue to sink wages for a decade. The only kids holding steady or seeing pay increases are CS and engineering grads (and that's the reason for the gap between men and women- ever set foot in a CS class?). Major choice is just about all that seems to matter now. Due to so much highly experienced competition in the market, the traditional networking into other fields seems to not be working like it used to. The pay gap between majors is growing fast, making me think kids are getting stuck.

According to the famous Rutgers study, it is 50-50, or much worse. Based on Rutgers (a very good school), at least half of new grads are not finding employment at all. So those stats above are the most optimistic stats- the kids lucky enough to find full-time work. That is a minority.

The median starting salary for students graduating from four-year colleges in 2009 and 2010 was $27,000, down from $30,000 for those who entered the work force in 2006 to 2008, according to a study released on Wednesday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. That is a decline of 10 percent, even before taking inflation into account.

Of course, these are the lucky ones — the graduates who found a job. Among the members of the class of 2010, just 56 percent had held at least one job by this spring, when the survey was conducted. That compares with 90 percent of graduates from the classes of 2006 and 2007.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/business/economy/19grads.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/business/economy/19grads.html)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 14, 2012, 11:28:10 PM
>Major choice is just about all that seems to matter now.

Agreed to some extent, but the next step backwards is what exists in Italy and elsewhere -- essentially a guild patronage system in which jobs in various professions from notary publics down to taxi drivers are passed down from father to son.  It's going on here amongst people I know who after getting laid off from whatever they were doing end up back at their family business, if they have one.

Meanwhile, speaking of engineering, my baby brother is a 3rd year in Vanderbilt's engineering school, and he tells me that he hasn't taken a single liberal arts class or basically anything other than math/science in his three years (does he write papers?  do any sort of library research?  I dunno.).  Not surprisingly, he is easily duped by political rhetoric, pop culture, and everything else.  He hasn't taken any of the sort of classes my entire college education was comprised of and vice verse. 

As I've mentioned previously, I think this call to turn college into a technical training thing is a big mistake.  It's the only time in people's lives when they can be forced to read literature, forced to write papers, and be forced to discuss serious matters with a group of strangers.  I remember when I got to school sensing that many people had never sat around and discussed any serious issue whatsoever.  I'm betting I'm not unlike a lot of people on this forum in that talking politics & culture was a regular part of family get-togethers and conversations with friends. 






Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: X on January 15, 2012, 12:44:24 PM
Look at the bright side, if these trends continue, we'll close the gender gap in pay.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 15, 2012, 04:50:59 PM
As I've mentioned previously, I think this call to turn college into a technical training thing is a big mistake.  It's the only time in people's lives when they can be forced to read literature, forced to write papers, and be forced to discuss serious matters with a group of strangers.  I remember when I got to school sensing that many people had never sat around and discussed any serious issue whatsoever.

Agreed.

Meanwhile, speaking of engineering, my baby brother is a 3rd year in Vanderbilt's engineering school, and he tells me that he hasn't taken a single liberal arts class or basically anything other than math/science in his three years (does he write papers?  do any sort of library research?  I dunno.).  Not surprisingly, he is easily duped by political rhetoric, pop culture, and everything else.

I think that's the goal of some majors and universities.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: DanB on January 16, 2012, 12:47:30 AM
You guys are insulting to technical fields and the funny thing is most couldn't hold an engineer's slide rule!

Easily duped according to whose standards?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on January 16, 2012, 09:00:57 AM
^ Hey Dan B. what's a slide rule? HaHa. JK.

The engineering programs being light on non-technical classes isn't exactly a new thing, my engineer father didn't take freshman English until he was a Senior, and he still needed my mother's help with it.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: shs96 on January 16, 2012, 09:30:10 AM
The earnings graph isn't unique to young college grads.  That trend can be applied to all groups, young and old, college degree or not. 

I still feel the there's plenty of jobs out there, just not enough qualified people to fill them.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: StapHanger on January 16, 2012, 09:48:34 AM
he hasn't taken a single liberal arts class or basically anything other than math/science in his three years (does he write papers?  do any sort of library research?  I dunno.).

Minor point, but the sciences and math are liberal arts.  I think you mean "humanities or social sciences."
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Mr Sparkle on January 16, 2012, 10:15:48 AM
When I went thru Engineering @ UC, there was a requirement to take a certain number of humanities and social science courses to graduate (and there was an approved list of courses by the College of Engineering). Freshmen English was a requirement above and beyond the H&S requirement. I got my degree in 1995, so I don't know if it is the same now.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: DanB on January 16, 2012, 10:48:44 AM
When I went thru Engineering @ UC, there was a requirement to take a certain number of humanities and social science courses to graduate (and there was an approved list of courses by the College of Engineering). Freshmen English was a requirement above and beyond the H&S requirement. I got my degree in 1995, so I don't know if it is the same now.

Bingo! Thank you. My college at UC was one of the first not to require a foreign language back in the 70s. We still had 2 years worth of social/humanities courses to go along with our technical. I  took English, History, psychology, and a few others. Many of us can even read Mark Twain.

My nephew just got his masters in Aerospace Engineering at UC and took the same type of classes, plus he took a foriegn language because he wanted too.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on January 16, 2012, 11:01:24 AM
When I went thru Engineering @ UC, there was a requirement to take a certain number of humanities and social science courses to graduate (and there was an approved list of courses by the College of Engineering). Freshmen English was a requirement above and beyond the H&S requirement. I got my degree in 1995, so I don't know if it is the same now.

Case had a required humanities "sequence" even back when I went.  You had to take four classes of a certain type, I chose political science, plus a couple more classes to fill out the requirement.   IIRC, freshman English was a separate deal, though I am not sure some of the TAs (and even a professor or few) ever had to take it.  :o

What irked me after the fact is that if I had taken one more poli sci class, I would have officially had a minor, and I did not know this until I graduated.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on January 16, 2012, 11:29:57 AM
The freshman English thing was sort of a joke, it is true because he put it off so long. It's just a family joke because he still makes my mom proofread things for work on occasion.

The flip side of this was I don't really remember too many non-engineering and non-science/science ed majors taking the Physics series for kicks. The truth is very few people in college really have that thirst for knowledge that they will take classes outside of the required classes or their comfort zone.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: DanB on January 16, 2012, 11:43:53 AM
Right, I hate the implication that they are better well rounded individuals because they took "liberal arts" courses, even though most liberal arts majors can't find a job these days!
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on January 17, 2012, 02:06:02 PM
The truth is very few people in college really have that thirst for knowledge that they will take classes outside of the required classes or their comfort zone.

Very true, and this is being seen in all majors. The lack of serious discussion and writing stuff Mecklenborg was talking about is not limited to certain technical majors. It's being seen everywhere. Hyper-specialization leads to this. I'd say the average kid in an art class was just as likely, if not more likely to be easily duped or lacking critical thinking skills.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 17, 2012, 03:20:07 PM
Count me among those who don't particularly think that taking a hodgepodge of humanities and social science courses makes one a well-rounded individual (and this from someone who double-majored in English and political science).  This is particularly true given the rigor (or lack thereof) of so many courses (including courses well beyond the entry level) in many humanities and social science disciplines.  Forget critical thinking (after all, too much of it might existentially jeopardize some of those disciplines in their current states) ... even basic technical proficiency with the written (and spoken) word is seldom particularly emphasized.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on January 17, 2012, 11:36:15 PM
The lack of rigor has far more to do with the students than you could ever imagine. Low rigor classes keep the whiners quiet.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 18, 2012, 12:23:37 AM
>Count me among those who don't particularly think that taking a hodgepodge of humanities and social science courses makes one a well-rounded individual (and this from someone who double-majored in English and political science).  This is particularly true given the rigor (or lack thereof) of so many courses (including courses well beyond the entry level) in many humanities and social science disciplines.  Forget critical thinking (after all, too much of it might existentially jeopardize some of those disciplines in their current states) ... even basic technical proficiency with the written (and spoken) word is seldom particularly emphasized.

I agree with all that, so we have come full circle to the dilemma of all these people who aren't college material ending up in college.  I do believe that they could be made to benefit from these classes, but the whining that Dmerkow mentioned makes community colleges and the state branch campuses a joke. 

I thought of this radical change a few months ago: don't grant federal student loans to students under age 20.  If you remember the old adage "if you don't go to college right after high school you'll never go...", such a situation that delays the availability of college to people who don't know what they want to do prevents people from wasting a lot of money going to camp (college). 

I think we'd be a lot better off if we simply sent 18 year-olds off to real camp for a year rather than have them hanging out on college campuses under the pretense that they're learning something.  Some people suggest compulsory military service, but I think you could dangle a carrot over lower class teenagers by paying for a Peace Corps-type year overseas for all high school graduates. 

People who have read about (studied?!!!) the communist regimes know that it was common for the various dictators to set up camps for teenagers.  For example, I had a professor who was raised in Shanghai but forced by Mao to spend his teenage years working on collective farms near the Mongolian border.  I'm not talking about that kind of stuff, although I'm sure critics of this sort of program would sound the alarm. 



Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on January 18, 2012, 12:00:57 PM
There's always the 1 or 2 year mandatory military service that many countries have.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 18, 2012, 01:58:52 PM
The mandatory military service idea is an interesting one, but many Western countries that have had it have been moving away from it.  Germany ended conscription as of July 1, 2011.  Sweden ended theirs in 2010.

Switzerland and Norway do still have it, though.

I admit I have some problems with it as a matter of principle, but few people are suggesting that Norway and Switzerland are hellish places to live because of the draft.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: X on January 18, 2012, 09:06:08 PM
It really only makes sense if we want to have a gigantic, inexperienced military.  We've decided on the opposite.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on January 18, 2012, 11:10:04 PM
A conscription army is expensive and pretty useless on the current battlefield. I do think a massive expansion of service programs could work - not just saving the world stuff either. You'd have to make the experience pay enough and work be reasonably pleasant (avoid ditch-digging). Maybe we could all serve two years in the TSA.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 18, 2012, 11:54:47 PM
I'm going by memory of a NPR story, but I remember hearing that the de facto martial law in place in Germany for the 14~ years preceding the fall of the Nazi regime caused a deep distrust of the military amongst German citizens.  So the compulsory service after WWII was an attempt to demystify the military --  by everyone having some first-hand familiarity with it, it was believed that citizens could recognize the seeds of fascism that had tricked the earlier generation.  It also gave the citizenry some know-how should the Soviet Union launch some sort of strike into West Germany.     

I do think that public financing of college educations in the United States could make sense if completion of some sort of service requirement of a year (I'm just throwing that time period out there for purposes of discussion) were required for eligibility, aside from grades/test scores/etc.  Also, if college tuition (but perhaps not living expenses) was funded entirely by tax dollars, the arms race would be put on ice.  If the 1-year service requirement thinned the masses attending college, it could only improve the experience for those who go, since to some extent the people who don't want to be there wouldn't be there.

 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: natininja on January 19, 2012, 12:57:26 AM
A conscription army is expensive and pretty useless on the current battlefield. I do think a massive expansion of service programs could work - not just saving the world stuff either. You'd have to make the experience pay enough and work be reasonably pleasant (avoid ditch-digging). Maybe we could all serve two years in the TSA.

Could this be the plan with the porno x-rays and junk-grabbing techniques? Readying the job to be "reasonably pleasant" for 18 & 19 year olds with raging hormones?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on January 19, 2012, 09:23:43 AM
I'm going by memory of a NPR story, but I remember hearing that the de facto martial law in place in Germany for the 14~ years preceding the fall of the Nazi regime caused a deep distrust of the military amongst German citizens.  So the compulsory service after WWII was an attempt to demystify the military --  by everyone having some first-hand familiarity with it, it was believed that citizens could recognize the seeds of fascism that had tricked the earlier generation.  It also gave the citizenry some know-how should the Soviet Union launch some sort of strike into West Germany.     

I do think that public financing of college educations in the United States could make sense if completion of some sort of service requirement of a year (I'm just throwing that time period out there for purposes of discussion) were required for eligibility, aside from grades/test scores/etc.  Also, if college tuition (but perhaps not living expenses) was funded entirely by tax dollars, the arms race would be put on ice.  If the 1-year service requirement thinned the masses attending college, it could only improve the experience for those who go, since to some extent the people who don't want to be there wouldn't be there.

I was at a YAF convention in 1981 when Bill Buckley suggested that "elite" private universities did something similar.  (the other speaker at the same session was John McCain, fwiw).

Count on the more "general" colleges to oppose such a thing as "thinning out the herd" isn't what they want.

TSA?  Bad idea.  Given an influx of bodies, they'd likely start random checkpoints on the roadways or buses.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 19, 2012, 11:44:29 AM
I do think that public financing of college educations in the United States could make sense if completion of some sort of service requirement of a year (I'm just throwing that time period out there for purposes of discussion) were required for eligibility, aside from grades/test scores/etc.  Also, if college tuition (but perhaps not living expenses) was funded entirely by tax dollars, the arms race would be put on ice.  If the 1-year service requirement thinned the masses attending college, it could only improve the experience for those who go, since to some extent the people who don't want to be there wouldn't be there.

As a matter of principle, I'm of two minds about this.

As a matter of practical math, though, there is no way that we can support another massive entitlement program.  Think of the total of all college tuition bills in the country, then add all the new entrants that would get in if it were provided at taxpayer expense, then add all the various ways that colleges would find to increase their take from the federal till (even if the federal government tried to impose cost controls, there would always be ways found to get around them).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on January 19, 2012, 12:01:39 PM
If the 1-year service requirement thinned the masses attending college, it could only improve the experience for those who go, since to some extent the people who don't want to be there wouldn't be there.

Including the guys who show up for 6 weeks in fall quarter just to steal stuff out of the dorms.

Mandatory military service is not only a good recruiting tool for those who want to fully enlist, it will help get rid of these stupid war hawks that don't understand the military and expose some of those suburban/exurban butterballs to fitness.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 19, 2012, 12:31:18 PM
>Think of the total of all college tuition bills in the country,

Georgia and maybe a few other states have free tuition at their state universities.  My thought is that college costs could be controlled to a much greater extent if the rankings + growth motive is eliminated from the public universities.   


>Including the guys who show up for 6 weeks in fall quarter just to steal stuff out of the dorms.

Yeah, freshman year in the dorms is total bedlum, everywhere.  Everyone's 18, but people are in vastly different states of mental health.  One of my uncles boasts of keeping his roommate alive with steak hogies and only steak hogies during a 68-day drug binge.  The guy actually passed all his classes despite not attending about 8 weeks of class. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on January 19, 2012, 03:35:07 PM
Georgia? That's in Real America and everything. I've probably mentioned it before, but if you average a 3.0 in a West Virginia high school, you get free tuition to Marshall or WVU.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on January 22, 2012, 10:05:46 PM
I think Georgia had free tuition.I think it disappeared in the last couple years. Economic collapse and all...
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 08, 2012, 10:36:20 PM
BYU:
What do you know about black history? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGeMy-6hnr0#ws)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on February 08, 2012, 10:55:01 PM
That was terrible on so many levels.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 08, 2012, 11:13:35 PM
They could have done this at any state university, not just BYU. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 09, 2012, 08:27:16 AM
Is BYU a state university?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 09, 2012, 09:40:19 AM
No, I dont't think it is.  I meant to imply the mediocrity of many state university students.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Robert Pence on February 09, 2012, 10:14:15 AM
BYU is Mormon.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on September 11, 2012, 06:05:35 PM
This is a good read.

The Big Jobs Myth: American Workers Aren't Ready for American Jobs
JUL 25 2012, 2:10 PM ET

What ails the American worker? Republicans and Democrats, chief executives and certain academics all say they see a mismatch between workers' skills and employers' needs. The data see something different.

A specter haunts the job market. You've witnessed it on the campaign trail. You've seen it on TV. It is the idea that the skills of U.S. workers don't match the needs of the nation's employers.

This "skills mismatch" is routinely held up to explain why the unemployment rate is still at 8.2% three years after the Great Recession officially ended, and why nearly half of those out of work have been so for more than six months. The Romney campaign affirms that the skills mismatch "lies at the heart of our jobs crisis." In his State of the Union speech, President Obama quoted conversations with businessmen who can't find qualified workers, and then proposed "a national commitment to train two million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job."

It is heart-warming to see Democrats and Republicans agree, but unfortunate that the thing they agree about may not be true. In recent months, researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the University of California-Berkeley, and the Wharton School have expressed skepticism about the existence of a national skills mismatch. A larger body of work, stretching back decades, paints a murky picture about how broad-based a problem worker skill level is. Despite this, policymakers have fretted about the issue for 30 years, in periods of high unemployment and low. If the research is far from certain, why does the skills-mismatch narrative stay with us? And by fixating on mismatched skills, are we ignoring a far bigger problem for the economy?

...The truth that is unfortunately lost amid so much harmony is that individual-level skill doesn't exist in a vacuum. Many employment structures -- from pay scales to hiring practices -- sit outside of the control of workers, yet nonetheless help determine whether they get hired. What individuals can generally control is the amount and type of education and training they receive. The trend there is certainly to acquire more, but an arms race for education brings with it a whole host of other problems, such as crushing student-debt loads, which are particularly worrisome if a big reason for getting a degree is simply to make it through a firm's hiring algorithms.

An over-emphasis on education as the pathway to more jobs may be problematic in another way. Attending school has always brought a variety of advantages -- Thomas Jefferson wanted universal public education to create better citizens, not better workers. In many cases, the sorts of "skills" employers want -- problem-solving, creativity -- demand better thinking and communication, the types of abilities one picks up in English, history, and arts classes. Yet by drawing a direct line from coursework to jobs, these are exactly the areas of curriculum that get tossed aside for more industry-specific concerns. In other words, the implications of understanding workforce quality through the lens of the "skills mismatch," and positioning education as the solution, could be far-ranging...

READ MORE AT
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/07/the-big-jobs-myth-american-workers-arent-ready-for-american-jobs/260169/#.UElwm53S_G0.facebook (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/07/the-big-jobs-myth-american-workers-arent-ready-for-american-jobs/260169/#.UElwm53S_G0.facebook)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on September 12, 2012, 07:45:00 AM
I've been wondering about the "jobs mismatch" meme for a while myself, but also wondering if it was my own bias as an English & political science major from undergrad talking (since, as the article notes, those are the ones that might be deemphasized in favor of more industry-specific courses).

Unfortunately, part of the problem may be that those courses don't teach writing, problem-solving, and creativity the way they might have at one point.  They do still in many ways reward those traits, at least most of the time (though individual professors obviously vary greatly), and so they may still have a kind of signaling function, but I seldom recall getting actual advice on my writing.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on September 12, 2012, 08:33:55 AM
Im trying to figure out how history is a way of learning problem-solving and creativity.  I just don't see it. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on September 12, 2012, 09:53:54 AM
That's because most history courses teach rote memorization and recitation, especially at the 101 level.

There are much more interesting questions to ask about history, ones much more capable of getting creative juices flowing and problem-solving gears engaged.  They're just harder to teach.  Counterfactuals are often creative fodder: What if Hitler had not broken the non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union?  What if Rommel had not been condemned to a remote theater due to internal German military politics?  What if Israel had been founded in modern-day Uganda (the second-choice location for it based on British colonial territory they were considering divesting during their post-imperial contraction)?  What if Florida had declared for Gore in 2000, or Bush v. Gore had come out the other way?

Similarly, problem-solving lessons can involve inquiring into how history happened, or how certain events that could have happened didn't happen, rather than just what happened.  After all, history is in large part the story of people solving problems (and creating them).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on September 12, 2012, 11:37:38 AM
Let me change subjects slightly and share an idea I had this morning -- Ohio offering student loan forgiveness to graduates of state universities while they reside in Ohio.  So if they graduate from OSU and move to Chicago they pay back their $15,000 or whatever.  If they stay in Columbus Ohio pays their typical annual payment. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on September 12, 2012, 12:37:13 PM
It would probably be cheaper just to build rail transit and provide more tax incentives for non-sprawl building patterns so that they don't leave. But uh, that's something an entrepreneurial-minded dictator would do rather than a gridlocked representative democracy whose politicians only aim to please those living in ribbon development. It would also require leaders that are capable of connecting the dots between brain drain and the built landscape. Doing something more direct like you propose is less effective and more expensive but much more realistic in today's Ohio political climate.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on September 12, 2012, 12:40:15 PM
I write all these posts at work so I usually don't double-check them.  Look at this:

>If they stay in Columbus Ohio pays their typical annual payment. 


Add a comma an you're still f*cked. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: StapHanger on September 12, 2012, 12:44:00 PM
Let me change subjects slightly and share an idea I had this morning -- Ohio offering student loan forgiveness to graduates of state universities while they reside in Ohio.  So if they graduate from OSU and move to Chicago they pay back their $15,000 or whatever.  If they stay in Columbus Ohio pays their typical annual payment. 

This is something I've been thinking about for while too. Ohio taxpayers are currently doing a great job subsidizing the workforce of Texas, NC, Nevada, etc.  There are definite downsides though- the reduced flexibility would make the schools a lot less attractive to a lot of applicants.  Maybe a middle ground would be to raise tuition only a bit (not dramatically) and use the extra money for a forgivable state loan program that applies to alums so long as they work in Ohio.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on September 12, 2012, 12:50:06 PM
I think though there would have to be some separation of loans for tuition versus room & board.  I'm not sure how the loans work anymore so I can't make any specific suggestions.  Although loans that pay for apartments and food do actually pay property tax, state sales tax, etc.  Maybe there could be a refund calculated on estimated taxes paid directly or indirectly with loans. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on September 12, 2012, 02:35:32 PM
My problem with that concept is the same one I have with federally subsidized and guaranteed student loans today: It would simply encourage universities to increase their sticker prices.  The distributional consequences of the price increase would not be uniform (those who paid the increased prices and moved out of state would pay even more, and those who stayed in-state would pay less), but the university would still ultimately just pocket the subsidy and keep tuition absurdly high.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: StapHanger on September 12, 2012, 02:55:19 PM
^I don't think it would be tough to prevent universities from pocketing the up front sticker price increase.  You could even have them ship the money directly to the state (it's essentially a tax that's refundable to some payers, but could never be branded that way).  If properly designed it would be a net transfer from out-of-state alums to in-state alums and revenue neutral vis a vis the Universities.  And while I worry less about the distibutional consequences (I like high sticker prices and generous grants), you could even pay it out as refundable tax credit instead of loan forgiveness so that alums from higher income families could also enjoy the benefit.  These things have all sorts of unintended consequences, for sure, so it's not something I would ever suggest be casually embraced. But definitely seems possible that there's a system that would capture more of the benefits in-state.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on September 12, 2012, 04:44:43 PM
Don't get me wrong, I have little in principle against capturing the benefits in-state, considering that the costs are also borne predominantly in-state.  (However, I also partly empathize with the more pan-national sentiment that this is part of our obligation as states to the country as a whole, which is also why I don't have strong principled opposition to state public funding of education notwithstanding my libertarian starting position on issues.)  That said, I still don't think that either of those hybrid post-graduation-reimbursement systems you propose would actually get us there.  Much as I hate to say it, there might be no substitute in this instance for direct regulation of the state universities, i.e., tuition & fee increase caps or even compulsory tuition reductions (to get us back to where we'd have been had the caps never been lifted in the early aughts).  Government regulating government's own instrumentalities (including state universities) isn't as offensive to free market principles as government price controls in the private sector, at least.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: StapHanger on September 12, 2012, 05:36:45 PM
I guess a good starting point is knowing how many graduates actually leave the state within, say, five or ten years after graduation.  It could be a much smaller problem than we (jmeck and I) are even making it out to be.  I certainly agree there's nothing wrong with tuition caps etc. given that public universities are extensions of the state itself, and that there is plenty of private competition.  It's also likely Ohio or other states have already explored tuition/loan schemes that reward stayers and rejected them for one reason or another.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on September 12, 2012, 11:08:24 PM
But back to the original topic, no, I don't think it's possible to teach people to become intellectually curious.  People are primarily the product of their family upbringing, not the schools they attended.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on September 14, 2012, 07:30:40 AM
Then why have schools at all?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on September 14, 2012, 10:23:25 AM
Then why have schools at all?

Why live, if we'll die anyway?

I believe it's possible to awaken someone's intellectual curiosity, even if they've been fed propaganda in a trailer for 10 years.  I have friends who do this for a living.  While family has a whole lot to do with it, we're all better off when other options are made available to people.  Not everyone agrees with their parents forever.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on September 14, 2012, 01:39:20 PM
^They'd better, or I'm cutting off their allowance.

I want to touch on the skills gap discussed above. I think the focus of the discussion was based on skills acquired via a college education, but much of the gap I see is on the trade side of the labor pool. Employers don't need managers, they need the people that actually make what it is they produce. Currently (at least in NEO), there's a gap between the skills much of the labor pool has (long run metal forming, for instance), and what is needed (technology based, CAD driven production methods, welders (seriously, if you know someone that can weld aluminum they're in high demand), etc.). There's also, as KJP mentioned somewhere, a need for folks with skills related to the shale industry.

The gap is being addressed (a lot of Comm Colleges are addressing this, and many employers have taken on the approach of training on the job), but it will take time for everyone to catch up.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: StapHanger on September 14, 2012, 01:53:16 PM
^I'm sure you're right to some extent, but one of the interesting points in the article that kicked this off (backed by employer poll data), was that even for blue collar jobs, substantive trade skills was only one part of the skills gap, and maybe not the biggest part.  And it's not clear sending someone to community college will really help with those other skills.

Dig deeper into what employers say, though, and the skills mismatch gets complicated. A 2011 employer survey from the Manufacturing Institute found that the top skill deficiency among manufacturing workers was "inadequate problem-solving skills." No. 3 on the list was "inadequate basic employability skills (attendance timeliness, work ethic, etc.)." In the 2012 Manpower survey, 26% of employers complained about the lack of such "soft skills." If the American workforce doesn't show up on time or think outside the box, that may be a problem -- but probably not one solved by more math, science, and technical training, the go-to remedies.

Of course the other interesting related point was that the talent you attract with for an open position is related to the salary you offer, so it may not be a skills gap at all, but rather a wage gap.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on September 14, 2012, 02:00:14 PM
There's truth in that. I've spoken to many employers who can't get applicants that pass a basic drug screen, or that want to come in before their remaining X months of unemployment are over. You can't teach certain things, but on the flip side, these problems have always existed with a percentage of the labor pool. I guess with unemployment high, employers can afford to be more choosy with their applicants.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on September 14, 2012, 02:02:11 PM
Attendance and work ethic are "skills" now?  Somewhere off in the distance, I can hear Hank Hill's exasperated sigh.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on September 14, 2012, 02:03:58 PM
No, they're not skills , but they are a requirement for employment.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on September 14, 2012, 04:16:44 PM
Perhaps if American culture didn't spend 40 years telling kids that only undesirables go into blue-collar jobs then the quality of applicants would increase.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on September 24, 2012, 07:48:00 PM
I highly recommend this read:

Who gets to be a journalist if the route in depends on money and class?

I only got into journalism thanks to a surprise inheritance – I'd struggled for years with low-paid jobs as I couldn't afford an internship

Alexandra Kimball   
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 5 September 2012

Question: How can you succeed in journalism – or any creative career – when you can't afford an internship?

Answer: Hope for an inheritance.

Who gets to be a journalist? I do, now, and the fact stuns me. For five years, I worked at a series of marketing companies and non-profits: jobs I wasn't crazy about, but took because they allowed me to withstand the monthly double-penetration of Toronto rent plus student loan payments. I was trying, and largely failing, to write at night, on weekends, and on my two weeks of holidays per year. I'd bought into that old saw about struggling for one's craft, as well as the updated version, Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours rule, but my day jobs paid so little that, more often than not, my free hours had to go to remunerative work – more of the same. This routine produced such a cloud of emotional exhaustion that a whole season could pass before I noticed that I hadn't written a word. Before I went freelance, I was ready to give up.

And then I got money. I didn't earn it; in fact, it came as a complete surprise, an inheritance from a money-under-the-mattress relative. Not a large sum by most people's standards, but enough to pay off the remaining balance on my student loans. And while I'm relieved, I still can't shake a feeling of guilt. It's not that I feel like a cheat – I've long realised that money is necessary to launch a creative career. How else does one do an unpaid internship? But the fact that I've proved the rule in my chosen profession makes me wonder just what kind of profession it is.

CONTINUED
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/05/journalism-profession-money-class-internships (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/05/journalism-profession-money-class-internships)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on September 24, 2012, 07:57:30 PM
Word has it all the early Channel One hosts were rich kids. Later on they made an effort to recruit from a variety of backgrounds, but Serena Altschul and Anderson Cooper sure as hell weren't poor either.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on September 24, 2012, 08:48:09 PM
Calvin thanks for that post.  It pretty much supports what a bunch of us have been speculating about.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on September 25, 2012, 05:15:16 PM
I can say it's like this in the newsrooms I've worked in. That's why I got out. There's no light at the end of this trust-funded tunnel. If you're from a modest background, broken home, or do not have supporting parents/spouse, getting a degree in a field like this is just insane. If you get lucky enough to be offered a paying job on the production side (and a lot of it does come down to luck) and take it, you're even more insane (I was insane to do so). Imagine how hard you'll work when they're paying you. Say goodbye to weekends, holidays, and any quality of life. Even in Toledo, there were a lot of rich kids from outside the area hoping to get their start in a mid market instead of small market like Erie. Lots of Chicagoans work in Toledo hoping they'll make it out before they're 30 and are no longer hirable due to rampant ageism. Age is another huge issue in this business. Age used to be valued as world experience and connection to audience, but now it's the biggest red flag out there. Alexandra Kimball got a job just in time. The deadline was quickly approaching.

*The only good jobs are in sales and marketing. The best way to work in news is to get a solid business degree from a well-connected school. And there are lots of stories of financial reporters entering the news business after stints on Wall Street. This raises the question on why does the journalism degree exist? A good writer, researcher, editor, photographer, or interviewer can come from any background.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on September 25, 2012, 05:27:28 PM
My brother edits cable channel shows -- reality, documentaries, etc.  He was insanely lucky to get that job.  If he had graduated a month earlier or month later it never would have happened and he would have never used his degree professionaly.  The technology advances too quickly to fall behind by even a year. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on September 25, 2012, 05:31:29 PM
This may be especially true in journalism, but it's pretty much true for all professions.  Wealthy people can pursue career avenues that are inaccessible to working people.  I had to forgo a number of opportunities during law school in order to pay for it.  More than once, the school expected me and others in my situation to contribute funds toward special opportunities for wealthier students.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on September 25, 2012, 05:40:09 PM
My brother edits cable channel shows -- reality, documentaries, etc.  He was insanely lucky to get that job.  If he had graduated a month earlier or month later it never would have happened and he would have never used his degree professionaly.  The technology advances too quickly to fall behind by even a year.

Technology changes, but real skills and talent do not change. You can't fall behind, but it is possible to still learn on the job since every company is constantly updating to compete for audience. I think location, timing, family support, talent, and connections are everything. Family support is now probably the biggest factor, and this is why the quality of our programming sucks and most people see the news as biased. If it feels like news outlets ignore the working class, it's because there are hardly any working class people still working in news.

And again, I can't stress enough that just working in this industry does not mean success. Being able to raise a family defines success, and the vast majority of real professionals are struggling to survive. The recession did serious damage, but not as much damage as the universities pumping out way too many kids doing unpaid internships and suppressing wages for a decade or more. The job losses were bad, but it's nothing compared to what the unpaid internship market has done to the median incomes of news professionals over the last five years. The desperation of kids goes up substantially with each graduating class. That's why I just don't see this becoming a good job ever again. Desperate hires are hires willing to work for pennies. That's your competition- a wealthy Chicago kid who graduated from Northwestern willing to work for free in Ohio.

It's not the internet that's to blame, and it's not the recession. It's the glut of college kids willing to work for free. Recessions are cyclical, the internet transition was a one-time deal (and news outlets have successfully transitioned), but the massive oversupply of college students getting these degrees is structural.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on September 25, 2012, 06:06:45 PM
This may be especially true in journalism, but it's pretty much true for all professions.  Wealthy people can pursue career avenues that are inaccessible to working people.

True. Journalism, film, art, music, fashion, etc. are the most extreme examples of this, but it's spreading to other industries as well. I've heard law and architecture are becoming bloodbaths too. I know tons of kids who are in law school right now to avoid the job market. I wonder what it will be like when they graduate?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on September 25, 2012, 06:35:35 PM
I know tons of kids who are in law school right now to avoid the job market. I wonder what it will be like when they graduate?

Unless they have serious connections, they should stop right now.  No sense throwing good money after bad.

There's one more Unless:  If that's what they really want to be, they know what their only choice is.  I'm in that boat and so are others.  But not everyone.  The ROI of law school has probably never been lower than it is right now.  If that's the main goal, that's when my first Unless applies.     
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on September 25, 2012, 11:55:27 PM
I think instead of following passions, it makes a lot more sense to follow connections.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on September 26, 2012, 12:01:17 AM
On a lighter note:

The biggest financial scam in history is revealed

Grad School Scam (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWoQWoRjfGs#ws)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on September 26, 2012, 09:39:58 AM

Quote
This may be especially true in journalism, but it's pretty much true for all professions. Wealthy people can pursue career avenues that are inaccessible to working people.

This was my mothers opinion when I said I wanted to go to architecture school.  In fact she had that opinion of college in general, saying I should "learn a trade" and then maybe go to college. 

She was actually correct (though I think she didnt know it at the time) since architecture is sort of a playground of the elite and upper middle class...you have to be "connected" to get the good/interesting commissions.    It was pretty obvious when I was in college, even at a lowley place like UofK, that my classmates came from a different world than I did.  I can imagine what a bubble top-flight schools like Harvard GSD, Princeton, etc are like.







 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jeffery on September 26, 2012, 09:45:31 AM

Quote
....but not as much damage as the universities pumping out way too many kids doing unpaid internships and suppressing wages for a decade or more.

How about if YOU pay THEM to intern?   Back in the early 1980s there was a big-name architectural office in Chicago that required you pay them to work for them (or intern with them).  They considered working for their firm such a career boost that it was worth your money, and they called their little scam a sort of grad seminar or insitutue or something (they had some sort of term they used..dont recall the details).  When the interviewer told me this I started laughing...I was so shocked that my reaction was to laugh in her face..."You want ME to pay YOU to work for you?" HAHAHAHA!"

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on September 26, 2012, 11:09:01 AM
I know tons of kids who are in law school right now to avoid the job market. I wonder what it will be like when they graduate?

Unless they have serious connections, they should stop right now.  No sense throwing good money after bad.

There's one more Unless:  If that's what they really want to be, they know what their only choice is.  I'm in that boat and so are others.  But not everyone.  The ROI of law school has probably never been lower than it is right now.  If that's the main goal, that's when my first Unless applies.     

I wouldn't be quite that cynical, but I'd still be quite cynical.  The only cynicism dilution that I'd offer is that I'd say unless they have connections or are good at making them, it's unlikely to be the right career path for them.  Firms, at least in middle and smaller markets, generally don't expect entry-level associates to come in with a stable of preexisting connections.  Certainly very few of my fellow associates here did, and I came in with even fewer since I'm not from northeast Ohio.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on September 26, 2012, 11:23:27 AM
By "connections" I meant having a job essentially waiting for you.  Some of my classmates have found steady work without that, but it appears that the majority have not.  Many of them got jobs they mistakenly believed to be steady.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on September 26, 2012, 12:00:45 PM
Ah.  It's true, the market for entry-level hires out there is murderous, though I went to a school where the credentialism of the profession worked in our favor, so dozens of the top shops came and recruited actively, if not aggressively, there.

The real problem is the one you mentioned earlier about ROI on a law degree, though, especially for those who end up going into more commoditized practice fields where work is routine and entry-level pay is often under $50,000.  There is nothing so intellectually intricate about a lot of that work as to put it beyond the capability of a reasonably capable undergraduate (i.e., someone who could get into law school), yet they still need to waste $120,000 and three years of their lives (valuable time in terms of opportunity cost) getting the degree.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on September 26, 2012, 12:36:17 PM

She was actually correct (though I think she didnt know it at the time) since architecture is sort of a playground of the elite and upper middle class...you have to be "connected" to get the good/interesting commissions.    It was pretty obvious when I was in college, even at a lowley place like UofK, that my classmates came from a different world than I did.  I can imagine what a bubble top-flight schools like Harvard GSD, Princeton, etc are like.

Hmmm, I didn't really think about it at the time, but when I was in grad school at UC (not architecture) I did have classmates in my program that had vastly different backgrounds than mine. Yeah, there were a few guys from the West Side and a girl from Kentucky that came from average backgrounds, but there were also doctor's kids, a guy who had made millions in real estate, an M.D., some Germans and other wealthy people from overseas in my classes. I don't get to hang around people like that very often now that I've been in the work work a while, I'll tell you that.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: metrocity on November 30, 2012, 02:34:26 AM
Not sure where to post this..but here goes:

Where Illinois freshmen go

Story:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-students-leaving-illlinois-20121129,0,2315720.story (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-students-leaving-illlinois-20121129,0,2315720.story)

Table:

http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/tables/illinois-college-students.html (http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/tables/illinois-college-students.html)



More than 30,000 Illinois freshmen left the state to attend a college or university for the 2010 fall semester; many enrolled in neighboring midwestern states like Iowa, Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin. While University of Iowa has been a top destination for first-time Illinois students for the past decade, University of Missouri-Columbia has been steadily growing its freshmen contingent. In Fall 2011, almost 18 percent of the entering class came from Illinois, and this year, statistics from the university show that that number has grown to 21 percent.

Ohio stats by percent high to low:

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on November 30, 2012, 07:58:36 AM
Not at all surprised to see UD high on that list.  I am curious, though, where is Miami University?  I think they also get a large portion of their students from Illinois, so much so that I recall when I visited Miami as a prospective student they told us that they sold the Chicago Tribune on campus because so many of their students were from that area.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 21, 2012, 11:41:17 AM
Well this is a bunch of bs:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/first-person-debt-free-college-degree-182800696--finance.html (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/first-person-debt-free-college-degree-182800696--finance.html)

There aren't many college *graduates* out there making $15/hr, let alone college students!  This whole thing depends on not only getting some exceptionally high-paying job during college, but being able to work 15-20 hours overtime, and somehow getting good grades while working 60 hours per week and going to school 30-40 hours. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on December 21, 2012, 12:16:23 PM
She's from that really high energy 5% of people that doesn't go batshit insane from a schedule like that. That's how they want us all to be, but we just can't.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 21, 2012, 02:19:07 PM
With college costs having risen 3X or whatever faster than the cost of living, at some time in the past 10-15 years we passed the point where it was possible to "work your way" through college.  And as I have mentioned already on this thread, no future employers give a damn if you did.  They don't care if you unloaded shipping containers or did commercial fishing during the summer, they care if you kept the water cooler filled and built a professional network at some white collar internship in a big city where your parents had to pay for your $1400/mo apartment. 


Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on December 21, 2012, 02:41:51 PM
If they had worked that kind of stuff themselves, they'd know how much worse work can suck than at a 9-5 desk job and how grateful people who have done that work would be to work at a job where you don't have to constantly worry about getting badly injured, have to work every night and weekend or be considered work peers of men who are taking a short break from prison.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on December 21, 2012, 02:57:32 PM
Honestly, if I were interviewing, I'd be impressed by someone who was able to keep decent grades while working 60 hours a week at any job, however menial.  Energy itself is a job qualification.  Not the chief one, perhaps, but not an irrelevant one by any stretch of the imagination.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 27, 2013, 04:20:12 PM
Mark Cuban weighs in:
http://blogmaverick.com/2013/01/26/will-your-college-go-out-of-business-before-you-graduate/ (http://blogmaverick.com/2013/01/26/will-your-college-go-out-of-business-before-you-graduate/)


>work would be to work at a job where you don't have to constantly worry about getting badly injured, have to work every night and weekend or be considered work peers of men who are taking a short break from prison.

Yeah I've done all that stuff but I don't think I've learned all that much from it.  Highly accomplished people who haven't done that blue collar stuff didn't have to because they "got it" at an early age and didn't make the same mistakes that a lot of people do.  I learned a lot more talking and working with top people than with guys who sell off their Cialis prescription to the whole warehouse as their side job.  Although admittedly I probably spend more time worrying about people who don't understand scratch-off tickets are a bad investment than I should. 


Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 27, 2013, 04:30:54 PM
A great comment from that article:

Mr. Cuban brings up a point about obsolescence that drives me crazy. If a college educated professional, such as a dentist, might have their practice overtaken by new technology that might obsolete many aspects of their practice, they GET NO BREAK on the interest rate charges on their student loan debt, and I don’t think that is fair.

Several months ago during Jimmy Kimmel’s opening show monologue he mentioned that there may be a medical breakthrough in the field of dentistry that can basically kill cavities via a drug or pill. This discovery could revolutionize how dentistry is practiced and theoretically cut income for most dentists dramatically.

If such a cavity destroying discovery is made available to the public, at the very least, should not dentists who still have student loan debt have interest rate charges waived? They played by the book and all of that investment in education and loans and time they made may never pay off they way it was presented when they decided to become a dentist?

I’m not talking student loan forgiveness, but what about forgiving the interest rate charges, penalties and fees going forward so they can at least eventually pay off the debt?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on January 28, 2013, 07:36:23 AM
A great comment from that article:

Mr. Cuban brings up a point about obsolescence that drives me crazy. If a college educated professional, such as a dentist, might have their practice overtaken by new technology that might obsolete many aspects of their practice, they GET NO BREAK on the interest rate charges on their student loan debt, and I don’t think that is fair.

Several months ago during Jimmy Kimmel’s opening show monologue he mentioned that there may be a medical breakthrough in the field of dentistry that can basically kill cavities via a drug or pill. This discovery could revolutionize how dentistry is practiced and theoretically cut income for most dentists dramatically.

If such a cavity destroying discovery is made available to the public, at the very least, should not dentists who still have student loan debt have interest rate charges waived? They played by the book and all of that investment in education and loans and time they made may never pay off they way it was presented when they decided to become a dentist?

I’m not talking student loan forgiveness, but what about forgiving the interest rate charges, penalties and fees going forward so they can at least eventually pay off the debt?


Kind of opens a can of worms....different rates for different majors?  That comparative literature degree won't suddenly go obsolete, but....
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Mendo on January 28, 2013, 12:58:32 PM
If such a cavity destroying discovery is made available to the public, at the very least, should not dentists who still have student loan debt have interest rate charges waived? They played by the book and all of that investment in education and loans and time they made may never pay off they way it was presented when they decided to become a dentist?

I’m not talking student loan forgiveness, but what about forgiving the interest rate charges, penalties and fees going forward so they can at least eventually pay off the debt?


That has to be the stupidest idea I've ever heard. You go to school. You takes your chances.  Like many decisions one makes in life, college is a gamble.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 28, 2013, 01:02:44 PM
Also, while the current-day practice of dentistry may involve a lot of cavity-filling, is it really the case that there are no other problems with teeth that we could switch to focusing on if cavities became treatable with OTC medication?  The industry would adapt.  Neither American culture nor nature itself is running short on ways to abuse teeth.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 28, 2013, 03:49:49 PM
I think you guys might be commenting from the luxurious position of a career path that hasn't been destroyed by the total disappearance of your particular industry or occupation.  It's easy to sit back, like I remember George H.W. Bush doing back in 1988 in a campaign speech, and laughing at the candle makers who didn't transition to making light bulbs.  But look around your office or home at things we imagine will never go away, and in 20 years they might very well be gone, and those who went into debt educating themselves for that industry will have their lives destroyed.

 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on January 29, 2013, 09:43:16 PM
I think you guys might be commenting from the luxurious position of a career path that hasn't been destroyed by the total disappearance of your particular industry or occupation.  It's easy to sit back, like I remember George H.W. Bush doing back in 1988 in a campaign speech, and laughing at the candle makers who didn't transition to making light bulbs.  But look around your office or home at things we imagine will never go away, and in 20 years they might very well be gone, and those who went into debt educating themselves for that industry will have their lives destroyed.

 

All part of the gamble of life, my friend.  The good news for those folks in future obsolete fields of employment is that thanks to the NRA they will have ready access to the tools that will allow for an easy transition to another field of employment, that of course being targeted armed robbery of the gilded elite.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on January 30, 2013, 12:26:44 PM
I think you guys might be commenting from the luxurious position of a career path that hasn't been destroyed by the total disappearance of your particular industry or occupation.  It's easy to sit back, like I remember George H.W. Bush doing back in 1988 in a campaign speech, and laughing at the candle makers who didn't transition to making light bulbs.  But look around your office or home at things we imagine will never go away, and in 20 years they might very well be gone, and those who went into debt educating themselves for that industry will have their lives destroyed.

I'm in machining, and I've been in metalcasting.  So as to the first part:  not exactly.

Most colleges still provide the basics that apply to several areas.  Trade schools may be somewhat different. 

Selecting a major involves some risks, and some degree of sense.  If you're going to reduce interest and perhaps even principal for the CompE major whose career track went down the wrong path, are you going to do the same for the womens' studies major who can't get a good paying job?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 30, 2013, 12:53:30 PM
In 30 years technology could conceivably greatly reduce the number of lawyers, doctors, and engineers the economy currently supports.  There is absolutely no way to know right now what technology is going to arrive that unintentionally eliminates an entire industry.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Mendo on January 30, 2013, 01:06:19 PM
There is nothing luxurious about me working my ass off to keep from being replaced by a software developer in China or India that can do my job for less money. I don't expect handouts for the decisions I made in life, no matter how good or bad. That is a loser's mentality. Countless industries have come and gone over the last century. Supporting people that make bad decisions -- even ones that weren't entirely in their control -- only encourages people to be lazy.

Now the education bubble is going to pop some day. Tuition costs have gone through the roof in my lifetime. I just hope I'm not around when it does...
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 30, 2013, 01:16:13 PM
In 30 years technology could conceivably greatly reduce the number of lawyers, doctors, and engineers the economy currently supports.  There is absolutely no way to know right now what technology is going to arrive that unintentionally eliminates an entire industry.

Maybe (though I think some educated guesses are at least possible), but more importantly, you never know what entire new industries technology will create.  The IT field was tiny 30 years ago and all but nonexistent 50 years ago.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on January 30, 2013, 02:50:27 PM
In 30 years technology could conceivably greatly reduce the number of lawyers, doctors, and engineers the economy currently supports.  There is absolutely no way to know right now what technology is going to arrive that unintentionally eliminates an entire industry.

Maybe (though I think some educated guesses are at least possible), but more importantly, you never know what entire new industries technology will create.  The IT field was tiny 30 years ago and all but nonexistent 50 years ago.

If technology's rate of job replacement equalled or exceeded its rate of job destruction, we'd all be talking about how great the economy is.  We have spent at least two generations seeking ways to use tech to eliminate people from the economy.  Mission accomplished.  Time for a new mission.  That mission doesn't have to be anti-tech, but it absolutely cannot be anti-people.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 30, 2013, 03:54:21 PM
In 30 years technology could conceivably greatly reduce the number of lawyers, doctors, and engineers the economy currently supports.  There is absolutely no way to know right now what technology is going to arrive that unintentionally eliminates an entire industry.

Maybe (though I think some educated guesses are at least possible), but more importantly, you never know what entire new industries technology will create.  The IT field was tiny 30 years ago and all but nonexistent 50 years ago.

If technology's rate of job replacement equalled or exceeded its rate of job destruction, we'd all be talking about how great the economy is.  We have spent at least two generations seeking ways to use tech to eliminate people from the economy.  Mission accomplished.  Time for a new mission.  That mission doesn't have to be anti-tech, but it absolutely cannot be anti-people.

Meaning what, exactly?  Deliberately make people do things more inefficiently if they do business here?  How quickly will that send jobs abroad?

We have not been "eliminating people from the economy."  We have been eliminating certain jobs from the economy.  The labor force participation rate has declined over the past decade from around 67% to around 64% (most of that decline since 2008).  But the overall workforce has not changed much because our population has been increasing.  If anything, old age is what has been eliminating people from the economy, since we have increasingly large numbers of people retiring and increasingly small families.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on January 30, 2013, 04:50:51 PM
Expecting people to constantly re-educate themselves is the opposite of efficiency.  When someone is forced to switch careers, much of their accumulated education and experience becomes a waste.  That cost must be counted against whatever is gained in exchange for it.  Shunting that cost to individuals doesn't work, because the sum total of those individuals is your economy.  Every day that we force them to spend on retraining is lost productivity, and every dollar is one less (plus interest) for them to invest or trade with.  It's a destructive spiral. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 30, 2013, 05:08:19 PM
Expecting the economy to remain frozen in place and time is the opposite of efficiency.  People will be forced to switch careers when certain activities become less needed than they previously were, which is necessary for longer term economic gains for the economy as a whole.  And there is no "shunting" of that cost to individuals because that implies that the cost lies elsewhere initially.  You cannot shunt something to where it is.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on January 30, 2013, 05:36:33 PM
When an economy is a collection of individuals, it does no good to say the economy's over here and the individuals are over there, for purposes of assigning costs.  A cost to any individual is a cost to the economy as a whole and to all the other individuals therein.

There's a lot of distance between an economy that resembles ice and one that resembles a waterfall.  What I'm advocating is a balanced approach where we recognize the need for change as well as the cost of it.  The purpose of an economy is to efficiently utilize people and resources-- but primarily people, because inanimate resources do not engage in economic policy.  So an economic plan that has people spend their lives running in circles paying for multiple educations is a fundamental failure.  Each iteration of that cycle removes them from trade and denies the rest of the world their contributions, while they're fumbling around seeking yet another way to be of any use to anyone. 

When you're driving, you're trying to get somewhere.  But that doesn't mean you drive as fast as your car possibly can go.  Getting there expediently is a value, but there are other mitigating values that cannot be ignored.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on January 30, 2013, 06:41:21 PM
I agree that the purpose of an economy is to efficiently use people and resources, but I can see no practical reason why making an economy less dynamic and innovative would foster such a goal--and it is dynamism and innovation that are at the core of the phenomenon that you resist, i.e., the need for job retraining.  I'd also add that it is generally individuals' choice not to prepare for another career until their existing one has completely vanished, but it would be in people's best interests to start preparing before the walls come crashing down on obsolescent industries.  And those shifts are seldom so sudden and unexpected that no one can see the writing on the wall until after it's happened.

I have no problem recognizing the need for change and the cost of it.  I have a problem socializing it, which is where I gather you're really headed with that.  And I have a problem with any "economic plan" that actually purports to plan the economy.  As you noted yourself, the economy is a collection of individuals.  Planning the economy means planning people's lives for them.  Not only does that inevitably fail (the only issue is whether the failure is slow and grinding or more abrupt), but the attempt is generally resented and resisted by the economic actors that don't get to be the planners.

Also--to return to the topic of the thread--going back to school to prepare for a new job looks less and less attractive when so many of those coming out of school for the first time are deeper in debt and less prepared for productive work.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on January 30, 2013, 07:04:13 PM
There is nothing luxurious about me working my ass off to keep from being replaced by a software developer in China or India that can do my job for less money. I don't expect handouts for the decisions I made in life, no matter how good or bad. That is a loser's mentality. Countless industries have come and gone over the last century. Supporting people that make bad decisions -- even ones that weren't entirely in their control -- only encourages people to be lazy.

Now the education bubble is going to pop some day. Tuition costs have gone through the roof in my lifetime. I just hope I'm not around when it does...

I don't understand how going into a career that appears lucrative now can be regarded as being a bad decision a decade or two down the road.  There's a great chance that technology could make a great number of careers obsolete (or nearly so) in the very near future.  This would concentrate wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people.  The only folks who are safe would be those that have the capital to fund new ventures, those that are doing the grunt-work behind new ventures (which will be an increasingly smaller portion of people), and those guilds that have the influence to ensure that any decisions that governments make are beneficial to their line of work, even if these decisions encourage inefficiency (and I'm not even talking about traditional labor unions with that last one, just referring to the professional guilds that have cornered monopolies for themselves even when the information age makes their services less necessary).
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 30, 2013, 09:17:01 PM
>I don't understand how going into a career that appears lucrative now can be regarded as being a bad decision a decade or two down the road.

I do.  People in your life -- relatives, old acquaintances, etc. -- might have been lucky with work and having never gone through this are often dismissive of your plight, as if you did something wrong (not trying hard enough, not being "smart with your money", etc.).  And if you're in Mitt Romney's dream world where everyone has a relative eager to lend them $20,000, that relative might be hesitant to lend you the money versus another relative who has the appearance of being wiser for having chosen a career path that still exists.

Meanwhile there is the growing "non-traditional" term for job candidates who have jumped genres, and hopefully a hiring manager who is sympathetic.  Otherwise you're screwed unless you've been given a very strong personal recommendation. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on January 31, 2013, 06:14:12 AM
Now the education bubble is going to pop some day. Tuition costs have gone through the roof in my lifetime. I just hope I'm not around when it does...

Oh, big time. 

The causes are similar to the housing bubble, too.    The perception builds that everyone needs/has a right to something, be it owning their own home or a college degree.   The government starts to dump large amounts of money into it, increasing demand without a corresponding increase in supply.  The laws of economics are a lot more like the laws of physics than they are like the laws of governments:  they can't really be circumvented.  As available money increases, so do prices.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on January 31, 2013, 06:24:18 AM
Expecting people to constantly re-educate themselves is the opposite of efficiency.  When someone is forced to switch careers, much of their accumulated education and experience becomes a waste.  That cost must be counted against whatever is gained in exchange for it.  Shunting that cost to individuals doesn't work, because the sum total of those individuals is your economy.  Every day that we force them to spend on retraining is lost productivity, and every dollar is one less (plus interest) for them to invest or trade with.  It's a destructive spiral. 

Most professions these days require almost constant retraining just to keep up.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on January 31, 2013, 08:43:03 AM
^^ There's been plenty of supply increase on the college side.  It's not like there isn't enough college to go around.  There are more than ever before and they're just dying for students.  Most of the cost increase is attributable to competitive pressures.  Instead of controlling tuition, colleges spend big to attract a larger share of students, even though most of them are non-profit and have no such mandate.  This is a choice but it's not the only choice.  Different choices could be made by the people currently in charge, or by different people.

^  Yes, but continuing ed doesn't pull you out of productive activity for months or years at a time, nor does it cost your annual salary, nor does it reduce your skill level to novice like switching fields does.  These are the costs of human obsolescence.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on January 31, 2013, 02:12:00 PM
I'm starting to get the feeling that these mass murder shootings are the result of men overall feeling that they have no chance of finding gainful employment -- school or no school.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on January 31, 2013, 11:38:05 PM
Expecting people to constantly re-educate themselves is the opposite of efficiency.  When someone is forced to switch careers, much of their accumulated education and experience becomes a waste.  That cost must be counted against whatever is gained in exchange for it.  Shunting that cost to individuals doesn't work, because the sum total of those individuals is your economy.  Every day that we force them to spend on retraining is lost productivity, and every dollar is one less (plus interest) for them to invest or trade with.  It's a destructive spiral. 

Most professions these days require almost constant retraining just to keep up.   

On-going, short-term professional development within a familiar field while still having steady employment is one thing.  Asking middle-aged folks to undergo significant long-term retraining while being unemployed is a whole different discussion.  The former is acceptable.  The latter is a hit that most cannot sustain.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 01, 2013, 08:17:16 AM
Fine, if that's so unacceptable to you and 327 ... what exactly do you plan to force on the rest of us to prevent it?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on February 01, 2013, 09:15:32 AM
Plan?  There's no plan.  Corporations aren't trying to plan the economy and neither are we.  Peak education is not the result of any sort of planning, it's a random collection of individual failures on a scale never before seen.  The fact that it transfers wealth from the many to the few is just a happy accident.  Happy because at least there wasn't any economic planning going on.  Thank goodness for that.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 01, 2013, 09:22:39 AM
Just because there shouldn't be a plan doesn't mean you don't have one.  When you're ready to reveal it to the light of day, I'll be quite interested to see it.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on February 01, 2013, 09:44:35 AM
Oh you won't see it... not until it's right behind you! 

Perhaps you should have majored in nefarious plan perception.  I hear Bowling Green has a stellar program.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 01, 2013, 10:24:55 AM
I hear Bowling Green has a stellar program.

That should have led you to question your sources right there. :-P :-D 8-)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on February 01, 2013, 12:55:39 PM
Plan?  There's no plan.  Corporations aren't trying to plan the economy and neither are we.  Peak education is not the result of any sort of planning, it's a random collection of individual failures on a scale never before seen.  The fact that it transfers wealth from the many to the few is just a happy accident.  Happy because at least there wasn't any economic planning going on.  Thank goodness for that.

Higher education has a staggering amount of salesmen working for it without receiving any direct compensation. Schoolteachers, relatives, family, friends, businesses, the media, the government, athletic organizations and on and on. It's only recently that people working for academic institutions really had to ramp up their use of sales techniques (because of the involvement of for-profit schools and rising questions about the employability of graduates) because it used to be that all the selling was done by others.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 01, 2013, 01:44:19 PM
When I taught at one of those for-profit schools, the sales techniques and other tricks orchestrated by the admissions people were unconscionable.  For example, they got people who were mildly mentally ill enrolled, and after finishing one 2-year program they'd get them enrolled in another.  For example after 2 years of medical assisting then they'd put them in graphic design.  I saw them repeatedly misadvise students so that they took the wrong classes on purpose.  I'd see them promise students if they left in week 5 of one quarter for maternity leave that they could pick up at week 6 of the next semester, free of charge, then charge them full price for both.  Then the student took their anger out on the teachers instead of the admissions people.  I remember I had one student who didn't know what the space shuttle was.

Problem is, the state universities weren't much better with this stuff.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on February 01, 2013, 03:36:01 PM
Fine, if that's so unacceptable to you and 327 ... what exactly do you plan to force on the rest of us to prevent it?

One way or another there may come a time when you are forced to stop being so apathetic about this issue.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: psikeyhackr on February 02, 2013, 11:03:54 AM
Is the education BUSINESS really about education?  Is it really about making money on what they claim is education and controlling the distribution of knowledge?  But it is affected by changes in population and technology and whatever else forces evolution in society.

But we could have created a National Recommended Reading List for children decades ago.  Why didn't we.  We could have made double-entry accounting mandatory in the schools.  Double-entry accounting is 700 years old.  Are we really supposed to believe it is difficult to understand?

But now we have cheap tablet computer and public domain books, but what to read?

The Tyranny of Words (1938) by Stuart Chase
http://www.anxietyculture.com/tyranny.htm (http://www.anxietyculture.com/tyranny.htm)
http://www.archive.org/download/http://archive.org/details/tyrannyofwords00chas (http://www.archive.org/download/http://archive.org/details/tyrannyofwords00chas)
"The Tyranny of Words" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9H1StY1nU8#)

A Short History of the World (1922) by H. G. Wells (not sci-fi but an SF writer's perspective)
http://www.bartleby.com/86/ (http://www.bartleby.com/86/)

Thinking as a Science (1916) by Henry Hazlitt
Henry Hazlitt - Thinking as a Science (http://www.scribd.com/doc/104611461/Henry-Hazlitt-Thinking-as-a-Science#)
http://librivox.org/thinking-as-a-science-by-henry-hazlitt/ (http://librivox.org/thinking-as-a-science-by-henry-hazlitt/)

Omnilingual (Feb 1957) by H. Beam Piper
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/03/scientific-language-h-beam-pipers-qomnilingualq (http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/03/scientific-language-h-beam-pipers-qomnilingualq)
http://www.feedbooks.com/book/308/omnilingual (http://www.feedbooks.com/book/308/omnilingual)
http://librivox.org/omnilingual-by-h-beam-piper/ (http://librivox.org/omnilingual-by-h-beam-piper/)

The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh From the Lemonade Stand
http://www.exceltip.com/book-1570713960.html (http://www.exceltip.com/book-1570713960.html)
http://www.fool.com/personal-finance/general/2006/10/18/foolish-book-review-quotthe-accounting-gamequot.aspx (http://www.fool.com/personal-finance/general/2006/10/18/foolish-book-review-quotthe-accounting-gamequot.aspx)

Radically Simple Accounting by Madeline Bailey
http://qccomputing.com/radical-accounting-book.htm (http://qccomputing.com/radical-accounting-book.htm)

There are good books out there but most books are crap and most people are not spreading good information.  That is the modern interpretation of Darwinism.

43 years after the Moon landing we are supposed to believe economists don't know about planned obsolescence?  Now we have it in computers more powerful than we actually need.  Gotta keep people buying computers.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 04, 2013, 09:42:01 AM
Fine, if that's so unacceptable to you and 327 ... what exactly do you plan to force on the rest of us to prevent it?

One way or another there may come a time when you are forced to stop being so apathetic about this issue.

And if that time is years from now, I expect that even then, neither you nor 327 will have yet answered my question.  What public policy changes do you propose to force upon the rest of us based upon the curious problem of too much productive technology in the economy?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on February 04, 2013, 12:00:31 PM
And how do you expect people to get paid when human labor is practically valueless from all the technology which you fetishize? Perhaps the 1% of people who own the technology can dole out monthly checks to the 99% of people who don't own the robots. When the value of human labor reaches zero, the value of humans reaches zero.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 04, 2013, 12:04:59 PM
Or perhaps more than 1% of people will actually be able to avail themselves of such technology.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on February 04, 2013, 12:24:30 PM
One must afford before one can avail, and the list of what will be accepted in trade for all this tech shrinks every day.  And then there's that specter of obsolescence again... what if you're forced to mortgage your life on tech and you end up with betamax in a world that goes VHS?  Not a big deal when we're choosing VCRs, but if all your life is to revolve around tech, that sort of issue gets more serious.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on February 04, 2013, 12:57:05 PM
I remember that 20-year period when everybody had power can openers. Then people realized that they were junk and went back to manual ones.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: KyleCincy on February 04, 2013, 02:15:23 PM
http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1352 (http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1352)

The End of the University as We Know It
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 04, 2013, 03:12:52 PM
One must afford before one can avail, and the list of what will be accepted in trade for all this tech shrinks every day.  And then there's that specter of obsolescence again... what if you're forced to mortgage your life on tech and you end up with betamax in a world that goes VHS?  Not a big deal when we're choosing VCRs, but if all your life is to revolve around tech, that sort of issue gets more serious.

If the technology really is sufficiently productivity-enhancing (just speaking at the highest level of abstraction here, which seems to be where this discussion has persistently remained), it should pay for itself and more over the course of whatever its useful life is.  If its planned obsolescence is five years, then it should less than something with a planned obsolescence of twenty years, ceteris paribus.  There will of course be people who pay too much for a given technology, but that's true of any product, including many with no productivity-enhancing benefit whatsoever.  This is not something that can or should be "solved" by restricting the dissemination and commercialization of technology (or, really, doing anything else that could possibly flow from an anti-tech mindset).

I remember that 20-year period when everybody had power can openers. Then people realized that they were junk and went back to manual ones.

I still have a power can opener. :-(

http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1352 (http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1352)

The End of the University as We Know It

This is one of the most promising developments in educational history, at least on paper.  That said, if such technology is to truly revolutionize education, it still has a ways to go.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on February 04, 2013, 03:32:29 PM
I think people are only "anti-tech" to the extent that tech creates situations like Peak Education.   As with anything, if your action imposes costs on others, you are expected to cover those costs.  This is not a novel concept in law.  So if you get rich by wiping out someone's field of endeavor, by replacing them with software, if is likely that your gains are coming directly from their pockets.  They may have invested in that career at great cost.  You are profiting directly from the ruination of their long-term investment... surely you can see where this is going, in a legal sense.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 04, 2013, 03:43:27 PM
I think people are only "anti-tech" to the extent that tech creates situations like Peak Education.   As with anything, if your action imposes costs on others, you are expected to cover those costs.  This is not a novel concept in law.  So if you get rich by wiping out someone's field of endeavor, by replacing them with software, if is likely that your gains are coming directly from their pockets.  They may have invested in that career at great cost.  You are profiting directly from the ruination of their long-term investment... surely you can see where this is going, in a legal sense.

No, I can't, because your premise is flawed.  If your action directly imposes some tangible harm on someone else, you can be expected to cover it.  That is not and has never been the case when one actor simply out-competes another in the market, so any move in that direction would indeed be a novel and extremely disturbing legal and policy concept.  VHS manufacturers did not have to cover Betamax' losses.  Google did not have to cover any losses from search engines that failed to keep up with it.  Nucor was not required to cover the losses of any of the steel producers who remained reliant on blast furnaces.  Nintendo did not have to cover for Atari.  So on and so forth.

Educations do not come with a lifetime guarantee.  Heck, some are practically useless from the outset.  What you propose--basically an innovation penalty, payable from innovators to the deadweight shed by innovation--is as anti-tech and anti-prosperity as I assumed it would be.

Tell me, would this be payable only by businesses, or by anyone who replaces a human being with technology that does the same job faster, better, and cheaper?  Should I owe my family's old stockbroker at Merrill Lynch a lifetime of severance payments since I decided to go with Fidelity?  I use H&R Block's online tool to file my tax returns; do I owe someone out there a payment for that, to compensate them for the job they might otherwise have had preparing my taxes?  Hell, is there a maid out there somewhere that I owe payments to because I got my own vacuum cleaner?  Or would that only apply if I'd once had a maid and then decided to clean my own apartment?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on February 04, 2013, 03:55:06 PM
Each of the examples you list [edit: in the original paragraph] are other companies suffering harm, not individuals.  If Atari fails, those programmers can go to Nintendo or to another competitor.  This is the sort of innovation-based change we can all get behind.  The result is still people making video games and all that has changed is window dressing.  At no point is anyone's lifelong investment in themselves rendered useless.  If you equate that to the dissolution of a failed company... then that equivalency is really all we're talking about here.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 04, 2013, 03:56:23 PM
You'd already responded by the time I got my edits in, so I'll repost them here for the sake of keeping the discussion appropriately linear:


Educations do not come with a lifetime guarantee.  Heck, some are practically useless from the outset.  What you propose--basically an innovation penalty, payable from innovators to the deadweight shed by innovation--is as anti-tech and anti-prosperity as I assumed it would be.

Tell me, would this be payable only by businesses, or by anyone who replaces a human being with technology that does the same job faster, better, and cheaper?  Should I owe my family's old stockbroker at Merrill Lynch a lifetime of severance payments since I decided to go with Fidelity?  I use H&R Block's online tool to file my tax returns; do I owe someone out there a payment for that, to compensate them for the job they might otherwise have had preparing my taxes?  Hell, is there a maid out there somewhere that I owe payments to because I got my own vacuum cleaner?  Or would that only apply if I'd once had a maid and then decided to clean my own apartment?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on February 04, 2013, 04:17:42 PM
Indeed, your edits make my last post look rather silly.

To penalize destruction is not to penalize innovation.  But if innovation creates destruction, it cannot be a pure good nor can it be treated as one.  Pills can cure a great many diseases that were once considered unstoppable-- and yet, we recognize that at some point, a drug's side effects can be more damaging than the disease it's trying to cure.

As the cost of educating yourself for a career continues to skyrocket, the destruction side of that scale grows.  Is the value side (productivity from tech) growing enough to keep up?  If so, what's the problem?  There wouldn't be any.  The problem is that the value side isn't growing nearly so fast.  One could say that the destruction side (i.e. ed costs) is growing at a pace that would be unsustainable in any situation, a pace that tech's benefits cannot possibly match.  It would seem that the most logical approach would be to reduce the costs that make this an issue in the first place.  Addressing that problem does not require an up-or-down vote on technology.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 04, 2013, 04:58:48 PM
I still have a problem with your entire conceptual framework, particularly the central concept that any person providing services for another could have a claim on that person's purse even after their services have ceased (unless, of course, that was specifically contracted for in advance, in which case the service provider would be expected to give up something else in advance, e.g., lower pay up-front in exchange for a higher severance).

I agree, of course, that the cost of education has been growing at unconscionable and unsustainable rates.  And with respect to state colleges and universities, I am quite willing to entertain intervention to lower those out-of-pocket costs; the taxpayers' support for such institutions need not be unconditional, and they have no shareholders to whom they owe fiduciary duties to maximize financial returns.  Also, as the article KyleCincy posted noted, the technologies that could wreak a little creative destruction on the currently-dominant residential higher education model are already growing out of their infancy into their toddler years, though they have a ways to go before maturity yet.  It definitely should be possible to provide education at significantly lower cost than the current model allows, which will be critical if we want to address the student loan bubble.  (This is one reason I think that "Peak Education" may turn out to be a misnomer.  As that article notes, in the paradigm to come, it may be that Tiffin, Heidelberg, Muskingum, Marietta, and so on cannot survive ... but Harvard could have an enrollment of millions, each paying a fraction of what students at Harvard or those other private schools must.)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on February 04, 2013, 09:02:54 PM
Fine, if that's so unacceptable to you and 327 ... what exactly do you plan to force on the rest of us to prevent it?

One way or another there may come a time when you are forced to stop being so apathetic about this issue.

And if that time is years from now, I expect that even then, neither you nor 327 will have yet answered my question.  What public policy changes do you propose to force upon the rest of us based upon the curious problem of too much productive technology in the economy?

I don't know, I really don't.  There are too many unskilled people in this country for the direction we seem to be headed.  I don't think we're talking about changes like cars replacing horses or computers replacing typewriters.  The changes that are on the horizon are much more significant and happening exponentially.  I don't have a solution, but I do see a bifurcation of the labor force (which has already begun to happen, IMO) that will make this country very unstable and ripe for chaos.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 04, 2013, 10:16:02 PM
>ripe for chaos.

Yeah, you can't have this many people getting screwed by an increasingly unpredictable and cruel myth of a system.  College went very quickly from being an investment to being a gamble. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 05, 2013, 10:24:43 AM
Fine, if that's so unacceptable to you and 327 ... what exactly do you plan to force on the rest of us to prevent it?

One way or another there may come a time when you are forced to stop being so apathetic about this issue.

And if that time is years from now, I expect that even then, neither you nor 327 will have yet answered my question.  What public policy changes do you propose to force upon the rest of us based upon the curious problem of too much productive technology in the economy?

I don't know, I really don't.  There are too many unskilled people in this country for the direction we seem to be headed.  I don't think we're talking about changes like cars replacing horses or computers replacing typewriters.  The changes that are on the horizon are much more significant and happening exponentially.  I don't have a solution, but I do see a bifurcation of the labor force (which has already begun to happen, IMO) that will make this country very unstable and ripe for chaos.

There may be too many unskilled people in this country, but I think part of the lesson of this thread is that some of those unskilled people actually have college degrees.  Those degrees just didn't actually impart real skills, or at least not skills worth the price paid for the degree.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 18, 2013, 10:35:22 PM
I rest my case:
DARTMOUTH AIRES 2010 - SLOOP JOHN B (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS0bMBdbYcY#ws)


And for each of these clowns you do see, there's 10 you can't see. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: gottaplan on February 18, 2013, 10:51:30 PM
^^ There's been plenty of supply increase on the college side.  It's not like there isn't enough college to go around.  There are more than ever before and they're just dying for students.  Most of the cost increase is attributable to competitive pressures.  Instead of controlling tuition, colleges spend big to attract a larger share of students, even though most of them are non-profit and have no such mandate.  This is a choice but it's not the only choice.  Different choices could be made by the people currently in charge, or by different people.


I'm late into this discussion but it seems silly.  Are you really arguing that higher education for all is bad thing, or not worthwhile?

Not everyone needs to go to Harvard or Stanford or even Case Western.  Cleveland State has some great programs and is VERY affordable, especially when you consider living at home rather than campus.  Ditto for Toledo, Akron, Bowling Greeen.  Even if a person/student doesn't find work in their field, they are better off with education.  It improves communication skills, problem solving, and makes them more adaptable.   A more educated society is a safer society, a more productive society, a more civil society.

I think the real problem is that we have too many young people ignoring all this and saying "hell I can't afford college", then grumbling about not being able to find a decent job or make enough to have any sort of adult life.  The decision to get more education beyond high school shouldn't even be a decision.  By Junior High, young people should have some sort of plan in place for what fields interest them and start focusing in that direction, be it business, medicine, arts & sciences, etc.  Delaying that decision till high school graduation is WAY too late.  As a result, government scrambles to try & find "good paying jobs" for these people will little to no skills or education, rather than support them for life on welfare programs.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 18, 2013, 11:09:22 PM
>you consider living at home rather than campus

This is the real dilemma with higher ed.  I would love to see a breakdown of how much student loan debt is living expenses debt, not tuition.  But in my opinion you have to get out of the house, although I do remember those pathetic souls who seemed to go home EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: gottaplan on February 18, 2013, 11:18:08 PM
My point is, there are plenty of ways to graduate with a 4 year degree without going in debt up to your eyeballs.  I have a good friend who graduated from CSU with a degree in Civil engineering, took him 5 yrs, he worked part time the entire time while living at his parents' but I don't think he even took out a single loan.  He's making about $75k a year now.

The other option which is rarely discussed is doing a community college for the first 2 years, then transferring to main campus for the last two.  Big time savings there.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Whipjacka on February 19, 2013, 05:17:30 AM
i guess it depends on what you consider to be expensive.  tuition at CSU is 4,600 per semester. so, your friend would pay $50,000 in that five year span on tuition alone. Its nice if you can swing that without taking out loans, but it is difficult.
^^I don't know about everyone else, but my student loans really only cover tuition.  and commuting ain't cheap, either.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on February 19, 2013, 06:46:43 AM
I rest my case:
And for each of these clowns you do see, there's 10 you can't see. 

Teens and young 20s are typically a little strange.  Imagine a video of Bill Clinton during this era, or George W. Bush, or Bill Gates.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: gottaplan on February 19, 2013, 09:11:28 AM
i guess it depends on what you consider to be expensive.  tuition at CSU is 4,600 per semester. so, your friend would pay $50,000 in that five year span on tuition alone. Its nice if you can swing that without taking out loans, but it is difficult.
^^I don't know about everyone else, but my student loans really only cover tuition.  and commuting ain't cheap, either.

All you need is a part time job where you can earn $9k a year.  $10/hr x 20 hrs a week will suffice.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 19, 2013, 10:08:54 AM
i guess it depends on what you consider to be expensive.  tuition at CSU is 4,600 per semester. so, your friend would pay $50,000 in that five year span on tuition alone. Its nice if you can swing that without taking out loans, but it is difficult.
^^I don't know about everyone else, but my student loans really only cover tuition.  and commuting ain't cheap, either.

All you need is a part time job where you can earn $9k a year.  $10/hr x 20 hrs a week will suffice.

Assuming you're living for free somehow.  Not everyone might even have the option to stay home--or one's home environment might be unconducive to studying.  It's certainly true that many college students could afford to be a little thriftier, but people still need food, clothing, and shelter, even if that doesn't meaning dining out every night, wearing the latest designer fashions, and renting a luxury apartment.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on September 24, 2013, 10:59:00 PM
C-Dawg:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9Kz4mIUQUM
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on September 25, 2013, 10:51:26 AM
^Video is private
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on September 25, 2013, 09:26:32 PM
Hmm...somehow they made it so that you can't view a youtube video without viewing it on this site:
http://deadspin.com/frat-bro-gives-pregame-speech-for-the-ages-before-flag-1379134787?fb_action_ids=10151924510502174&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210151924510502174%22%3A419878231447612%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210151924510502174%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on September 26, 2013, 09:10:52 AM
I think whoever posted it on YouTube made it private, because he was getting a lot of negative reaction from the deadspin link. I can't imagine why. People who comment on deadspin are usually so tolerant of guys like this. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Hts121 on September 26, 2013, 10:33:30 AM
Watch out Al Pacino!! 

I don't know if the speech is the best part of that video.  Check out the adrenaline running through the dude two to the left.  He is AMP'ED for a flag football game.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on September 26, 2013, 10:39:55 AM
Deadspin posted a second video with the music from Any Given Sunday underneath the speech. This isn't flag football, bro, this is our LEGACY!!! (I love how he walks off the field and isn't even playing after that)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on September 26, 2013, 09:46:11 PM
The scene in an OU dorm room, dated 1969:
(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j231/jmecklenborg/Cincinnati%20Monocle/oudorm_zps19005aad.jpg) (http://s81.photobucket.com/user/jmecklenborg/media/Cincinnati%20Monocle/oudorm_zps19005aad.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on October 23, 2013, 09:57:24 PM
Harvard desperately trying to look normal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5pKtnmHTxg#t=58
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on October 25, 2013, 11:14:51 AM
This isn't exactly on topic with peak education but it seems to be the best fit. The premise is that even though US schools are at or below average when taken as a whole against world, when looked at on the state by state level for math and science testing we have really good state systems and really really bad state systems and not much in between. What I found interesting is the exclusion list on the website. 


Here is the article:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2013/10/american-education-isnt-mediocre-its-deeply-unequal/7354/

And here is the website with the study:

https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/studies/naep_timss/
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on October 25, 2013, 11:50:56 AM
Good find.  Thanks for sharing.

I see Ohio falls basically in between Israel and Quebec (the study broke out the Canadian provinces, too).  Could be worse.

Also, while the Asian Tiger countries' test scores are definitely impressive, I have to admit I have a slightly more ... erm, balanced? ... view of their educational systems now than I did a few years ago.  I still think that Japan, South Korea, China, and Singapore get a lot right, but those countries do have their own problems.  In addition, many of them have the dubious luxury of being able to give substantially more attention to each child (in school and out) because they have so few children.  Not exactly a perfect situation.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on October 25, 2013, 12:18:49 PM
Also, in many Asian countries there's a lot of things that Americans all know that get left out of the curriculum. Things like animal knowledge, how the human body works and how to play musical instruments. Only if the students specialize in those things will they learn them. Very little in the way of school sports as well.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on October 25, 2013, 01:12:28 PM
Not that any of the information here is really news, despite new studies that document the decline in education, but it's always still somewhat shocking. I would bet that today's typical college graduate is actually less literate and ill-prepared for the workforce than a typical high school graduate from a generation ago. I think at least some of this can be attributed to the fact that today's 20 & 30-somethings grew up so pampered by their narcissistic baby boomer parents that their demands carried over to the realm of higher education in the form of rampant grade inflation at even elite institutions (how dare you give my little Johnny a "D"! He's always been an "A" student :|), as standards fell and common sense was pushed aside in the quest for "self-esteem." No wonder our culture is going down the tubes!

College’s Identity Crisis
By FRANK BRUNI
Published: October 12, 2013 366

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/opinion/sunday/bruni-colleges-identity-crisis.html?_r=0

And already, the higher learning that too many young Americans partake of leaves a lot to be desired. Time magazine rightly began its recent cover story on the college experience in the United States by reporting the results of a chilling survey last year of recent graduates. It showed that 62 percent of them didn’t know, for example, that Congressional terms are two years in the House of Representatives and six years in the Senate.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on October 25, 2013, 01:16:39 PM
Not that any of the information here is really news, despite new studies that document the decline in education, but it's always still somewhat shocking. I would bet that today's typical college graduate is actually less literate and ill-prepared for the workforce than a typical high school graduate from a generation ago. I think at least some of this can be attributed to the fact that today's 20 & 30-somethings grew up so pampered by their narcissistic baby boomer parents that their demands carried over to the realm of higher education in the form of rampant grade inflation at even elite institutions (how dare you give my little Johnny a "D"! He's always been an "A" student :| ), as standards fell and common sense was pushed aside in the quest for "self-esteem." No wonder our culture is going down the tubes!


(http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbysevssah1rhtqsio2_400.jpg)

And get off my lawn too!

But seriously what do you need to know today? Your phone tells you everything. I do think that the concept of knowledge is changing, knowledge used to be how much can you retain and how do you relate what you already know to a new subject. Now it's a series of Alice in wonderland little doors and nooks, that if you know just enough to find the door what lies on the other side is availible to you.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on October 25, 2013, 01:31:14 PM
Rote memorization left the education world many moons ago.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on October 25, 2013, 01:39:47 PM
I partly agree and partly disagree. That's all I have to say about that!

No really, I think that the idea that we have to retain everything in our brains is certainly no longer true, with the advent of information readily at our fingertips.

HOWEVER...I firmly believe that having that broad 'liberal arts', if you will, base of knowledge in our fat delicious brains does much to allow for those leaps of logic (the 'aha' moments) that are a large part of what makes our species so innovative, particularly in the last century or so.

Edit: I don't know if I originally saw this link on here, or if I actually read it in Wired, but this essay by Patton Oswalt does a much better job than I ever could of explaining why having immediate access to information is stymying creativity. Admittedly, he's talking about comic book fandom, but it's an allegory for life, man! The man is a Prophet!

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/12/ff_angrynerd_geekculture/all/1
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on October 25, 2013, 01:44:16 PM
^^which is why our system has lapsed into the kind of undisciplined mush it is today. you don't think they're doing rote memorization in China, Korea, etc? or that Asian families aren't doing that here? There's a reason why NY's prestigious Stuyvesant High School is over 70% Asian...
 (http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af252/donvain1/notthepoint_zps8371f3ca.gif)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on October 25, 2013, 02:09:29 PM
need I say more? lol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUbA3fitElA
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on October 25, 2013, 02:31:37 PM
The problem with rote memorization is that kids only remember the little factoids until the test is over. They never learn how things actually work or care. That's why so many kids who test well are duds in real life and how flunkies can tear past them by their mid 20s. The flunky took the time to learn how it worked, but it took him longer than was allotted before the test since he had to learn everything about it and how it fit in the bigger picture. That's why they ask so many "dumb questions" instead of just burning it into short-term memory like the "smart kids" do.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on October 25, 2013, 02:37:02 PM
I'm not advocating rote memorization. That's what I did, in the form of massive information intake the night before and then subsequent dump the next day. Aside from an overdeveloped frontal cortex which now acts as a very effective sun visor, it did not serve me well.

I'll point out that my kids, who are in grade school, are all learning in a different manner than we did. They all are learning via the 'flunky' method GCrites described
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: CBC on October 25, 2013, 02:51:31 PM
Personally, I went with the osmosis (go to class) and study with the kid who the best notes the night before to pull all of the pieces together.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on October 25, 2013, 02:55:11 PM
And what EVD thinks is rote memorization going on in China and Korea is actually the more effective "flunky method" because the kids spend tons of time on each piece of material to make sure they really know it in and out. But they don't study 7-13 different subjects in one day like our kids do and have all those ups and downs with subjects they like and ones they don't throughout the day.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: StapHanger on October 25, 2013, 02:59:13 PM
People sometimes seem to conflate the level of required memorization with rigor, and the two are almost completely orthogonal. I would guess that social expectations and classroom rigor explain as much of the success in South Korean schools as the teaching/testing style.  Which is why places with high levels of economic/social capital and good schools in the U.S. do pretty much just as well as exam factories overseas, regardless of the teaching style.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on October 25, 2013, 03:15:08 PM
If American schools switched to Asian teaching styles, American parents would immediately go bonkers and would demand the old system back... yesterday. even if it lasted 10-20 years, they'd never get used to it and wouldn't let up until the old system was back.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: KyleCincy on October 25, 2013, 03:18:57 PM
The best advice to give any kid going to college, who folks are not paying the bill, is to keep you borrowed debt as low as possible.
Do as much research as possible related to scholarships. If you can get a 1/2 or full ride to Ball State, WKU, or Indiana State, but you
can't at a Big Ten school.........take the scholly. I also don't know why one would rack up private school debt at Centre College, Kenyon,
Denison, Wittenberg if you can go to UC, BGSU, Miami, Toledo etc. You can take liberal arts classes at State universities.

Work part time during school, Co op some if you can, work full time in the summer, National Guard always has programs that cover tuition.
If you are on the hook for borrowed debt don't major in something where you can't get a job.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on October 25, 2013, 03:27:45 PM
I'd give the same advice Kyle gave, though I can admit that the lure of a big-name school is strong.

Also, of course, if you really do know what you intend to do professionally, investigate the actual programs of the school in that field, of course.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: StapHanger on October 25, 2013, 03:35:07 PM
^On the other hand, if you're talking about really big-name schools, the picture is actually more complicated. For many working/middle class students, well-endowed schools like Harvard charge less tuition than in-state public schools.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on October 25, 2013, 03:35:48 PM
I don't like a lot of these schools anymore located within tiny towns that don't have any jobs around. Students need to be able to work part-time, to network and to be able to find a job without moving. I think the big-city schools are becoming more important since networking is so much more critical today than in the past in many fields. Finding a part time job was really tough in Portsmouth, for example, since there were tons of 40-year-olds that needed minimum wage work there and didn't have the time constraints that the students did. And if your folks made more than $50K a year you weren't allowed to work at the university.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: KyleCincy on October 25, 2013, 03:54:25 PM
^On the other hand, if you're talking about really big-name schools, the picture is actually more complicated. For many working/middle class students, well-endowed schools like Harvard charge less tuition than in-state public schools.

Good points, might make sense to rack up some debt being an Engineering major at Purdue vs. Ball State. But if it is nursing, take the Ball State Scholly.
Harvard gives giant tuition discounts to students from families with less means or income.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: KyleCincy on October 25, 2013, 04:04:38 PM
Most expensive Ohio Private Univ. Estimated Gross costs, room/board, etc
http://www.collegecalc.org/lists/ohio/most-expensive-in-state-total/

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on October 25, 2013, 04:32:45 PM
I don't like a lot of these schools anymore located within tiny towns that don't have any jobs around. Students need to be able to work part-time, to network and to be able to find a job without moving. I think the big-city schools are becoming more important since networking is so much more critical today than in the past in many fields. Finding a part time job was really tough in Portsmouth, for example, since there were tons of 40-year-olds that needed minimum wage work there and didn't have the time constraints that the students did. And if your folks made more than $50K a year you weren't allowed to work at the university.

I agree completely.  Schools like OU that are in the middle of nowhere often force graduates to either move back in with their parents or move speculatively to a new city. 

Also, earning real money from a part-time job at schools in college towns is difficult.  Employers get away with paying true minimum wage.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on October 25, 2013, 04:33:47 PM
^Oh, and landlords get away with charging ridiculous rates in those college towns, forcing students into semester-long leases that require up-front payment, etc. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 03, 2013, 01:53:55 PM
Was talking to someone last night who went to nursing school who fell victim to some sort of student loan scam.  She was in a program where they agreed to pay back their student loans independent of their salaries at specific hospitals in Northern Kentucky.  I'm not sure of the terms of the loan but it was something like 5-10 years for student loan forgiveness.  Anyway, right as she and her class graduated, the program was cancelled and they were all exposed to the full loan, which I have the hunch is upwards of $100,000.  I'm guessing that this happened around 2010.  I asked her if they contacted a lawyer and she said they did and they couldn't do anything. 

She also admitted that she defaulted on her loan which caused the interest rate to jump.  If it was a private loan maybe that's possible.  Luckily my two loans were both stafford loans and I consolidated them before the recession with a 2.1% fixed interest rate. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on November 04, 2013, 07:09:46 AM
^Oh, and landlords get away with charging ridiculous rates in those college towns, forcing students into semester-long leases that require up-front payment, etc. 

Ever seen what a pack of college kids can leave behind them when they move out?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on November 04, 2013, 09:48:07 AM
It can be surprising how unaware even professional school students--even law students, whom you'd think would have both an aptitude for and an interest in reading contracts--can be about the terms of their student loans.

Interest rates can and do jump on private sector student loans after defaults.  Actually, I'm not sure that federal loans wouldn't, for that matter.

And, of course, the biggest tragedy is that such loans are nondischargeable in bankruptcy.

The federal government does offer an income contingent repayment plan (http://www.finaid.org/loans/icr.phtml) for federal loans over a 25-year time horizon, as well as a public service loan forgiveness program (http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml) for those who work 10 years in public service.  However, this does not cover private sector loans.  Moreover, many student borrowers don't even know at the outset where their borrowed money comes from, and fewer still understand the significance.  Many people just see their financial aid letter, which will include public and private loans, and just walk into that arrangement, believing there's no alternative.  For some, there might not be, but there are certainly many people who might have the option to reduce their private sector borrowing up front and then take advantage of a federal government loan forgiveness program for the federal loans afterward.

Of course, that still means you can be effectively working for the government--in multiple ways--for a very long time.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 05, 2013, 12:47:28 AM
^Yes, but the problem is that it's virtually impossible for an 18 year-old or even a 22 year-old applying to graduate school to understand the implications of a cosigner, or to consider risk.  In the mind of an 18 or 22 year-old, success is assumed -- after all that's what they're being pitched by recruiters and society at large.  Many parents and grandparents are now having their social security garnished to cover student loans they cosigned for.  This dirty business that operates under the foil "higher education" is literally tearing families apart!

I was stupid in a few respects -- I myself didn't understand the implications of a parental cosigner, assumed that I would make $45,000 the first year out of school, that I would never be laid off, etc.  Where I lucked out was consolidating my loans in 2005 at 2.1% interest, and in violation of the Dave Ramsey method have been able to do other things with my income.  For someone coming out of school now with a 5-6% interest rate on, say, $70,000 in loans, they are so screwed they don't know how screwed they are.  That level of debt is very common amongst people coming out of the for-profit community colleges and people who went to graduate school of any kind. 

Somebody with that level of debt is paying $450-550/mo on their loans for 20~ years...that same payment applied to an IRA starting at age 25 would virtually guarantee retirement with several million dollars.  Instead, the ability of these people to save for retirement will be fatally hampered by these debt payments.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on November 05, 2013, 02:37:21 PM
Coming out of UVA Law, there were people who had well over $200,000 in student loans, counting elite private undergrad tuition (with payments deferred but interest capitalized throughout their law school years) plus three years of law school at what was, even then, ~$42k/year.  Even with starting salaries in the major markets at $160k (with almost everyone getting respectable bonuses in the $10k+ range), that was a heavy debt load on top of the cost of living in the markets where people needed to move to make those salaries.  And, of course, the firm culture and expectations in such markets are grueling.

Granted, given that it was a pretty top-tier school and a large number of the students there were second-generation law students from families with at least upper-middle-class incomes (if not higher ... one of my classmates was the daughter of the president of the Baltimore Ravens), many of them graduated with no debt because of family support. Many, but not all.  Probably not even most, actually.

As for cosigners, it's the cosigner's job to appreciate risk moreso than the student's, though of course, having the student understand is pretty darn important, too.

As for social security getting garnished, that's the downside of federal obligations.  The interest rate is generally lower, but the federal government can go after your social security.  That's generally off-limits to collectors.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on November 09, 2013, 10:25:52 PM
The best advice to give any kid going to college, who folks are not paying the bill, is to keep you borrowed debt as low as possible.
Do as much research as possible related to scholarships. If you can get a 1/2 or full ride to Ball State, WKU, or Indiana State, but you
can't at a Big Ten school.........take the scholly. I also don't know why one would rack up private school debt at Centre College, Kenyon,
Denison, Wittenberg if you can go to UC, BGSU, Miami, Toledo etc. You can take liberal arts classes at State universities.

Work part time during school, Co op some if you can, work full time in the summer, National Guard always has programs that cover tuition.
If you are on the hook for borrowed debt don't major in something where you can't get a job.

Second this. I was nuts to turn down a full ride to Eastern Michigan (recruited me- EMU goes after Toledo kids the way Toledo goes after Michigan kids), half tuition at Bowling Green and Toledo, and smaller scholarships at Ohio State (pretty decent one but limited my class options), Cincinnati (I think 1/3 tuition), and Michigan State (grandpa went there and I got a decent package, but I think not all of out-of-state was waived). The best school I got into was Michigan, but I would have needed to move there first to get in-state residency and less insane tuition (Michigan is ridiculously expensive for a public school). Michigan would have not given me any scholarships and it would have put me six feet under in debt. As much as I loved Ann Arbor, it just didn't make any financial sense.

Instead of choosing the "better" schools or schools where I got decent scholarships, I went to the world's greatest party school. In an unexpected way, that social education proved very useful, but it just doesn't make sense to leave money on the table. Then again, I graduated a while ago, back when Ohio schools were slightly more affordable. Of course, in Cali, hardly anyone knows about Midwestern schools except maybe Michigan and Northwestern, and even that isn't going to get you the networking and interviews that Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, or UCSB (the Ohio University of the West Coast) will get you.

*The really smart kids move to California, get state residency, avoid the flagship universities, go to second tier state schools with scholarships (basically spending nothing on tuition), become a big fish in "small" pond, and network like hell in the start-up scene. I think where you go to school matters less today than ever before unless you're Stanford or Ivy League. And Stanford is probably the only school really worth the debt...
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on November 10, 2013, 09:10:06 AM
Along with Stanford and the Ivies as you mentioned, I'd add MIT, Duke, UChicago, Johns Hopkins, CalTech, Northwestern and perhaps a few others where it may be justified in taking on some debt.  That said, a lot of those schools have big-time tuition assistance that makes attendance much more affordable (if not free) for those that are qualified academically and financially.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on November 10, 2013, 12:38:23 PM
^Second CalTech, but I think Stanford has much lower tuition for undergrads. Excellent bang for buck in Palo Alto, and endless 100k jobs in the area straight out of college.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 10, 2013, 12:57:17 PM
Again we are focussing too much on tuition.  Living expenses are often as much or more of the debt people carry, especially if they went to graduate school.  I think my undergrad loan totaled $13,000, of which only about $4,000 was tuition because I went in-state.  Many people who go to graduate school, even if they get a tuition waiver and stipend, still take out loans to cover living expenses. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 11, 2013, 12:16:53 PM
And that's where schools part of a major city such as UC and OSU win again because if you can get away from these controlled student-only situations and rent in the general community you don't get whacked. Of course, doing that can increase the isolation level to the quitting point for some people. The worst thing that can happen is somebody's parents demanding they live in one of those $1200/mo Supermax-level security buildings that are big today and stick their kid with the bill.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on November 11, 2013, 12:33:42 PM
Many schools are also starting to require sophomores to live on campus (and almost all require that freshmen live on campus, absent exceptional circumstances).  At OSU, at least, dorms are often substantially more expensive than off-campus housing (and I say this as someone who lived in the dorms there all four years).  In more expensive cities, dorms may be cheaper by comparison because the off-campus housing is simply much more expensive, but not so much in Columbus.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 11, 2013, 12:36:43 PM
Especially in states with much higher education subsidies than ours.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on November 11, 2013, 05:44:18 PM
Is that freshmen on-campus residency rule new for OSU?  I remember a buddy of mine lived off campus as a freshman there about ten years ago.  My alma mater, Dayton, has had the freshmen/sophomore on-campus residency rule for quite some time.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 11, 2013, 06:08:01 PM
We can talk about the dorm rip-offs compared to apartments all we want.  But really that difference is just a fraction of the overall debt people are incurring.  Living in the dorms, for whatever reason, is a right of passage that everyone seems to look back upon with a smirk.  It's hard to imagine having the really strong tie to a college without having lived in the dorms for at least one year.   

The bigger issue is people working for at least a year rather than heading straight to college.  If I were to do it again, I would have gotten two jobs the month after HS graduation and worked 7 days a week for the 15 months until the next-next fall.  In today's money, as an 18-yer old you could easily make $40,000 after taxes in that time period doing that.  I'd put almost all of it away and act as if I didn't have it during school, then work some during school.  Getting out of college without money to buy a suit for an interview is a sure way to start accruing massive credit card debt.     
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 11, 2013, 06:28:49 PM
I didn't have enough character at that age to work like that. And I don't now, either.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on November 12, 2013, 10:02:59 AM
jmecklenborg: The question is how much of what you learned in high school would have faded from your memory in those additional 15 months.  Honestly, I have a problem with our existing summer vacation model (many countries that outperform us have no such holiday--Japan, China, and South Korea all have more than 220 school days per year, compared to our 180-ish), which allows knowledge time to fade from desuetude.

I remember thinking that when I chose to go straight through from undergrad to law school rather than working for a year or two beforehand.  Granted, plenty of people came to law school having worked for a year or two and performed just fine, but I still think coming straight through was the right decision.  If nothing else, I traded one fewer year of work before law school into one more year of work after, with a considerably higher paycheck.  (Also granted that that's nothing close to guaranteed for people graduating law school now, but that's a whole separate discussion.)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 12, 2013, 10:35:10 AM
I don't believe that whatever book knowledge we lose over the summer offsets the kid and teenage stuff that happens over the summer. Unfortunately that's been diminished somewhat, I think, by TV and video games.  I remember having a conversation about summer breaks with a girl in my program from Japan, and I could see she was jealous of all the mischief that goes on here in the U.S.A. during the summer months.   


>If nothing else, I traded one fewer year of work before law school into one more year of work after, with a considerably higher paycheck.

You're not taking risk into account.  My former roommate graduated from law school in 2011 and has been laid off four times since, most recently from the federal courthouse in Cincinnati due to the sequester.  Luckily he worked for a year teaching English in China before law school and so has some savings to fall back on, but that I'm sure has disappeared quickly under the weight of $600/mo loan payments. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on November 12, 2013, 08:03:15 PM
Nah, I disagree about needing to lengthen the school year.  Not only is a long school year not a universal constant amongst countries that "outperform" us (cough*Finland*cough), our shorter year seems to work well with a huge chunk of students here.  The problem is that some kids completely turn their brains off during the summer (mostly because their families do no enrichment with them, nothing at all to stimulate their brains).  As one might expect, the direction-less summers most hurt students from low-income families.  I think an optional, less-intense 6-8 week summer program would be more appropriate than a mandatory lengthening of the school year across the board.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/the-absurd-debate-about-length-of-school-year/2011/08/15/gIQAswc3HJ_blog.html
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 12, 2013, 08:09:00 PM
Another day, another student loan default letter appears in my house's mailbox from a previous tenant:
(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j231/jmecklenborg/jmecklenborg004/studentloan_zps0a4acb02.jpg) (http://s81.photobucket.com/user/jmecklenborg/media/jmecklenborg004/studentloan_zps0a4acb02.jpg.html)

Whatever this "saltmoney" place is, it's probably a scam, taking advantage of people when they're down.  I looked at the site and it's quite obviously marketed to naive college students (unlike the actual student loan management sites  like Direct Loans, Oklahoma, Great Lakes, etc.). 

This site says whatever saltmoney is is not a scam:
http://www.scamadviser.com/is-saltmoney.org-safe.html

However, this site very well might have been set up as a decoy by saltmoney. 


Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: KyleCincy on November 15, 2013, 01:49:42 PM
UC in the news with interesting items of note.

APLU Announces Four Winners of Inaugural Economic Prosperity University Awards
Honors Recognize Northern Illinois University, The State University of New York, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Michigan for their Economic Engagement Efforts.
The “Overall” category award, which recognizes an institution that is making connections between all of these university-engaged economic development areas, went to the University of Cincinnati
http://www.aplu.org/2013ProsperityAwards

The University of Cincinnati is teaming up with the state of Ohio to help fill an estimated 17,000 empty insurance jobs over the next five years.

UC officials joined Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Great American Insurance Co. co-president and co-CEO Carl Lindner III to announce the opening of the Carl H. Lindner III Center for Insurance and Risk Management.

The university will be offering a new major and minor in insurance and risk management through the center.
http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2013/11/13/heres-how-uc-and-great-american-are.html?page=all
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: JYP on January 16, 2014, 11:39:24 PM
Richard Vedder and Christopher Denhart: How the College Bubble Will Pop (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303933104579302951214561682)

The American political class has long held that higher education is vital to individual and national success. The Obama administration has dubbed college "the ticket to the middle class," and political leaders from Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have hailed higher education as the best way to improve economic opportunity. Parents and high-school guidance counselors tend to agree.

Yet despite such exhortations, total college enrollment has fallen by 1.5% since 2012. What's causing the decline? While changing demographics—specifically, a birth dearth in the mid-1990s—accounts for some of the shift, robust foreign enrollment offsets that lack. The answer is simple: The benefits of a degree are declining while costs rise.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: KJP on March 27, 2014, 11:14:26 PM
Tom Troy ‏@TomFTroy  38m
OH Rep. Andrew Brenner, vice-chair of House educ comm, elaborates on why he called public education socialist http://bit.ly/1iEsRD7 .
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 28, 2014, 03:14:08 AM


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKaYnHlpD9M#t=72
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on March 28, 2014, 09:05:19 PM
The thing with videos like this is that if they ever encounter someone who can, they'll often edit them out.  Though at least this one showed one or two getting it right.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: KyleCincy on March 28, 2014, 09:24:59 PM


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKaYnHlpD9M#t=72

That is a good one. There is a conspiracy theory guy, pretty funny, who did a video on a campus asking students if they could name any of the
Bill of Rights, it is funny.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on March 28, 2014, 09:36:47 PM
^I would say this is shocking, but it's pretty much expected these days. If anything I suppose it should finally put to rest the credibility of the US News & World Report College Rankings :laugh: :laugh:

"American University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 75. Its tuition and fees are $40,649 (2013-14). Students at American University benefit from the school's location in the political hub of the nation."
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 28, 2014, 09:47:46 PM
^I would say this is shocking, but it's pretty much expected these days. If anything I suppose it should finally put to rest the credibility of the US News & World Report College Rankings :laugh: :laugh:

"American University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 75. Its tuition and fees are $40,649 (2013-14). Students at American University benefit from the school's location in the political hub of the nation."

When I was in grad school I took a class on 20th century Chinese history.  I was one of 2 or 3 people on the first day of class who had even heard of Mao, or knew when he rose to power. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on March 28, 2014, 10:00:46 PM
^see, if you were a little older and been in school in the 60's when Mao jackets were popular everyone in class would have known who he was. Or am I mixing them up with Nehru jackets??  :|
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on March 28, 2014, 10:08:02 PM
^I would say this is shocking, but it's pretty much expected these days. If anything I suppose it should finally put to rest the credibility of the US News & World Report College Rankings :laugh: :laugh:

"American University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 75. Its tuition and fees are $40,649 (2013-14). Students at American University benefit from the school's location in the political hub of the nation."

So memorizing government documents is the pinnacle of education? So, one I am out of school I have to take time out of my day to go over these government documents so that I don't forget them instead of increasing the information that can actually earn me a living or help my family?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 29, 2014, 09:18:13 PM
Whoa.  So they're actually studying how college isn't working while in college. 

http://crookedtimber.org/2014/03/23/paying-for-the-party/
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on March 29, 2014, 09:54:14 PM
^I would say this is shocking, but it's pretty much expected these days. If anything I suppose it should finally put to rest the credibility of the US News & World Report College Rankings :laugh: :laugh:

"American University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 75. Its tuition and fees are $40,649 (2013-14). Students at American University benefit from the school's location in the political hub of the nation."

So memorizing government documents is the pinnacle of education? So, one I am out of school I have to take time out of my day to go over these government documents so that I don't forget them instead of increasing the information that can actually earn me a living or help my family?
are you serious? It couldn't get any more basic than knowing each state has 2 senators (who's talking about "going over government documents?") Not knowing the senators from your home state is somewhat forgivable if they're not that well-known (though not really), but inexcusable for certain ones (Dianne Feinstein, Harry Reid, Ted Cruz...) with a national profile who are constantly in the news (though frequently for the wrong reason). John McCain?? (hello...kids!! he was a Presidential nominee!!). Acquiring information like this doesn't require any formal education, and should be the basic responsibility of every citizen. These kids are total bubbleheads.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on March 29, 2014, 10:23:17 PM
I'm not referring to that video specifically, but some of these other Republi-challenges get very old. Putting a gun to people's heads and demanding they recite the constitution or get called stupid and uneducated for example.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on March 30, 2014, 11:13:28 PM
We live in an age where knowing how to find information is perhaps more important than memorizing it.  I think this changes the way that many disciplines such as social studies, science, and aspects of language arts should be taught/learned.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 30, 2014, 11:41:18 PM
We live in an age where knowing how to find information is perhaps more important than memorizing it.  I think this changes the way that many disciplines such as social studies, science, and aspects of language arts should be taught/learned.

But they're not.  If you tell somebody to look something up on their phones, you're the bad guy.  I'm amazed by people's inability to discern a credible internet source from one planted by, say, the Mormon church. 

I work with internet-illiterate blue collar guys.  They come to my desk with an issue and I'll be, say, looking at Urban Ohio instead of working.  Their eyes are attracted to the banner ads and think that you're "supposed" to click on them.  They think some scam banner ad with Obama's face on it is a direct message from Obama.   

What was hilarious was that at the last place I worked, the owner was about 70 and didn't know what the internet looked like or was.  I could sit there on Facebook all day and he'd walk by my desk, convinced I was "working" on "the computer".  He's the one who's 50 year-old girlfriend worked in the office, accompanied at all times by a squirrel that spent the day nestled in her cleavage.  The thing would poke its head out while she was talking to clients. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on March 30, 2014, 11:55:13 PM
We live in an age where knowing how to find information is perhaps more important than memorizing it.  I think this changes the way that many disciplines such as social studies, science, and aspects of language arts should be taught/learned.

But they're not.  If you tell somebody to look something up on their phones, you're the bad guy.  I'm amazed by people's inability to discern a credible internet source from one planted by, say, the Mormon church. 

I work with internet-illiterate blue collar guys.  They come to my desk with an issue and I'll be, say, looking at Urban Ohio instead of working.  Their eyes are attracted to the banner ads and think that you're "supposed" to click on them.  They think some scam banner ad with Obama's face on it is a direct message from Obama.   

What was hilarious was that at the last place I worked, the owner was about 70 and didn't know what the internet looked like or was.  I could sit there on Facebook all day and he'd walk by my desk, convinced I was "working" on "the computer".  He's the one who's 50 year-old girlfriend worked in the office, accompanied at all times by a squirrel that spent the day nestled in her cleavage.  The thing would poke its head out while she was talking to clients. 


This is more of a generational thing I think.  Unfortunately it's going to be quite difficult to re-educate those that did not grow up with the internet.  However I was referring more towards how we should perhaps be realigning how social studies and science are taught to kids in primary and secondary school, particularly how we treat access to information.  Memorization of facts may not be the best use of time in the modern world.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 31, 2014, 01:14:13 AM
Yeah but people seem to just find and entrench themselves in their own "facts".

I think The Daily Show and Colbert Report are doing more to change the political attitudes of young adults more than any one thing.  Yes, that includes high school, college, and graduate school education.  Those shows are TV that are about TV.  People want TV, even (especially?) college students, they don't want books.  They don't want to look stuff up.  In their minds TV is "strength" and reading is "weak". 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: taestell on March 31, 2014, 03:50:22 AM
I think The Daily Show and Colbert Report are doing more to change the political attitudes of young adults more than any one thing.

One of the most interesting trends to me is that, in large numbers, Millennials are not identifying as a member of any political party. Some of this comes from watching shows like The Daily Show and seeing how nonsensical today's political debates are. I think this is one of the reasons young people are less likely to vote, and when they do, they are least likely to vote for the party they see being associated with the most ridiculous actions.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 31, 2014, 09:53:52 AM
Yeah I don't think that before those shows there was ever a show, and certainly not a nightly show, that simply pointed out double-talk as the main activity of the show.  Those shows have been ruining Thanksgiving dinners for the past ten years.  Older generations are getting completely different information than younger adults.  It's because people trust people who speak to them.  Even though Stewart and Colbert aren't young, they speak effectively to a younger crowd. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on March 31, 2014, 03:30:55 PM
^see, if you were a little older and been in school in the 60's when Mao jackets were popular everyone in class would have known who he was. Or am I mixing them up with Nehru jackets??  :|

You are. 

But how many of the trendies wearing Che shirts a few years back had any idea who he was?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 02, 2014, 08:19:48 AM
Analysis:
http://www.randalolson.com/2014/03/22/its-impossible-to-work-your-way-through-college-nowadays

I think back to when I started college, the first day I walked out the door looking for a job on the strip.  The first place I walked into hired me on the spot, a Blimpie Subs franchise.  I worked there 4 nights a week (5-10pm, I think) for the next 21/2 years until they sold the franchise to an Indian family.  Looking back on it I made absolutely horrible money, less than $100/week after taxes.  I really wish the owner hadn't been sitting there that day I walked in and instead I had walked another block to a place called Stefano's Pizza, where if I had become a delivery driver, I would have made WAY more money. Longer hours and WAY more per hour.   

One big thing I learned in college: when you're in college, deliver pizzas. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 03, 2014, 06:03:13 AM
Link to a PBS story on the abuse of adjuncts:
http://video.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365173446

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 04, 2014, 08:17:43 PM
There's such an oversupply of highly educated people that are indeed qualified to do that sort of teaching but the private sector hates due to their skills not being specific enough. That's how higher education can get away with it. These days, when your are young, the private sector only wants you as a salesperson or somebody who does the same highly-specialized task over and over.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 04, 2014, 08:38:06 PM
It's a cruel reality right now that all these people who are naturally drawn to specific pursuits for their own sake, and who are inculcated from birth to believe that they are doing something good, are in fact being led into a vicious trap by the university-industrial complex.  The same machinery that created them will soon after dispirit and bankrupt them.  Who is losing?  Them and the students.  Who is winning?  The administrators.

But what's so weird to me about people in education is that like politicians the money's not really that good.  Rarely does a job in municipal, county, or sate government exceed $100,000, and most seem to hover between $40-60,000.  So the teachers tend to be out there "trying to do the right thing", because they actually believe in what they are doing, but the nasty people in the administration throw them and the kids under the bus whenever the need arises to get an $8,000 raise.  It's like, if you want to make $8,000 more this year, just go deliver pizzas every Sunday night.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 30, 2014, 02:14:19 PM
There has been just this massive shift to adjunct and temp staff that it is making it really hard to build a career in higher ed. Insanely, it might be easier to make in lower levels of education due to supply and demand issues.

These days, when your are young, the private sector only wants you as a salesperson or somebody who does the same highly-specialized task over and over.

I think any college grad without a specific focus should just get up and move to Seattle, LA, or Austin (not SF anymore due to the housing shortage) and do sales at a tech startup. Nothing makes more sense right now.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 30, 2014, 03:27:34 PM
There has been just this massive shift to adjunct and temp staff that it is making it really hard to build a career in higher ed. Insanely, it might be easier to make in lower levels of education due to supply and demand issues.

These days, when your are young, the private sector only wants you as a salesperson or somebody who does the same highly-specialized task over and over.

I think any college grad without a specific focus should just get up and move to Seattle, LA, or Austin (not SF anymore due to the housing shortage) and do sales at a tech startup. Nothing makes more sense right now.

Yeah high school /grade school teachers are paid more and enjoy greater job security than college.  Then, even after you achieve tenure, many people still aren't happy. 

The big difference between high school/elementary vs. tenure track is that not only do high school/elementary make more money initially, they can also work weekends and during the summer, easily earning $10,000 more per year.  Meanwhile a tenure track professor has to spend all their free time for six years doing mostly uncompensated research in pursuit of being awarded tenure. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on April 30, 2014, 03:54:53 PM
I still wouldn't necessarily want to be in either pair of shoes, though.  Elementary and secondary teachers are going to be facing inevitable serious compensation and headcount pressures; the education marketplace is probably among the most ripe of any sector for a little bit of creative destruction over the next 10-20 years (though of course, a lot of those currently in the profession will have safely retired by then, so this doesn't necessarily implicate current teachers so much as those thinking about entering the profession, as well as those new to the profession today).  Of course, that applies to higher education as well--possibly even moreso with the advent of MOOC suites, currently only in their infancy, as a substitute for non-elite higher education.  But I still wouldn't want to trade places with any primary or secondary school teacher today, either.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 30, 2014, 08:55:31 PM
Ohio is oversupplied with schoolteachers. That's why they bolt for North Carolina and the D.C. metro.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on May 02, 2014, 04:09:44 PM
Today's America: Working Your Way Through College Is a Myth
Posted: 05/02/2014 11:09 am EDT Updated: 05/02/2014 11:59 am EDT

I'm a young American, finishing my last year of college, looking down a road that gets bleaker every day. My family is dirt poor; people today seem to forget that in America today families still exist who don't have TV, who don't have A/C, whose electricity gets cut off regularly, and who can't afford to buy meat. That was -- is -- my family. I worked my ass off my whole life to get straight A's, while holding down a job to help out with bills and food; I applied for colleges from our local library because we don't have Internet, I studied with flashlights when our electricity went out, and when I was 18 it all paid off with a full-ride scholarship to George Washington University in DC.

And so I left. I left my family behind, I left my four younger siblings and my disabled sister with my single mother. I left because I didn't want the life I saw them struggling with every day. I left to be the first one to attend college, the first one to leave our state, and I had no idea how hard it would be. I left vowing to get educated, get a middle-class job, and come back to pull them out of this life. But financially stranded and on my own, I picked up two jobs my very first year in college and never stopped. Tutoring and waitressing were barely enough to pay my food and transportation in DC, not to mention my cell phone bill, and purchasing my laptop and dorm supplies...

CONTINUED

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cory-brooks/working-poor-college_b_5253189.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 02, 2014, 04:38:44 PM
I sympathize with her story.  However if I were to do it again, I'd have worked 80 hours at two jobs for at least one year and saved at least $20,000. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on May 03, 2014, 08:37:52 AM
I still wouldn't necessarily want to be in either pair of shoes, though.  Elementary and secondary teachers are going to be facing inevitable serious compensation and headcount pressures; the education marketplace is probably among the most ripe of any sector for a little bit of creative destruction over the next 10-20 years (though of course, a lot of those currently in the profession will have safely retired by then, so this doesn't necessarily implicate current teachers so much as those thinking about entering the profession, as well as those new to the profession today).  Of course, that applies to higher education as well--possibly even moreso with the advent of MOOC suites, currently only in their infancy, as a substitute for non-elite higher education.  But I still wouldn't want to trade places with any primary or secondary school teacher today, either.

We've discussed this before and there are a lot of reasons why I think you're probably overestimating what's going to be possible, and you seem to assume that these jobs are only about transferring educational content to students.  Based on what I've experienced, I highly doubt that many parents (or even community members without children) are going to be excited about the idea of having un- or semi-supervised adolescent students "working at their own pace" learning through technology away from schools.  There may be ways for technology to cut certain personnel costs in education, but there is still going to be a need for an adequate supply of teachers, and it will also probably be a long time before the public is interested in turning away from teaching as a profession.  There are also actual content-based reasons why I doubt technology can completely replace humans in this realm as well.

Per the link below, it seems that there are actually a great many other career paths and sectors that are more likely to be "disrupted" by technology:

http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on May 03, 2014, 10:31:03 AM
I don't want to deal with an entire generation of unsocialized youth. And getting something like drywall done will be like $500 an hour because people will only know screen stuff.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on May 06, 2014, 10:39:56 AM
Today's America: Working Your Way Through College Is a Myth
Posted: 05/02/2014 11:09 am EDT Updated: 05/02/2014 11:59 am EDT

I'm a young American, finishing my last year of college, looking down a road that gets bleaker every day. My family is dirt poor; people today seem to forget that in America today families still exist who don't have TV, who don't have A/C, whose electricity gets cut off regularly, and who can't afford to buy meat. That was -- is -- my family. I worked my ass off my whole life to get straight A's, while holding down a job to help out with bills and food; I applied for colleges from our local library because we don't have Internet, I studied with flashlights when our electricity went out, and when I was 18 it all paid off with a full-ride scholarship to George Washington University in DC.

And so I left. I left my family behind, I left my four younger siblings and my disabled sister with my single mother. I left because I didn't want the life I saw them struggling with every day. I left to be the first one to attend college, the first one to leave our state, and I had no idea how hard it would be. I left vowing to get educated, get a middle-class job, and come back to pull them out of this life. But financially stranded and on my own, I picked up two jobs my very first year in college and never stopped. Tutoring and waitressing were barely enough to pay my food and transportation in DC, not to mention my cell phone bill, and purchasing my laptop and dorm supplies...

CONTINUED

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cory-brooks/working-poor-college_b_5253189.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

If she's going to GWU on a full scholarship, she's in a much better position than most, especially since she mentioned that "full" in this case included her room as well, not just tuition.  This is the kind of situation where student loans do make a certain amount of sense, though of course I can understand any responsible 18-year-old's hesitation about going thousands of dollars in debt before your career even begins.  But realistically, she would be in a better position right now with $27,000 in Stafford loans (maximum Stafford loan every year for four years) and a 3.6+ GPA than with no loans and barely above a 2.5 scholarship-eligibility threshold.  She would be in a better position for both grad school and for entry-level job applications (a bachelor's alone in political science isn't often enough, but with a high GPA at GWU in D.C., with the State Department and other federal agencies there, there could at least be a shot, credential inflation in the bureaucracy notwithstanding).

I still wouldn't necessarily want to be in either pair of shoes, though.  Elementary and secondary teachers are going to be facing inevitable serious compensation and headcount pressures; the education marketplace is probably among the most ripe of any sector for a little bit of creative destruction over the next 10-20 years (though of course, a lot of those currently in the profession will have safely retired by then, so this doesn't necessarily implicate current teachers so much as those thinking about entering the profession, as well as those new to the profession today).  Of course, that applies to higher education as well--possibly even moreso with the advent of MOOC suites, currently only in their infancy, as a substitute for non-elite higher education.  But I still wouldn't want to trade places with any primary or secondary school teacher today, either.

We've discussed this before and there are a lot of reasons why I think you're probably overestimating what's going to be possible, and you seem to assume that these jobs are only about transferring educational content to students.  Based on what I've experienced, I highly doubt that many parents (or even community members without children) are going to be excited about the idea of having un- or semi-supervised adolescent students "working at their own pace" learning through technology away from schools.  There may be ways for technology to cut certain personnel costs in education, but there is still going to be a need for an adequate supply of teachers, and it will also probably be a long time before the public is interested in turning away from teaching as a profession.  There are also actual content-based reasons why I doubt technology can completely replace humans in this realm as well.

Maybe I'm overestimating the possibilities; maybe you're underestimating them.  But considering that over the past 30+ years, those who have underestimated the transformative power of technology have vastly, vastly outnumbered those who overestimated it, I'll take my chances erring on the side of overestimation.  The modern education model is simply too expensive to be sustainable--and as the old adage goes, if something cannot be sustained, it won't be.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 06, 2014, 10:51:53 AM
I don't want to deal with an entire generation of unsocialized youth. And getting something like drywall done will be like $500 an hour because people will only know screen stuff.

Actually drywall rates are still incredibly low.  The cost to have some guys come in and do the work vs. doing it yourself might be double your material costs but that's WAY LESS than contracting out most home improvements.  Plus the guys who do it are nuts -- they don't hesitate for a moment to knock out a wall or ceiling that *might* have asbestos in it.  They just strut in and get to work with the pry bar. 


>Maybe I'm overestimating the possibilities; maybe you're underestimating them.  But considering that over the past 30+ years, those who have underestimated the transformative power of technology have vastly, vastly outnumbered those who overestimated it, I'll take my chances erring on the side of overestimation.  The modern education model is simply too expensive to be sustainable--and as the old adage goes, if something cannot be sustained, it won't be.

The primary purpose of K-12 education is to get kids out of the house.  Schools are babysitters packaged as "education", not unlike "educational" toys and games.  By far people are still taught and influenced primarily by their parents and immediate family.  Even the best teachers are only incidental characters during one's formative years.   

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on May 06, 2014, 11:04:50 AM
The primary purpose of K-12 education is to get kids out of the house.  Schools are babysitters packaged as "education", not unlike "educational" toys and games.  By far people are still taught and influenced primarily by their parents and immediate family.  Even the best teachers are only incidental characters during one's formative years.

Eek.  And I thought I was a cynic.  Even I wouldn't go that far.  Though of course, not all students show up equally prepared to take advantage of the resources a given school might offer, and that's certainly largely a function of home environment.  But I still wouldn't go so far as to buy into the babysitter/daycare epithet.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on May 06, 2014, 11:25:00 AM
There is a huge backlash in my daughter's public school system with regard to Common Core standards and how it applies across the entire class. I can point specifically to the alarming lack of science (compared to my other two kids at other schools), and the level of math that I can only describe as basic. At 2nd grade, she is doing similar math that my youngest is doing in Kindergarten. Because of the size and diversity of learning levels in the class, the teacher's resources are focused on bringing everyone along at the same level, to the detriment of those who can do more. Certainly, this isn't a concern that is new (I remember my parents grousing about the same thing), but I find it alarming how simplistic the curriculum is.

And to be clear, this is not a condemnation of her teacher, who is new to the school, and is energetic, engaged and is doing the best she can with the limited resources she's provided with. I do take issue with the state standards and the ham handed way the administration has implemented them.

And quite frankly, the schools obsession with 'Guidance' (i.e. taking the kids into a group multiple times a week to emphasise that they shouldn't bully) is preposterous. I understand you want to get the message across, but when delivering that message comes at the detriment of actual academics, I have a problem with it.

I never thought I'd feel this way, but comparing private schools with public has convinced me that the public school delivery method is in need of significant overahaul. I'm not sure I can wait around for them to figure it out, though.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on May 06, 2014, 01:01:53 PM
Louis C.K. is actually doing tremendous damage to the Common Core simply by tweeting out pictures of his own third-grade daughter's homework and tests.  He's got a larger Twitter following than most people, to put it mildly, but the fact is that he doesn't really need to rip into them with any kind of comic style; the pictures self-ridicule.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377129/why-louis-ck-hit-home-common-core-josh-encinias

For the moment, Common Core still has a lot of major institutional backers, which will buy it establishment defenders for a time.  But if the Gates Foundation ever throws in the towel, look for most other backers to follow suit.  I honestly think that Gates will at some point; the foundation is fairly nonpartisan and it wouldn't be above them to simply admit that they bet on the wrong horse this time, and continue working towards other national education standards that aren't quite as risible.  After all, the concept will still have a lot of defenders even after the inevitable grave-dancing of those who want to see the concept itself permanently delegitimized, not just this particular manifestation of it.  But the latter crowd have to be thinking that the Common Core was manna from Heaven; there are few greater enemies to any cause than an incompetent friend.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on May 06, 2014, 01:08:50 PM
nothing wrong with the Common Core. Do they still use McGuffey's Eclectic Readers?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on May 06, 2014, 02:38:21 PM
^ I do believe they do....in high school

I've been following Louis C.K. on twitter regarding this issue, and he has a very direct and common sense way of addressing its faults.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on May 06, 2014, 09:57:28 PM
Maybe I'm overestimating the possibilities; maybe you're underestimating them.  But considering that over the past 30+ years, those who have underestimated the transformative power of technology have vastly, vastly outnumbered those who overestimated it, I'll take my chances erring on the side of overestimation.  The modern education model is simply too expensive to be sustainable--and as the old adage goes, if something cannot be sustained, it won't be.

I'm well-aware of what the possibilities for transferring education content to students though technology might be.  However the human aspect is always going to be important is going to be very difficult to replicate.

In regards to education costs, I believe that it's more than sustainable as a percentage of GDP, especially when other Western countries are in the same ballpark.  But if we're really interested in cutting costs, the first and most important step would be to eliminate many of the unfunded mandates coming down from the state and Federal governments.  (Incidentally, many of these mandates and regulations are completely unsupported by research and would not hurt educational outcomes one bit.)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on May 06, 2014, 10:11:58 PM
There is a huge backlash in my daughter's public school system with regard to Common Core standards and how it applies across the entire class. I can point specifically to the alarming lack of science (compared to my other two kids at other schools), and the level of math that I can only describe as basic. At 2nd grade, she is doing similar math that my youngest is doing in Kindergarten. Because of the size and diversity of learning levels in the class, the teacher's resources are focused on bringing everyone along at the same level, to the detriment of those who can do more. Certainly, this isn't a concern that is new (I remember my parents grousing about the same thing), but I find it alarming how simplistic the curriculum is.

And to be clear, this is not a condemnation of her teacher, who is new to the school, and is energetic, engaged and is doing the best she can with the limited resources she's provided with. I do take issue with the state standards and the ham handed way the administration has implemented them.

And quite frankly, the schools obsession with 'Guidance' (i.e. taking the kids into a group multiple times a week to emphasise that they shouldn't bully) is preposterous. I understand you want to get the message across, but when delivering that message comes at the detriment of actual academics, I have a problem with it.

I never thought I'd feel this way, but comparing private schools with public has convinced me that the public school delivery method is in need of significant overahaul. I'm not sure I can wait around for them to figure it out, though.

I can't speak to the lower levels of Common Core math, but I can assure you that by the time the kids are in 7th and 8th grade, they're expected to master skills that used to be part of the high school curriculum.  The problem with this is that all human beings develop at different rates and all students have different potentials.  In other words, I strongly believe that we need to go to flexible and meritocratic tracking of students.

In regards to private schools, I'm not at all convinced that, in general, they do a better job of "delivering" content.  One thing that is certainly different is the fact the schools have more flexibility in controlling the learning environment, including not having to comply with many government regulations, getting rid of trouble-makers, and having more freedom in placing students where they actually belong.  There are a lot of things that public schools could do to emulate private schools, but very little of it truly has to do with pedagogy.  However if the public schools were given the freedom to behave more like private schools, many students would be "left behind," however probably not many more or less than we'd expect to see given the true variations of student abilities and motivation.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on May 07, 2014, 08:43:05 AM
^ We'll have to agree to disagree. What I've seen in the teaching process for my two in private seems much more advanced in content, and efficieint in approach than what I've seen in public. Part of that may be personal preference in teaching style. The private schools focus on theme based teaching (incorporating those themes throughout all the subject matter), and allow the kids to take the time to work on  complicated problems on their own, without instruction, for a time, then come back and share notes. I agree with the idea that approaching learning this way better allows the kids to understand the whole problem / subject, rather than just teaching them what the answer to the question is.

Now, I will say that the public schools seem to be tracking to this method of learning as well, so maybe we're approaching an equilibrium. But for now, I'm very disappointed in my 2nd grader's experience, and I've taken it upon myself to supplement her work with additional content at home, much to her chagrin.

I was a public school kid, and looking back I feel like I graduated at best a mediocre product. I am attempting to correct that trajectory with my kids. We'll see in another 10 years if my theories prove out, I guess.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on May 07, 2014, 09:36:08 AM
Many private schools get reject the bottom 30-50% of students. Public schools don't have that luxury.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on May 07, 2014, 08:21:03 PM
^ We'll have to agree to disagree. What I've seen in the teaching process for my two in private seems much more advanced in content, and efficieint in approach than what I've seen in public. Part of that may be personal preference in teaching style. The private schools focus on theme based teaching (incorporating those themes throughout all the subject matter), and allow the kids to take the time to work on  complicated problems on their own, without instruction, for a time, then come back and share notes. I agree with the idea that approaching learning this way better allows the kids to understand the whole problem / subject, rather than just teaching them what the answer to the question is.

Now, I will say that the public schools seem to be tracking to this method of learning as well, so maybe we're approaching an equilibrium. But for now, I'm very disappointed in my 2nd grader's experience, and I've taken it upon myself to supplement her work with additional content at home, much to her chagrin.

I was a public school kid, and looking back I feel like I graduated at best a mediocre product. I am attempting to correct that trajectory with my kids. We'll see in another 10 years if my theories prove out, I guess.

In regards to "efficiency," on a hunch, I do believe this could have more to do with classroom environment and peer effects.

As for private schools--as a group--all doing things one way and public schools all doing it a different way, I think you're painting with too wide of a brush.  In fact, I think that variations in instructional methods vary more by teacher than even by school (let alone school type). 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on May 08, 2014, 08:42:35 AM
There's some truth to the classroom environment. My daughter's class this year is pretty stable, but last year's class was like the zombie apocalypse (world war Z, not walking dead). I'm pretty sure her class was the runoff from the inclusive class, because I would guess that half of those kids needed to be on IEP's for behavioral concerns. I don't know how that poor teacher managed to teach the class anything.

But that is also partly what I'm paying for...to provide my kids with the most ideal environment I can. I have three kids at three different schools because they have three different sets of needs, and each school is the right fit for them...right now. My wife and I re-evaluate the situation each year. Despite my grousing about public schools, the environment is a good fit for my 2nd grader, for now. Candidly, If I don't start seeing some improvements in their delivery methods, I may pull her, but for now she likes it. Also, she was just admitted into the gifted program (slight brag here), so I'm hoping that this improves some of the issues that I've brought up.

Again, we'll have to disagree on the instructional method. Both private schools have invested in certain technique's / programs on a schoolwide level (Singapore math, theme based learning, etc.), the efficiency of the program may be impacted by the teacher, but I haven't had a teacher at either private school that I've had a problem with, at least as it related to academics.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on May 14, 2014, 07:38:50 PM
Median net worth of grads under 40 with student debt is only $8,700
WALTER HAMILTON

The financial travails of people under 40 with student-loan debt extend far beyond the college loans themselves, according to a new study.

That’s because people with student loans often have other types of debt as well, such as car loans or credit-card borrowing, that weigh heavily on their overall financial well-being.

As a result, college graduate heads-of-household under 40 with student debt have a median net worth of only $8,700, according to the analysis by the Pew Research Center. That’s a fraction of the $64,700 the same group without college loans is worth.

The median student debt is about $13,000, a seemingly manageable amount.

But because of the other loans they’ve taken out, the median total indebtedness of college graduates under 40 with student loans is $137,010, according to the study. That is almost twice the $73,250 debt level for their counterparts with no college debt.

CONTINUED
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-young-people-with-student-debt-have-median-net-worth-of-only-8700-20140514-story.html
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 14, 2014, 08:42:38 PM
^well because college graduates tend to make more money, they also qualify for much more care debt, credit card debt, etc. 

We are complaining about college costs rising and wages falling, but people still have to control their monthly bills and "lifestyle" purchases.  Cars, trips, gym memberships, phone plans, restaurants, clothes, etc.  And the problem with professional employment is that you have to buy more and nicer clothes and probably don't want to drive a junker like my 210,000 mile Honda.  Also professional employment gives the graduate the illusion of financial well-being, and so graduates are less likely to take a second job to pay down debt quickly since they're confident that they will be promoted. 



 


Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on May 14, 2014, 10:29:16 PM
A lot of times now if I see someone who is really fit I wonder about their employment status. A 9-5 job leaves room for that sort of thing but a lot of other occupations don't. And there's fewer and fewer 9-5 jobs in this country by the second. I think what did this is the movie Bigger, Stronger, Faster and seeing the guys who lived in their cars just so they could lift at Gold's Gym.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 14, 2014, 11:39:51 PM
Oh, the scene at the typical college rec center these days.  There's always one or two anorexic girls who visit the gym before and after classes for a total of 4 hours on the elliptical machine every day. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on May 14, 2014, 11:59:03 PM
Don't they know that's not hot? Of course they don't; they've been lied to.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on May 15, 2014, 10:34:05 AM
We are complaining about college costs rising and wages falling, but people still have to control their monthly bills and "lifestyle" purchases.  Cars, trips, gym memberships, phone plans, restaurants, clothes, etc.  And the problem with professional employment is that you have to buy more and nicer clothes and probably don't want to drive a junker like my 210,000 mile Honda.  Also professional employment gives the graduate the illusion of financial well-being, and so graduates are less likely to take a second job to pay down debt quickly since they're confident that they will be promoted.

Not all of those things are created equal.  Also, you forgot to mention home mortgages, which have to be the lion's share of the above-school-debt figure (if the median student debt is $13,000 and the median total debt is $137,000, that's $124,000 of total additional debt at the median ... mortgage debt has to explain the lion's share of that).

Cars are a big-ticket item and the temptation for a college graduate to get themselves a good new one as a "graduation present" or because they "need" a car for work can be strong.  I know a college-educated, childless professional couple that still doesn't make a fortune (they're young and went into careers that will take them some time to climb) and until recently had two late-model BMWs; they recently traded in one BMW for a brand new Yukon.  I'm reasonably confident that I make more than both of them combined even without adding my wife's earnings, and yet I still putz around in a 2001 Altima with 163k.  (Hilariously, I just learned of one guy who makes even more than I do [just a little ...] and has me beat: Ludacris drives a 1993 Legend with over 250k on it.)

Trips are another thing that, just anecdatally, I see a lot of college grads splurging on; I think people are trying to relive spring breaks from college, or at least caught the travel bug there.  It's an expensive hobby, particularly if you're financing it on credit cards.  My wife and I are guilty of a lot of this in the last two years as well (both my sister and her sister had destination weddings in back-to-back years, and her parents live in India and insisted that we come see them after our own wedding two-ish years ago), but we take very few trips on whims and the last trip we took just for ourselves (i.e., without being nudged into it by family, who sometimes also provide free lodging on said trip) was on Amtrak.

The others you mentioned are seldom going to break the bank for most college grads.  Obviously, one can overdo anything, but a basic gym membership is not going to break the bank.  Nor is a basic phone plan, or dining out, or a basic professional wardrobe.  Of course it's possible to burn hundreds of dollars a month on premium gym and spa services, eating at Fleming's every week, and attending private shopping events at Saks Fifth Avenue, but those are controllable costs and I don't think those are what are getting most college grads in trouble.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 17, 2014, 04:33:29 AM
I can't remember if I brought it up before but a serious expense for the college graduate is attending out-of-town weddings.  I probably traveled to 15-20 weddings in the 10 years following college, and each one cost at least $500 to attend.  Do the math -- somewhere around $10,000 and that's before counting lost wages from part-time jobs. 

Most people who are 25-30 are probably spending $500-1,000 month frivolously.  Eliminate that spending and throw some sort of part-time employment into the mix and one could be $20,000 ahead per year. 

I think it's ridiculous how we like to think primarily about our salaries and rank ourselves according to that figure rather than how much we save each year.  Someone making $50,000 can be saving as much or more than someone making $100,000, and they can certainly invest their savings more wisely than the person making $100,000. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: dmerkow on June 04, 2014, 11:58:48 AM
Jake you are too friendly. I avoided the wedding costs by alienating as many people as possible.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on June 04, 2014, 12:45:50 PM
Yeah, I avoid weddings (plus, only like one of my friends is married, and only one is divorced). The whole concept seems weird to me. It's just too damn expensive to do cross-country flights and then find a place to stay for a few days (I only do cross-country flights for work or when I'm there at least a week to justify the cost).

Weddings are giant financial drains. My sister goes to about every one she's invited to, and I suspect it has put her in a bad financial situation since she went to school in Montana. I know a lot of people who do that (live far away from their college and attend cross-country weddings). Living in California, I'm not about to hop on a plane and go to a wedding in Ohio...maybe Michigan since I like vacationing there. If any of my friends in the Bay Area decide to go old school and tie the knot, I'll of course consider that. I pretty much narrowed it down to attending LA, San Diego, and Bay Area weddings. Vegas too.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on June 04, 2014, 10:20:49 PM
I guess I got lucky. Every college friend wedding I've gone to was in Columbus, Portsmouth or Cincinnati.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 04, 2014, 10:46:19 PM
Jake you are too friendly. I avoided the wedding costs by alienating as many people as possible.

I alienated people at the weddings. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 25, 2015, 06:10:04 PM
Looks like lawyers are now arguing that the Dept of Education should be on the hook for permitting abuses of federal student loans by for-profit colleges:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/25/corinthian-15-student-loans_n_6739016.html
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 02, 2015, 01:53:55 AM
University of Michigan frat/sorority cause $400,000 in damage at ski resort:
http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/02/28/treetops-damage-estimate-rises/24194631/
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: taestell on March 02, 2015, 07:26:00 AM
Looks like lawyers are now arguing that the Dept of Education should be on the hook for permitting abuses of federal student loans by for-profit colleges:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/25/corinthian-15-student-loans_n_6739016.html

Just heard a great segment on the Slate Money podcast about how Corinthian College was gaming the federal student loan system. Colleges are only allowed to get a maximum of 90% of their income from federal student loans (the other 10% must come from other sources) and Corinthian was maxing this out. So Corinthian began issuing their own private loans to students, because for every $1000 loan they gave to a student, that would allow them to bring in $9000 more federal student loan money.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on March 02, 2015, 06:49:31 PM
Just heard a great segment on the Slate Money podcast about how Corinthian College was gaming the federal student loan system. Colleges are only allowed to get a maximum of 90% of their income from federal student loans (the other 10% must come from other sources) and Corinthian was maxing this out. So Corinthian began issuing their own private loans to students, because for every $1000 loan they gave to a student, that would allow them to bring in $9000 more federal student loan money.

I just don't see the value or purpose of "for-profit" educational institutions. If nothing else, they shouldn't be allowed to receive federal funding. Corinthian is probably not the only college of this type that has been gaming the system.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 02, 2015, 07:12:13 PM
Just heard a great segment on the Slate Money podcast about how Corinthian College was gaming the federal student loan system. Colleges are only allowed to get a maximum of 90% of their income from federal student loans (the other 10% must come from other sources) and Corinthian was maxing this out. So Corinthian began issuing their own private loans to students, because for every $1000 loan they gave to a student, that would allow them to bring in $9000 more federal student loan money.

I just don't see the value or purpose of "for-profit" educational institutions. If nothing else, they shouldn't be allowed to receive federal funding. Corinthian is probably not the only college of this type that has been gaming the system.

I taught at one part-time for about two years, a few years before the unscrupulous tactics of these schools became well-known.  It was all new to me when I started there, but slowly the horror of it was revealed.  They tricked students left and right -- for example a student who withdrew from classes due to illness or pregnancy would be automatically signed up and billed for that same course the next quarter.  If they did return, they were told that they would only be billed for the weeks that they attended, but the school would end up billing them twice in full.  I heard about someone withdrawing from a class in week 5 or so, coming back the next quarter at week 6, then being told upon completion of the course that because they weren't there all quarter they had to take it again, so they were billed a third time.  Another technique was to recruit and then constantly shuffle students who were slightly mentally ill between one department and another so that they never graduated.  Often these students would attend few classes per quarter before disappearing but the school got to bill the government at best or their loan cosigners at worst for class after class that they did not have the capacity to complete.   

I left because I was laid off, but sometimes I think about the mountains of debt some of those people must still be in. 


Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Mr Sparkle on March 20, 2015, 08:56:53 AM
Not sure if this has ever been posted here, ROI per education dollar spent (higher rankings mean more value in the job market for education dollars spent):

http://www.payscale.com/college-roi/

Some highlights:
58 - CWRU (Highest Ranking Ohio college on the list)
159- Cincinnati (instate)  # 2 in Ohio
189 - Miami (instate) # 3 in Ohio
224  - Dayton  # 4
284 - OSU (instate)
336 - OU (instate)
369 - Cleveland State (instate)
834- Xavier
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Jimmy Skinner on March 20, 2015, 11:13:05 AM
What's up with Xavier?  Some of those on the bottom of the long list have negative ROI

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on March 20, 2015, 11:25:48 AM
Some of those expensive small schools in cities get overshadowed by the much cheaper big state school in town. Same thing happens with OSU vs. Capital.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Mr Sparkle on March 20, 2015, 12:40:02 PM
What's up with Xavier?  Some of those on the bottom of the long list have negative ROI

From a purely financial/investment perspective, it does not make sense to spend the money on Xavier. Now these are aggregate values that take in the whole school, while different majors/colleges may give you more or less ROI. While Xavier is geared to liberal arts, UC offers degrees in a number of high paying fields in Majors that Xavier doesn't even offer.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on August 02, 2015, 11:14:47 PM
Not sure if this has ever been posted here, ROI per education dollar spent (higher rankings mean more value in the job market for education dollars spent):

http://www.payscale.com/college-roi/

Some highlights:
58 - CWRU (Highest Ranking Ohio college on the list)
159- Cincinnati (instate)  # 2 in Ohio
189 - Miami (instate) # 3 in Ohio
224  - Dayton  # 4
284 - OSU (instate)
336 - OU (instate)
369 - Cleveland State (instate)
834- Xavier

That is an incredible list of data. Some are pretty shocking (like Kettering University in Michigan ranking 12th), but if you know the history of some of the more trade-focused schools, it makes sense. Kettering pumps out top-level engineers for the Detroit auto industry. Even after the collapse of the auto industry, Ford, GM, and Chrysler are still good places to work.

I'm not at all surprised Cincinnati ranked top in Ohio for public universities. While schools like Ohio State are harder to get into and steal all the thunder, what Cincinnati has is good graduate retention in the city, and solid entry-level corporate positions at local Fortune 500's. This proves what many of us have long suspected- location of school matters just as much, if not more than reputation. University of Cincinnati is just a few miles from multiple Fortune 500 headquarters downtown. That proximity is valuable. It's easier for students to network and apply for jobs. I have no idea what's going on with Xavier. Is the student body not as selective as Cincinnati? It does seem odd it ranks so much lower than other Ohio schools. Maybe limited data for that one?

Schools like Ohio University and Miami get dinged due to their remote locations, which makes it harder to network with people who might help you get a job. What's really crazy is I bet the average net worth of a family sending their kid to Miami or Dayton is probably double what it is at Cincinnati. So while inherited wealth matters, a decent urban school can really help you get your foot in the door in that respective city. I've seen studies that Cincinnati retains something like 50% of its grads in the metro area. That's outstanding by Ohio standards or really by any Rust Belt standards.

So, it looks like Cincinnati is the best bang-for-buck in Ohio as a general guideline (of course major choice will matter a lot).

*I'm also really shocked Stanford didn't rank number 1. A paltry #6 ranking seems odd given the Bay's recent dominance of the US economy. I expect that will change soon as Stanford continues its dominance at launching tech start-ups.

**Also not surprised to see Cal Berkeley dominating the public universities. Location, location, location. It's a 25-minute BART ride to the tech start-ups in SOMA. A lot of people don't realize how close Berkeley is to San Francisco.

I love the categories for the schools.

This is Ohio University...
Categories:
State School, Research University, Party School, For Sports Fans
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on August 03, 2015, 09:00:56 AM
It's ROI per education dollar spent, so my first guess would be that Xavier (private) is just more expensive than Cincy for similar returns.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: KyleCincy on August 03, 2015, 09:32:03 AM
It's ROI per education dollar spent, so my first guess would be that Xavier (private) is just more expensive than Cincy for similar returns.

It isn't just that, X has no programs ranked in USNWR. Their academic rankings are not relative what is called national universities.
Their rankings are similar to Division 2-3 athletic rankings. I wonder how many students there pay the advertised tuition?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on August 14, 2015, 02:56:45 PM
In 2014 Dave Ramsey (supposedly) co-wrote a book with his 25 year-old daughter called "Smart Money, Smart Kids".  She now appears on his show, appears on TV, and tours the country promoting that book and her and her dad's other personal finance products. 

There are three insane problems with this book -- first of all, his daughter wrote about teaching kids how to budget, even though she didn't have any kids at the time she supposedly wrote the book (she had a child in 2015, though).  Second, she was raised in an almost obscenely wealthy family environment (Dave's net worth is now over $50 million).  Third -- she gives all sorts of advice on how to avoid borrowing money for college...EVEN THOUGH HER DADDY PAID FOR ALL OF HER COLLEGE EXPENSES.

So last night she was on the radio show co-hosting a segment where she and her dad took calls from people who graduated from college recently with zero student loan debt.  Most of them got big scholarships or some sort of financial aid, or lucked out and got a job with the university that waived their tuition costs.  One girl said that she got a real estate license and made commissions renting apartments in her college town, which I have to admit was pretty brilliant, although I don't think she made very much because she also said that she waited tables.  Some were in co-op situations or lived out some other fairy tail.   

But what really gets me is the temerity of Dave Ramsey to declare that "you're not gonna be working a minimum wage job while going to school..." but that there's somehow also no "systemic" problem with low wages in this country.  How can all 500,000~ students now accruing student loan debt at this very moment all go out and find $20/hr part-time jobs?  Aside from bartending (which Dave disapproves of, because of the "atmosphere"), where are all of these $20/hr jobs hiding?

One of the paradoxes of the high tuition and student loan situation is that tuition costs have gotten so high that going out and getting a low-wage part-time job during college almost makes no sense.  Making $100/week for 36~ weeks a year is a drop in the bucket, even if you do it all four years.  That said, making (or saving) approximately $3-4k a year times 4 years does actually add up to some real money.  But every minute spent flipping burgers is a minute not spent exploring your course of study in the library or going on a fun trip with your friends.  The fact is going on a cross-country trip with your friends at age 40 doesn't happen, and if it did, it wouldn't be nearly as fun as when you're 20. 

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on August 14, 2015, 03:55:28 PM
Haha, if there were good-paying part-time jobs in Portsmouth where I went to college the town sure wouldn't look like it does now.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: KyleCincy on August 14, 2015, 06:16:37 PM
A few years back I needed a custom spreadsheet, for an owner occupant purchasing commercial real estate, leasing excess space to other
Tenants. Factoring in, down payment, financing rate, operating expenses, income from tenants, length of lease.....in essence when is my client in the black. Lease Mod, Pro Calc did not have what I wanted, or they want a long term monthly commit. Found a college kid on Craigslist, paid him $350. Excellent finished product. He told me he did it part time 10-15 hours a week and would make at least $2,000 a month under the table.

If you are going to borrow a ton of money for high tuition you gotta make sure you major in a high demand employment sector.
I joined the military so my tuition was paid, but I earned it. Also worked part time during the school year and then full time in the Summer.
Never saw the beach during that time. I did a hell of a lot more partying in my 30's than 20's.

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on August 17, 2015, 03:02:17 AM
Scott Walker devastates University of Wisconsin budget...cuts $250 million, eliminates tenure:
http://www.startribune.com/uw-budget-cut-tuition-freeze-up-for-vote/305434511/

Scott Walker, one month later, gives $250 million in public dollars to billionaire hedge fund managers who recently bought the Milwaukee Bucks:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/15/sports/bucks-new-owners-get-house-warming-gift-of-public-money.html?ref=sports&_r=1

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on August 17, 2015, 08:01:17 PM
UW-Madison is one of the finest public universities in the country. Walker's policies are beyond idiotic. There may be an argument to be made that tenure is antiquated and should be eliminated, but doing this now, and in that manner, jeopardizes Badger U.'s ability to compete for top faculty.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on August 18, 2015, 12:23:33 AM
UW-Madison is one of the finest public universities in the country. Walker's policies are beyond idiotic. There may be an argument to be made that tenure is antiquated and should be eliminated, but doing this now, and in that manner, jeopardizes Badger U.'s ability to compete for top faculty.

My friend's wife teaches in the UW system (not Madison, but I don't want to say which one or in which field).  Several months ago she decided to apply for jobs elsewhere, so she'll now be restarting the tenure process wherever she lands. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on August 20, 2015, 05:24:27 PM
Yeah, UW-Madison is a top tier university that deserves continued support. Walker seems like a snake, but thankfully, I don't think he has a chance in a general election (then again, I never thought he'd win in generally moderate Wisconsin either). Cutting funding or programs at our historic top tier universities is stupid, but not surprising given Walker's history as governor.

The good first tier and second tier schools will survive any future bubble burst because they have the facilities and staff to provide a solid education and social experience. They set themselves apart from online ed. Wisconsin Madison is a prime example of this. It's a gorgeous campus with a world class party experience on par with Ohio University, West Virginia, and Santa Barbara. The older I get, the more I realize how much extremely social, outgoing university environments can help prepare students for the business world. A growing number of start-ups in San Francisco, which now employ tens of thousands of new grads every year, basically resemble frat houses. Hell, even some big, established tech corporations do too. Twitter still throws frat parties despite how big it has gotten:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/23/business/twitters-ill-timed-frat-party.html

In my experience, I'd say graduates from top party schools dominate high-paying business development, marketing, community management, event planning, and sales positions in San Francisco tech. UC-Santa Barbara is pretty much the gold standard, but Wisconsin-Madison, Texas-Austin, Arizona State, and even now Ohio University to some extent (which launched Imgur and a few other influential start-ups in San Francisco) are climbing the ranks. They likely will never touch the job placements of UCSB, but there is little doubt that party schools and Greek Life are a growing part of today's current tech economy. San Francisco vernacular like "brogrammer" didn't come out of thin air. Some of these more client facing roles can outearn front-end development and hard engineering positions.

*It should be noted I'm talking the San Francisco tech scene in particular. Oakland tech leans far more hipster/introverted than SF tech while Silicon Valley is more old school and nerdier. But most recent growth has been directly in San Francisco city limits. The East Bay and Silicon Valley don't have the same momentum.

**I will say that many of the wealthiest grads I know in SF tech are ex-sorority girls or ex-frat bros. A good number also went to party schools and compete directly with Stanford, Berkeley, and Ivy League grads. The key thing is they went to historic party schools with respectable academic programs or advantageous locations. No school in the Bay has a good party scene, but a lot of companies like having some UCSB type grads on staff to lighten things up and make work more fun. Maybe even as a way to teach grads from nerdier schools how to party since a lot of them didn't get that experience...

I have a few exes who have jobs like that. Party planning, community development, etc.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on August 20, 2015, 07:48:35 PM
It really, really helps in business to have some degree of generalism and to be able to relate to lots of different types of people. Parties and maintaining multiple socially-oriented hobbies help you do that.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on September 22, 2015, 09:36:28 PM
Agree 100% with this article. All the wealthiest people I know in tech marketing and sales have art history degrees, psychology degrees, women's studies degrees, English Literature degrees, and other similar degrees that might not get much respect in the typical Midwestern city. In truth, they're the ticket to the big riches in San Francisco and Oakland. While engineers with good presentation and people skills will always go far in the Bay (people with both technical and people skills typically go furthest), a lot of the top biz dev, project manager, marketing, account manager, and community manager positions are not done by people with STEM degrees.

Now some of these people went to expensive, prestigious universities, but many also come from state schools. It proves that degree choice is not as big of a deal as people think. To climb the mountain of money in tech, major in art history!

*And there is nothing wrong with waiting tables or bartending after college. That can indeed be a professional background since a lot of start-ups are targeting the restaurant and bar industry. So-called "dead-end jobs" in retail, nightlife, and food service can give you valuable insights into customer service and the logistics of how bars, restaurants, and brick-and-mortar retail establishments operate. The article hits on that with a few of its examples. It also argues that communication skills and customer service are always valuable in any sector.

JUL 29, 2015 @ 09:45 AM 803,567 VIEWS
That 'Useless' Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket

In less than two years Slack Technologies has become one of the most glistening of tech’s ten-digit “unicorn” startups, boasting 1.1 million users and a private market valuation of $2.8 billion. If you’ve used Slack’s team-based messaging software, you know that one of its catchiest innovations is Slackbot, a helpful little avatar that pops up periodically to provide tips so jaunty that it seems human.

Such creativity can’t be programmed. Instead, much of it is minted by one of Slack’s 180 employees, Anna Pickard, the 38-year-old editorial director. She earned a theater degree from Britain’s Manchester Metropolitan University before discovering that she hated the constant snubs of auditions that didn’t work out. After dabbling in blogging, videogame writing and cat impersonations, she found her way into tech, where she cooks up zany replies to users who type in “I love you, Slackbot.” It’s her mission, Pickard explains, “to provide users with extra bits of surprise and delight.” The pay is good; the stock options, even better.

What kind of boss hires a thwarted actress for a business-to-business software startup? Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s 42-year-old cofounder and CEO, whose estimated double-digit stake in the company could be worth $300 million or more. He’s the proud holder of an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Canada’s University of Victoria and a master’s degree from Cambridge in philosophy and the history of science.

“Studying philosophy taught me two things,” says Butterfield, sitting in his office in San Francisco’s South of Market district, a neighborhood almost entirely dedicated to the cult of coding. “I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings. And when I studied the history of science, I learned about the ways that everyone believes something is true–like the old notion of some kind of ether in the air propagating gravitational forces–until they realized that it wasn’t true.”

...In fact, people without a tech degree may already be benefiting the most from tech’s boom . Some fascinating insights can be found on LinkedIn, which tracks graduates of specific universities as they move into the workforce. Say hello to the 62,887 LinkedIn members who attended Northwestern University in the past decade. Now zoom in on the 3,426 who have moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most popular destinations outside the Midwest, as they chase the Silicon Valley dream. Smart call: The Wildcats’ top corporate employers include Google, Apple, Facebook, Genentech and LinkedIn.

Surprisingly, only 30% of these migrants ended up in engineering, research or information technology. As LinkedIn data show, most of the migrants have created nontechnical career paths in Silicon Valley. The list starts with sales and marketing (14%) and goes on to include education (6%), consulting (5%), business development (5%) and a host of other specialties ranging from product management to real estate. Add up the jobs held by people who majored in psychology, history, gender studies and the like, and they quickly surpass the totals for engineering and computer science.

CONTINUED (huge article with excellent data)
http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2015/07/29/liberal-arts-degree-tech/
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on October 08, 2015, 11:25:53 PM
Every campus had one or two of these guys...totally out-of-their-minds rich kids who looked normal but had pretty severe mental issues.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgNnDtqxnSU

These guys got *really* insane at parties.  I watched a guy like this push his own friend down a staircase (that "friend" attempted to ruffie my roommate's girlfriend, incidentally), pull a sink out of the wall, then take over 20 unblocked punches to the face and just stood there dazed with blood dripping down his face until the police showed up.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on October 08, 2015, 11:36:41 PM
^Oh yeah, OU was loaded with those types of people.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on October 09, 2015, 08:43:48 AM
People over 30 have zero patience for those guys.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on October 09, 2015, 09:00:42 AM
People over 30 have zero patience for those guys.

Yeah, but I'm a bit amazed that none of the other college students are heckling this guy.  I guess they were too busy filming it. 

I can't believe the cafeteria staff kept their cool to the degree they did.  If I was in charge of that place I probably would have head-butted this guy well before he made the first move. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: rockandroller on October 09, 2015, 02:38:21 PM
I seriously cannot remember going to school with anyone that acted like that. Of all the incidents and hubbub in the dorm, none of it ever resembled anything like that. Wow.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 01, 2015, 12:52:45 AM
Missouri woman accrues an incredible $400,000+ in student loan debt:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/missouri-high-school-teacher-ended-200000267.html

I'm not sure how she got away without paying her loan for 20+ years, but I can relate in the slightest.  I remember doing a deferral for two years after I got out of school.  I paid $100/mo instead of the $280 or whatever I was supposed to pay.  My overall balance grew by $1,000 or $2,000 dollars.  Not a big deal but it took me until about Year 4 of paying off student loans (2 years of deferral then 2 years of paying on schedule) until my overall balance was back to what it was when I graduated. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 01, 2015, 01:14:29 AM
Backlash against for-profit scam colleges is building:
http://thinkprogress.org/education/2015/11/16/3722604/for-profit-college-settlement/

It's not clear what the terms of the settlement are from this article.  I can't tell if it's reimbursement for any semester withdrawal or only the first semester of any particular student's time at the school.  But as I think I've said earlier in this thread, I worked at a for-profit college and they tricked the hell out of students.  For example, they'd tell people they could resume the same class on the same week the next semester at no extra charge, but would go ahead and charge them the full amount for both semesters. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on December 01, 2015, 09:56:34 AM
Leave it to the private sector to figure out ways to scam people in ways previously never thought possible.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 01, 2015, 11:17:06 AM
Leave it to the private sector to figure out ways to scam people in ways previously never thought possible.

They wouldn't be able to do all of this if not for the federal loan program or the bizarre way that private lenders seem to be willing to throw money at people in medical assistant and massage therapy school. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on December 21, 2015, 08:15:21 PM
Unbelievable! Look at the hundreds of millions the for-profit industry has squandered of veteran's benefits...

http://www.businessinsider.com/university-of-phoenix-military-recruitment-ban-2015-10
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on December 21, 2015, 09:40:22 PM
I hate how there's a bunch of industries focused on screwing people who have joined the military -- especially young guys.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 16, 2016, 09:17:45 PM
So it turns out that the IRS considers whatever is forgiven as "income" when you finish a lengthy income-based student loan repayment plan:
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/ex-students-income-based-loan-payments-face-huge-tax-bill

I'm not sure the numbers quite add up with this guy, though.  He'd have to pay about $1,500/mo for the next 25 years to pay off the $220,000 balance.  If his wife earns $50,000 they could probably afford to throw $3,000 per month at this debt and pay it off in about 10 years.  They of course would have to live in a modest house and not have kids, but then again, that's what the student loan situation is doing all over the place -- keeping housing prices low and keeping people from being able to have kids and save for retirement. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Ram23 on February 17, 2016, 08:35:14 AM
^ None of that math seems to add up - notably that the guy earns $90,000 a year and can only manage to pay $575 a month toward student loans. He's spending a lot of money every month on something. I doubt the $575 is truly the most he can afford, I think he's intentionally looking to pay as little as possible and remain optimistic that he can weasel out of the tax bill after 25 years. If the threat of IRS taxation wasn't there, waiting out the 25 years on minimum payments might very well be the wisest financial decision for people with as much debt as this guy.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on February 17, 2016, 10:00:53 AM
I wonder if there is a variable in the ICRP formula that takes into account the cost of living where you are.  I don't know Antioch, California, but if it's one of the more expensive areas (it seems to be an outlying community in the greater San Francisco area), the math might show that $90,000 there doesn't leave you with much.  I know that in chapter 13 bankruptcy plans, for example, the math works differently if you earn $100,000 in Manhattan vs. $100,000 in Toledo.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 17, 2016, 11:43:38 AM
I wonder if there is a variable in the ICRP formula that takes into account the cost of living where you are.  I don't know Antioch, California, but if it's one of the more expensive areas (it seems to be an outlying community in the greater San Francisco area), the math might show that $90,000 there doesn't leave you with much.  I know that in chapter 13 bankruptcy plans, for example, the math works differently if you earn $100,000 in Manhattan vs. $100,000 in Toledo.

As seems to be the case with most of these published stories, we don't have quite enough information to give specific advice from the comfort of our arm chairs.

One of the details we don't have is is there just one mega-consolidated loan or are there several smaller loans?  If so, then there is some relief in sight when the first or second loan is paid off. But otherwise it's like a mortgage (and unlike credit cards) since the monthly payment won't go down if you pay more per month.  You risk losing more money if you foreclose (and in fact increase the risk of foreclosure) after having overpaid on your mortgage, just like if you overpay on your student loans rather than just saving extra money in an account.   



Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 17, 2016, 11:33:47 PM
Ads for UC student housing...no doubt these same stock images can be found on similar ads for similar student housing elsewhere:
(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j231/jmecklenborg/2016/city-7879_zpsqvyvce5o.jpg) (http://s81.photobucket.com/user/jmecklenborg/media/2016/city-7879_zpsqvyvce5o.jpg.html)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j231/jmecklenborg/2016/city-7877_zpsq01ebdbk.jpg) (http://s81.photobucket.com/user/jmecklenborg/media/2016/city-7877_zpsq01ebdbk.jpg.html)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j231/jmecklenborg/2016/city-7875_zpsjmgguwdu.jpg) (http://s81.photobucket.com/user/jmecklenborg/media/2016/city-7875_zpsjmgguwdu.jpg.html)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j231/jmecklenborg/2016/city-7874_zps6movrpf1.jpg) (http://s81.photobucket.com/user/jmecklenborg/media/2016/city-7874_zps6movrpf1.jpg.html)

(http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j231/jmecklenborg/2016/city-7873_zpsp4qg4k2q.jpg) (http://s81.photobucket.com/user/jmecklenborg/media/2016/city-7873_zpsp4qg4k2q.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on February 19, 2016, 04:59:30 PM
I wonder if there is a variable in the ICRP formula that takes into account the cost of living where you are.  I don't know Antioch, California, but if it's one of the more expensive areas (it seems to be an outlying community in the greater San Francisco area), the math might show that $90,000 there doesn't leave you with much.  I know that in chapter 13 bankruptcy plans, for example, the math works differently if you earn $100,000 in Manhattan vs. $100,000 in Toledo.

Antioch is not a desirable place for rich kids like Oakland and San Francisco, but it's in the Bay, so it's still insanely expensive by any national standards. $100k is not a lot of money in Antioch, despite the fact it's one the cheapest, least competitive places in the Bay. It usually ranks dead last in desirability. Rich kids would probably rather live in a dangerous part of Richmond than all the way out there. Antioch also has no BART service, so you need to factor in huge car expenses. Google busses don't run out there either. Antioch might be half the rent of Oakland and San Francisco for the same square footage, but then those savings are wiped out by transportation costs and higher utilities. It'd be a wash for a single person, though families would save a lot more since housing units are larger and public schools are better.

Keep in mind in the Bay today, under 75k yearly income generally qualifies you for some subsidized housing programs in San Francisco, Berkeley, Emeryville, and other cities. Metro-wide, anyone under six figures will struggle to survive without rent control and without owning. The income limits for subsidized housing in Berkeley are about $75,000 a year for a single. In Emeryville, it's about $78,000 a year. Realistically, 100k in in the Bay is about equal to the living standards of 30k in Ohio. You'll still need multiple roommates. My old roommate who was a tech investor made 180k a year, was single, and still needed two roommates after his landlord kicked him out of his 1-bedroom.

http://www.ci.emeryville.ca.us/565/Below-Market-Rate-Ownership-Program

*Anyone earning 100k in Toledo can own multiple Victorian mansions and a couple of income-generating duplexes or a small historic apartment building in the urban core with 4 units generating $500 a month each (purchased for maybe $50,000 cash in livable condition). 100k in Toledo = 500k in the Bay.

Cost-of-living absolutely needs to be taken into account when discussing these issues. The Bay should also have a minimum wage of at least $20 an hour at this point, not $15 an hour like we approved. Four years ago, sure, $15 an hour would work with four roommates (I managed on about that in excellent SF neighborhoods that have doubled or tripled in price since then), but today? No way. You're homeless on the bullet-cased streets of West Oakland.

I have no idea how any recent college grad could live in the Bay Area while paying off student loans. That has gotten extremely rare unless they were a medical student and are pulling $500k salary at a local hospital. Nurses pulling $150k standard salary might also be able to do it if they get housing help. I rarely meet anyone under 30 with student loans in Oakland or San Francisco. The typical profile I see is of kids who had college paid for by parents or kids who got significant scholarships.

Student loans are becoming a thing of the past in wealthy markets like the Bay. It's very similar to how mortgages have become a thing of the past in most San Francisco and Oakland neighborhoods. Truly rich people pay all-cash for as much as possible to avoid debt unless it's extremely low-risk debt. That's the difference between the global .01% of the Bay and the aspirational rich elsewhere in America. They pay for their kid's tuition and rent in college and buy their homes/investment properties straight cash to win the bid wars in desirable neighborhoods with high flipping potential. Student loans are high-risk debt, much higher risk than property investments in top tier global cities. Many of the Bay's wealthy also buy houses for their kids out of college so they don't end up like 20-somethings elsewhere in America stuck in a debt trap. Sometimes the parents become their kid's landlords. There also are an insane number of applicants from out of state and out of country trying to get into top California schools who are paying full freight at higher tuition. Their parents will do anything to get them into Stanford or Berkeley. Since all of the state budget cuts, many people have suspected these wealthier applicants are being favored at the expense of Californians.

Due to the Bay's global economic dominance, many wealthy parents from around the world want to get their kids in here so they can be shielded from the economic issues seen in the rest of the United States. I can't really blame them. The best thing a parent could do for their kids is get them into Stanford or Berkeley, regardless of the cost. They'll set them up for a lifetime of economic and social opportunity. Smart parents who can afford it want their kids to go to school in places with excellent job opportunities.

**I've also had some recent sad cases of UC Berkeley students being evicted from their apartments applying to live with me because their parents can't afford the Berkeley rents. These students have to leave Berkeley even though they're well-qualified to study there. They did all the work to get in and succeed there, and now they're screwed due to the housing crisis. It's not the tuition doing this. It's the Bay-wide housing shortage and resulting rents off campus. :|

***We're going to see a lot more of this. Students with loans could be permanently priced out of markets like the Bay Area since they can't compete on housing (at least at schools lacking in dorms for every student). The real kick in the teeth is that cities like San Francisco are by far the best places for recent grads to find jobs. It's a real catch-22 in America.

****I'm also seeing a huge shift with Gen Z. Many of them are living at home for their first few years of undergrad or going to community college first and transferring to a university later. By contrast, Gen Y millennials were more gung-ho on getting the "full campus experience," which bankrupted most of them. It's crazy to do 4-6 years on the main campus if you can't afford it. Gen Z could fix the student loan crisis. They seem far more reluctant to go deep into debt than we were. It's an area where I see Gen Z displaying more maturity than Gen Y.

I remember like half of my friends going to graduate school, getting an MBA, and/or going to law school because they were scared of the real world recession-era job market...I don't think you're going to see as much of this "hiding out in grad school" behavior with Gen Z. The concept of the "career student" could become a thing of the past. People might go back to focusing only on the graduate schools with top ROI, and not enrolling in them until after a few years of real world career experience. I don't think anyone should get an MBA until they've worked in the real world. The MBA may even fall out of favor to be replaced by networking sessions and professional career retreats/workshops. This is already happening with a lot of creative industry degrees.

I think my sister has like two or three graduate degrees, and she doesn't use any of them. She's a waitress, but she's a waitress in a tourism town where they can easily outearn college grads in places like Ohio. There are lot of people in their late 20's and 30's like that...
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 19, 2016, 05:36:59 PM
Everyone pays the same federal tax so people in the expensive cities hit the higher income brackets quickly.

This is slightly off-topic, but definitely related to Midwest living expenses -- you can still find houses and multifamilies that you can rent for 1.5% or even 2% of the purchase price.  What this means is that you can commonly get $1,500 or $2,000/mo on a $100k property if it's in an uncool neighborhood in an uncool Ohio city.  Just this week I ran across two guys in the podcast sphere who have basically bailed on investing on the coasts and instead have picked up and moved their operations to the middle of the country to get higher returns.  Specifically, one guy moved his company from Oregon to Kansas City and another guy bailed on NYC and know invests almost exclusively in Knoxville, TN.

Ohio fits into that category...cheap, quality stuff is all over Cincinnati and Cleveland.  You'd struggle to find anything like the returns you get here anywhere in California, maybe in Bakersfield or Fresno. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on February 19, 2016, 05:40:42 PM
^The smartest investment properties are rental housing around Ohio's major universities. You can buy a decent, livable house around Cincinnati or Toledo for $75-125k, and rent it to students for $2,000 a month. You might now be able to get even better returns around Ohio State. For the price of one rental property in Berkeley, Oakland, or San Francisco, you could get 10-20 properties in Ohio. Athens would have the best returns due to it being much more competitive than the norm in the Midwest since it's such a great party town. Housing prices in Athens are cheap compared to rents. Athens likely still has the highest rents in Ohio. When I lived in Athens, it was more expensive than Ann Arbor, Madison, and Chicago (much higher than Wrigleyville at the time when considering square footage and quality).

The college bubble hasn't blown yet, and even it it does, most of the university-related housing is well-situated for stable rents (generally safe neighborhoods not too far from downtown- could be good family housing too). Ohio's public elementary and high schools are excellent compared to California's. If the college students ever leave Ohio, you'll see families replace them.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on February 19, 2016, 05:57:00 PM
You can actually get stuff that is a much better deal around Cincinnati as opposed to a rental near UC. 

That said, I own a house that will be a UC rental in a few years.  If I pay it off when I'm 40, rent it for 40 years, then sell it when I'm 80, having made $7,500 year in rent above expenses and taxes, and having reinvested those earnings, I'll easily earn $1 million in 2020 dollars before selling the thing.  The  way lending works in the United States is that once you completely pay off one house, you're able to pretty easily get loans for four more.  So if you have five paid-for blue collar homes by the time you retire, even in Ohio, you're bringing in about $3,000-4,000.  It's a rule of thumb that you can retire whenever you get 20 homes paid off.     
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 29, 2016, 02:25:47 PM
This girl writes an article about the silver lining of student loan debt -- being forced to get organized, etc.:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/03/29/tax-season-paying-off-student-loans/82339632/


Her situation is not extreme, and it's easy to criticize the car lease situation.  Also, she doesn't appear to have gotten a second job or really, truly "sacrificed".  But the real problem is in the comments.  People are so eager to pour it on and pretend that they had it worse.  No they didn't, at least not so far as student loans are concerned. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Brutus_buckeye on March 29, 2016, 04:23:44 PM
You can actually get stuff that is a much better deal around Cincinnati as opposed to a rental near UC. 

That said, I own a house that will be a UC rental in a few years.  If I pay it off when I'm 40, rent it for 40 years, then sell it when I'm 80, having made $7,500 year in rent above expenses and taxes, and having reinvested those earnings, I'll easily earn $1 million in 2020 dollars before selling the thing.  The  way lending works in the United States is that once you completely pay off one house, you're able to pretty easily get loans for four more.  So if you have five paid-for blue collar homes by the time you retire, even in Ohio, you're bringing in about $3,000-4,000.  It's a rule of thumb that you can retire whenever you get 20 homes paid off.     


If you have a UC Rental, you can probably rent that for a lot more than clear $7500. We have a number of rentals at UD and we put 5-6 people in the house paying $7000 for the school year per person and then if they stay the summer they pay additional. College rentals can be very lucrative.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 29, 2016, 06:17:57 PM
Sure, I should gross more than that, but I always underestimate things because I'm aware of what can go wrong.  Inevitably you will have at least one major expense per decade, if not two, and might lose rent if the tenants move out.  For example, if the pipes burst and the tenants simply move out, you're out the plumbing repair + the lost rent.  Plus you might get sued and so will incur legal bills.  Also, I forgot to mention that I will probably turn it over to a property management company at some point which obviously cuts into net receipts quite significantly. 

Back to for-profit schools scamming students...it turns out that some of the for-profit schools have students sign a document that gives away their right to challenge the school in the legal system:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mollyhensleyclancy/students-ripped-off-by-for-profit-schools-cant-sue#.baR16Ejry
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on March 30, 2016, 08:43:07 PM
For-profit school loses accreditation, students out tens of thousands as program shuts down just weeks from graduation:
http://www.wcpo.com/news/education/ohio-board-of-nursing-revokes-approval-for-antonelli-program
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 07, 2016, 09:05:40 PM
More Than 40% of Student Borrowers Aren’t Making Payments
New figure raises worries that millions of them may never repay more than $200 billion owed
By JOSH MITCHELL
Updated April 7, 2016 1:05 p.m. ET
460 COMMENTS

More than 40% of Americans who borrowed from the government’s main student-loan program aren’t making payments or are behind on more than $200 billion owed, raising worries that millions of them may never repay.

The new figures represent the fallout of a decadelong borrowing boom as record numbers of students enrolled in trade schools, universities and graduate schools.

While most have since left school and joined the workforce, 43% of the roughly 22 million Americans with federal student loans weren’t making payments as of Jan. 1, according to a quarterly snapshot of the Education Department’s $1.2 trillion student-loan portfolio.

About 1 in 6 borrowers, or 3.6 million, were in default on $56 billion in student debt, meaning they had gone at least a year without making a payment. Three million more owing roughly $66 billion were at least a month behind.

Meantime, another three million owing almost $110 billion were in “forbearance” or “deferment,” meaning they had received permission to temporarily halt payments due to a financial emergency, such as unemployment. The figures exclude borrowers still in school and those with government-guaranteed private loans.

CONTINUED
http://www.wsj.com/articles/more-than-40-of-student-borrowers-arent-making-payments-1459971348
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Mendo on April 07, 2016, 09:59:14 PM
Nice headline. This:
Quote
More Than 40% of Student Borrowers Aren’t Making Payments

And this:
Quote
More than 40% of Americans who borrowed from the government’s main student-loan program aren’t making payments or are behind on more than $200 billion owed,

...mean completely different things.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: C-Dawg on April 08, 2016, 04:39:08 PM
^Yeah, I wonder what the numbers are for private loans? I bet it's similar, but sloppy journalism not to include it.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 13, 2016, 08:34:37 PM
Good kids getting into top schools but they can't come close to affording it:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/04/13/playing-financial-merit-aid-roulette-with-my-college-bound-son/


I got into much better schools than I could afford to attend, so I can relate to this.  I ended up going to the two state colleges I went to completely for financial reasons even though I was accepted and got some money from much better schools. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Brutus_buckeye on April 13, 2016, 10:41:45 PM
There is nothing wrong with going to a State school. In fact, there are a lot of fools who go to very expensive private schools and graduate heavily in debt. It may open a door or two initially, but beyond the first couple of years, it does not really mean too much in the career.

There are a lot of successful people who graduate from Ohio U in the world, and there are a fair share of failures who graduate from Harvard.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 13, 2016, 11:21:07 PM
There is nothing wrong with going to a State school. In fact, there are a lot of fools who go to very expensive private schools and graduate heavily in debt. It may open a door or two initially, but beyond the first couple of years, it does not really mean too much in the career.

There are a lot of successful people who graduate from Ohio U in the world, and there are a fair share of failures who graduate from Harvard.


Yes and no to all that.  But something that can't be ignored is that attending an elite school with students from wealthy families means you're somewhat more likely to marry someone with a nice fat inheritance coming their (and your) way. 

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on April 14, 2016, 01:28:49 PM
my only question is why someone would apply to all 8 Ivy League schools (plus several more elite institutions). How much does it cost to submit even one college application these days? $100, 200?? I wonder what her backup school is, MIT? (mine was Lakeland Comm. College-- :laugh:)

Long Island High School Student Sweeps All Eight Ivies
By MIKE McPHATE
APRIL 6, 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/07/nyregion/long-island-high-school-students-sweeps-ivy-league-universities.html?_r=0
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Ram23 on April 14, 2016, 02:07:20 PM
Quote
Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants.

I wonder how much the current trend toward holistic admissions affected this situation?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 14, 2016, 02:28:19 PM
Yeah, do the admissions people who actually crunch the numbers (or whatever they crunch) see an applicant's name?  If so they can form a picture in their mind, if they don't just do a google image search or look them up on Facebook. 

When I have lived in other areas of the country I have had people variously assume that I was Jewish or from an old money family based on my name alone.  I don't know if it worked for me or against me.   



Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 14, 2016, 02:34:03 PM
I'll add though that I worked for several months as a temp at a standardized test scoring company.  It takes a huge staff of people to score the essay sections of the tests.  The training for each question is pretty lengthy and each essay is scored by two different people.  If a passage receives different scores from different scorers, it is kicked out once more and scored by a third person. 

The frustrating thing about scoring those essays was that you could see that the more creative and better-spoken students often got lower scores than those who stumbled on the "correct" key words and phrases by accident. We also were not permitted to score based on penmanship.  But from an admissions standpoint, I'd have to think that handwriting is a heckuva window into the maturity and character of the applicant. 

Also, a few of the people I met who devise those tests (the essays and the overall structure of the tests) were some of the smarter people I've met.  Overall there were definitely some very intelligent people working in this realm. 

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on April 14, 2016, 02:35:19 PM
Quote
Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants.

I wonder how much the current trend toward holistic admissions affected this situation?

“They are very concerned about racial and ethnic diversity,” Mr. Skarlis said. “They would rather have the Latino kid from the Bronx who has overcome something significant in his life, rather than the upper-middle-class or more affluent white student.”

I suspect the kids of African (except Somali) immigrants are especially prized since they fulfill a de facto racial quota yet usually have values more like Asian immigrants. (Which is probably  how she ended up applying to all the Ivies.)

This is by no means a bad thing.  It can start countering the idea that issues facing the black community are racial rather than cultural.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on April 14, 2016, 02:50:55 PM

 We also were not permitted to score based on penmanship.  But from an admissions standpoint, I'd have to think that handwriting is a heckuva window into the maturity and character of the applicant. 

except these days kids aren't even capable of handwriting!

Why Johnny can’t sign his name: Cursive writing goes the way of the quill

http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2013/06/23/why_johnny_cant_sign_his_name_cursive_writing_goes_the_way_of_the_quill.html
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Cincinnatus on April 14, 2016, 03:56:39 PM

 We also were not permitted to score based on penmanship.  But from an admissions standpoint, I'd have to think that handwriting is a heckuva window into the maturity and character of the applicant. 

except these days kids aren't even capable of handwriting!

Why Johnny can’t sign his name: Cursive writing goes the way of the quill

http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2013/06/23/why_johnny_cant_sign_his_name_cursive_writing_goes_the_way_of_the_quill.html

My son is 6 and goes to CHCA in Downtown Cincy and his handwriting is better than a lot of adults I see.

When he was doing his homework, I said that's not how you write an "h" ... he started putting little hooks on all of his letters. When I was picking him up I asked the teacher about it and she said it's because they're going to teach them cursive next year. I was pretty relieved and asked her about CHCA doing away with cursive like a lot of schools seem to be now and she said something like, "we will never stop teaching cursive handwriting."
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on April 14, 2016, 07:54:13 PM
That's what they taught us at the Christian school I went to for K-1st. It was like printing but had the hooks. I think it was called D'nealian handwriting.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 14, 2016, 08:26:03 PM
Come on.  It took maybe 2 weeks of English class in 3rd grade to learn cursive, perhaps less time than we spent learning to type.  What are they doing instead with the time? 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on April 14, 2016, 08:43:03 PM
The hits keep coming.  Pay off student loans early or increase 401k contributions?  This article doesn't consider saving for a house/paying off house early and/or real estate investing. 
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/pay-off-student-loans-save-162100816.html

None of these columns seem to ever suggest that people with professional jobs should also get a part-time job and put all of that extra money to loans/401k/house.  I kept telling my youngest brother who was in sales to go get a restaurant or bartending job and he didn't do it.  Sure enough last Monday he got canned and now has zero money coming in, a too-expensive apartment, and a car with payments.  So the repo man is circling the block. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: gaslight on April 14, 2016, 09:32:30 PM
Come on.  It took maybe 2 weeks of English class in 3rd grade to learn cursive, perhaps less time than we spent learning to type.  What are they doing instead with the time? 


Too much time teaching common core
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on June 01, 2016, 01:03:25 PM
This article goes into how a lot of students at private, NON-profit schools have trouble graduating or making a decent income after graduating. I can't help but think that the locations of a lot of private schools in small towns far from major employment centers is hurting their students' prospects. Back in the 19th and 20th centuries when having any college degree was a big deal these out-of-the-way schools were just as good or better a placing students in jobs than ones located in major cities. Now that's not true. I remember a lot of students starting out at more expensive, private rural schools then transferring to city schools when they became worried about their job prospects and the cost of tuition.



Graduation Rates: The Telltale Sign Of Success Or Indicator Of Failure?

For millions of students, attending college is a means to a better life: more job prospects, and higher earnings over a lifetime. While students who enroll and graduate from an institution of higher learning often reach those goals — despite graduating with thousands of dollars in loan debt – millions of others never graduate and face mounting financial obstacles.

The report from Third Way, a Washington, D.C. think tank – suggests that hundreds of private, non-profit universities have failed to assist students in reaching their goals of graduating and moving forward in the real world.

According to the report, which analyzed data from the Department of Education’s College Scorecard, nearly half of the full-time, loan-holding students aren’t graduating, while those that do graduate aren’t earning sufficient incomes even years after completion, and far too many are unable to repay their loans.

more: https://consumerist.com/2016/06/01/graduation-rates-the-telltale-sign-of-success-or-indicator-of-failure/ (https://consumerist.com/2016/06/01/graduation-rates-the-telltale-sign-of-success-or-indicator-of-failure/)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 01, 2016, 01:47:10 PM
Yeah, I think a lot of these small colleges are out there limping along.  Everyone working there just needs a job. 

If I were hiring people and somebody came in with a degree from a school that I had to Google, I'd wonder why the hell they went to such an obscure school.  They'd seem like someone who tricks themselves into making weird life decisions and is needlessly afraid of crowds and cities. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on June 01, 2016, 02:51:31 PM
I'm not surprised.  It's a heresy that lots of people aren't willing to say yet (and those that do often do so anonymously on the Internet instead of on the campaign trail), but we are sending too many people to college (and, beyond that, too many people to graduate school).  But colleges have incentives to increase enrollment rather than selectivity, especially with little skin in the financial side of things post-graduation.  Competition for quantity is going to come at the expense of quality somewhere in the system, and there are just so many private nonprofit schools in the country that it's simply inevitable that some of them are going to have to relax standards to preserve or increase enrollment.  (Ohio is known for its wealth of public colleges, with 12, IIRC, but the number of private colleges in this state is just insane.)  I've kind of wondered what motivates people to go to Hiram, Defiance, Heidelberg, etc., and I'm sure that each of those schools have their analogues in other regions of the country.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: seicer on June 01, 2016, 03:40:06 PM
The college boom is over, and is going bust fast. St. Catherine's (which recently started offering four-year degrees to boost enrollment) is now closing in Kentucky: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article81098527.html
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on June 01, 2016, 04:29:51 PM
  I've kind of wondered what motivates people to go to Hiram, Defiance, Heidelberg, etc., and I'm sure that each of those schools have their analogues in other regions of the country.

Heidelberg has a reputation for letting almost everyone in.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Hootenany on June 01, 2016, 04:31:51 PM
^^^I totally agree that we are sending too many to college.  We are pumping out kids with worthless degrees and a mountain of debt.  At some point that's going to have a real impact on the economy if it isn't already.

I've long thought that the motivations of the universities needed to be forcefully changed by completely overhauling their funding mechanism.  Instead of loading up kids and their parents with debt to pay for college up front why doesn't the government (state or federal) collect a tax on the graduate for some number of years after they graduate to fund the University?  There would obviously need to be a transition period, but once operating this would shift the incentive of the University.  They wouldn't just be looking for warm bodies to fill the seats and dorms they would be looking for students with high earning potential because the more their graduates earn the more money they will take in. 

The government could even adjust the tax rate and/or taxable period based on strategic national interests and demand.  If engineers are needed, for example, they could tell students that engineering graduates will pay 5% of their income for 10 years to cover the cost of their education while other graduates (philosophy for example) will pay 5% of their income for 20 years.  They could use average salary data to determine equitable payment terms for each degree.  Now your playing the incentive game on both sides, student and University, to achieve a student enrollment that aligns a little bit better with demand and you're eliminating the student loan debt problem.

What am I missing?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 01, 2016, 04:47:57 PM
College should simply be free like how high school is, but it would be a lot easier to get kicked out than it is currently.  And people who are kicked out under certain situations would then have to pay tuition in order to come back and complete it.  Also, college tuition should be paid for out of a national inheritance tax on the wealthiest heirs. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: STRIVE2THRIVE on June 01, 2016, 05:13:35 PM
I don't think giving someone something (college degree in this case) for free is generally a good idea. It devalues it and is taken for granted. Perhaps a system like ROTC scholarships; They pay for your schooling, and you are guaranteed a job once you graduate and you owe a certain number of years to "pay it off".  Only instead of the Army/government paying for school, companies and businesses would pay to educate their future workers.  The shift in demand would be truly market driven and the businesses most likely would only want to pay for schools that teach and meet their required skills.  That would eliminate the obscure schools that people unthread seem to think exist.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on June 01, 2016, 05:17:28 PM
The number of salesmanship classes would go through the roof if businesses specified coursework.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 01, 2016, 05:54:01 PM
I don't think giving someone something (college degree in this case) for free is generally a good idea. It devalues it and is taken for granted. Perhaps a system like ROTC scholarships; They pay for your schooling, and you are guaranteed a job once you graduate and you owe a certain number of years to "pay it off".  Only instead of the Army/government paying for school, companies and businesses would pay to educate their future workers.  The shift in demand would be truly market driven and the businesses most likely would only want to pay for schools that teach and meet their required skills.  That would eliminate the obscure schools that people unthread seem to think exist.

No, in my perfect world, college would be almost 100% liberal arts, with little "training" toward any specific field.  That field won't exist 10 years after the student graduates.  But the lessons from literature, criticism, writing, cultural studies, philosophy, history, etc., are applicable for the rest of one's life. Many people earn "real" degrees in stuff like business and especially engineering but have never had to put anything out there.  They've never had their writing or other work critiqued by their peers.  They haven't been forced to fail in front of an audience -- when they turn in a lousy paper, only their teachers know. 

A freshman year that pulls a student in 6 different directions fall semester and 6 more spring semester means that they won't have natural strengths in each and so will truly struggle with a few of them.  And by "directions" I don't mean just formal classes.  I mean bring what we now call extracurriculars into the structured academic realm.  But those activities should be "unstructured" and peer-run.  Don't just "shadow" a professional or sit around in an office for a 4-month internship.  It's always been my observation that an intern has a privileged position that doesn't require any kind of grit -- nobody really screws with these people because they aren't real threats.  Instead the whole thing is just all cutesy. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Ram23 on June 01, 2016, 06:03:14 PM
The number of salesmanship classes would go through the roof if businesses specified coursework.

I feel like dozens of required credit hours for virtually an degree could be swapped out for courses that are more in-line with daily business activities in their respective fields. Using my degree(s) in architecture as an example, I could probably find 20-30 required credit hours I would have gladly swapped out for some courses in finance, administration, contract law, marketing, sales, etc. In 6 years of college, I had one required course for 3 credit hours that tried to capture all of that.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 01, 2016, 06:26:21 PM
^I agree with that.  Everyone would benefit from a cursory overview of the law...few college graduates have ever opened a law book (I didn't actually read a law until years after I left school).  Also, I would have loved to have taken a class called "History of Debt" and another called "History of Taxation". 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on August 23, 2016, 09:38:58 PM
Yale Law School grad and #1 bestselling author mispronounces diaspora at 2:28:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjRT4nu5KUI
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on September 06, 2016, 01:34:55 PM
Department of Education shuts down ITT Tech:
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/itt-techs-closure-one-largest-154806610.html
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Clevelander17 on September 07, 2016, 09:16:13 PM
Department of Education shuts down ITT Tech:
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/itt-techs-closure-one-largest-154806610.html

More for-profit "institutions" of education (K-12 and postsecondary) need to be on the chopping block. Very few are truly doing right by students.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on September 07, 2016, 09:30:24 PM
People don't realize not to buy things advertised during Maury
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 17, 2016, 06:52:42 PM
Fox News, etc., going crazy with university student protests of Trump:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/11/17/coddling-campus-crybabies-students-take-up-toddler-therapy-after-trump-win.html

Unfortunately these protesters are playing directly into the GOP's hands.  The Republicans have wanted to defund state universities and bolster the for-profit colleges they own for decades -- these protests enrage baby boomers and the nursing home set, despite those entire generations having benefited from high union wages and college tuition that was practically free by today's standards. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Ram23 on November 17, 2016, 06:59:03 PM
^ A lawmaker in Iowa has already put the ball in motion on this:

http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/15/iowa-lawmaker-introduces-suck-buttercup-bill-response-election-related-protests/
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 17, 2016, 07:11:55 PM
The left doesn't understand that moderates aren't pulled to their side by protest marches (or strikes) and the right absolutely hates them.  College protests seem to pretty much just serve as self-congratulatory photo-ops for a fraction of the student population. 

My grandfather hated labor unions so much that he cancelled a vacation to France when he heard a 5 second report that some segment of the French workforce was striking. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on February 05, 2017, 01:45:00 PM
and this is just one reason why Painesville has been proud to be the home of Lake Erie College for 161 years. But hey, at least kids are learning something :|. I guess it's only a matter of time before they will be granting degrees in this subject, like they do at Emerson College (alma mater of Jay Leno, though I'm sure back in his day there a major in comedy would have been...well, laughable). I wonder if there will the opportunity to do course work in the field. I never thought of Painesville as particularly funny, although there's certainly a lot to mock :laugh:

Lake Erie College unveils new minor in comedy studies
By Tawana Roberts, The News-Herald
POSTED: 02/04/17, 7:14 PM EST

http://www.news-herald.com/general-news/20170204/lake-erie-college-unveils-new-minor-in-comedy-studies

"Lake Erie College is bringing more laughter to its Painesville campus.

Students now have the opportunity to pursue a minor in comedy studies, a new offering within the College’s School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

According to the news release, the comedy studies minor at Lake Erie College will help students harness their creativity across disciplines while honing their techniques and exploring the rich historical, cultural and theoretical dimensions of comedy as an art form.

Students will primarily learn from associate professor of theater Jerry Jaffe, who conceptualized the new minor."
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Ram23 on April 24, 2017, 01:22:09 PM
The war on young men at US colleges needs to end — now

http://nypost.com/2017/04/23/the-war-on-young-men-at-us-colleges-needs-to-end-now/

The largely hallucinatory “war on women” has nothing on the very real war on college boys.

A few recent stories highlight just how unfair and unjust an environment US campuses have become for young men — and the necessity of federal intervention to fix the damage previous federal intervention has done.

Take Thomas Klocke, a University of Texas at Arlington student accused of making anti-gay comments to a classmate. Klocke vehemently denied the charges and said his classmate had hit on him and Klocke angered him by rebuffing his advances.

According to Reason magazine, “Klocke received no hearing, even though the university’s Title IX policy explicitly mandates hearings for students in danger of being expelled. He was simply charged with making physical threats against a student and engaging in harassment, in violation of Title IX.”

A school “academic integrity” official “conceded that there wasn’t enough evidence against Klocke.” No problem: “Administrators found him responsible for harassment anyway and placed him on disciplinary probation.”

Klocke killed himself a few days later.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 07, 2017, 12:55:53 PM
UK students caught crawling through air ducts to steal exam:

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/05/05/university-kentucky-students-crawl-through-air-duct-steal-exam/101324330/
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on May 08, 2017, 10:46:32 AM
You never know, maybe they were just Deus Ex LARPing.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on August 02, 2017, 01:28:04 PM
Let's help promote this person's blog, why don't we:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/02/pf/early-retirement/index.html

So somehow she "grew up really poor" but used her family's savings to pay for Harvard AND had "savings" when she graduated.  Okay, whatever.   



Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Magyar on September 27, 2017, 01:58:06 AM
I guess Jake has gotten bored with this topic.
Anyways, the following seeped its way into my intermittent FB newsfeed over the weekend.
https://www.thenation.com/article/why-is-college-so-expensive-if-professors-are-paid-so-little/ (https://www.thenation.com/article/why-is-college-so-expensive-if-professors-are-paid-so-little/)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on November 08, 2017, 01:21:38 PM
Whether unionized or otherwise, I fully agree that adjunct faculty are among the biggest losers of the current educational model.  Adjunct faculty roles should really be utilized for "second job" faculty, not full-time instructors.  There were partners at my old law firm that were also adjunct faculty at the University of Akron Law School.  They weren't dependent on their university paychecks and they would legitimately have less claim to a voice in university governance, because they generally taught something like 1 course a year or even 1 course every other year.

That said, while unionization might bring their wages up, I'd worry about the budget coming from even-higher tuition for undergrads (who already pay far too much) rather than moving positions out of administration and back into the classroom.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on November 09, 2017, 03:06:22 AM
Whether unionized or otherwise, I fully agree that adjunct faculty are among the biggest losers of the current educational model.  Adjunct faculty roles should really be utilized for "second job" faculty, not full-time instructors.  There were partners at my old law firm that were also adjunct faculty at the University of Akron Law School.  They weren't dependent on their university paychecks and they would legitimately have less claim to a voice in university governance, because they generally taught something like 1 course a year or even 1 course every other year.

That said, while unionization might bring their wages up, I'd worry about the budget coming from even-higher tuition for undergrads (who already pay far too much) rather than moving positions out of administration and back into the classroom.

Since it's "The Nation" I don't expect them to mention the impact of government subsidizing tuition.   Of course the colleges charge more, because they can....

A friend of mine is an adjunct professor at both Notre Dame and CCC while holding down a full time nursing job.   Not sure where she finds the energy.  But both of those are side jobs.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on November 09, 2017, 09:52:31 AM
What if tuition were still subsidized, but colleges weren't allowed to blow all the money on frivolous construction and president salaries?  Those gateway poles along Euclid that say "CSU" cost over $100k apiece, just to tell people something they already know.  Hard to blame runaway costs on tuition aid when the students receiving that aid have no say in its expenditure.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on November 09, 2017, 10:53:04 AM
The rule system you'd need to have in place to prevent those frivolous expenditures would be so complex and require so many administrators that it would cancel out the benefit of the reduced costs.  How many layers of bureaucracy do you want to put into place to oversee executive compensation and/or capital spending?  Particularly when capital spending is often heavily subsidized by restricted donations and can't be redirected to the general budget to increase adjunct salaries (or simply hire more adjuncts and expand the course catalog)?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 09, 2017, 11:48:13 AM
The paradox is that state universities attract more out-of-state students when they attract more out-of-state students, which is not their core mission.  This puts state universities in unnecessary competition with public universities in other states and within their own state system. 

This means tons and tons of money spent in pursuit of rankings (in order to boost the careers of the school-jumping presidents and provosts).  That means tons of marketing and tons of recruiters.  These innumerable characters are paid as much or more than full-time faculty.  And 10X more than the lowly adjuncts. 

The career of a high-level administrator is boosted more by construction of a new building than the sensible renovation of an existing one.  The career of a high-level fund raiser is boosted more by a successful $100 million campaign for said building rather than $30 million for a renovation. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Brutus_buckeye on November 09, 2017, 11:57:36 AM
It is good business to pull kids from out of state to their schools. South Carolina and Clemson are notorious for hitting Ohio Schools because their students vacation down in Hilton Head and other areas down there. These schools have such a poor product of students in their own states they need to reach outside the state to places like Ohio to attract talent.

The kids find it appealing because they are closer to the beach and the weather is warmer. It is a nice selling point for these schools. Most 17 year olds don't really care what the programs are and to be honest it does not matter too much for undergrad anyway. These schools puff their programs up to make it seem more important to the average HS kids. They also can give these out of state kids a Scholarship and still come out way ahead because they are still paying above the in state rate with the scholarship. It is a shell game.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 09, 2017, 11:57:39 AM
Parents don't care that these people are just salesmen. They are treated with the same revere as the actual educators.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on November 09, 2017, 12:35:54 PM
The rule system you'd need to have in place to prevent those frivolous expenditures would be so complex and require so many administrators that it would cancel out the benefit of the reduced costs.  How many layers of bureaucracy do you want to put into place to oversee executive compensation and/or capital spending?  Particularly when capital spending is often heavily subsidized by restricted donations and can't be redirected to the general budget to increase adjunct salaries (or simply hire more adjuncts and expand the course catalog)?

Sometimes.  Other times it's an Akron situation where the place nearly bankrupts itself.  Even in the first instance, the school may be better off not accepting a strings-attached donation that will end up costing it money.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 09, 2017, 05:30:05 PM
Parents don't care that these people are just salesmen. They are treated with the same revere as the actual educators.

These people probably have a degree but rarely have the advanced degrees that the adjuncts have.  The recruiters are well-paid and enjoy full benefits.  The adjuncts are poorly paid and receive zero benefits. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Brutus_buckeye on November 09, 2017, 05:41:54 PM
^ Depends what the Adjuncts degree is. Some adjuncts are very well paid by their real job and then just teach a class or two on the side. Other adjuncts try and cobble together piecemeal college work in low paying fields and would rather settle for a low paying part time college professor job as opposed to a real job.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 09, 2017, 09:05:59 PM
Since real jobs are always super easy to get
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 09, 2017, 09:13:48 PM
a low paying part time college professor job as opposed to a real job.

Yeah, a real job, like being a college recruiter.  Or back where I taught and made $17/hr with no benefits but the unionized janitors made $24/hr starting. 

A few years ago I made that remark while poking a Tea Partier and he instantly turned it around on me, asking why I'm too good to clean toilets.  I countered by telling him about the time I invited all of the janitors to a party I threw and that I caught one of them smoking weed with a student's mom and her sister.   
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Brutus_buckeye on November 09, 2017, 10:47:57 PM
^ I think there are 2 schools of thought on adjuncts. Personally, I have always thought of them as professionals with a day job who explore their passion by teaching a class or two at night or during the day if their schedule works. The pay sucks but it is more of a labor of love and the money is less important to them.

Then there are the professional adjuncts who cobble together 3-4 classes a semester, between 2-3 colleges in a city and use it to make ends meet. That is fine to if that is what makes you happy. There is no wrong way to do it. I have a few friends that do this. Their situations help them do this because they have a spouse with a job with benefits.

So ultimately, there is no wrong way to go about it. People find their own way to make it work for them.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 09, 2017, 10:52:11 PM
that reminds me that I need to clean the toilet at my Lancaster store
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: AJ93 on November 10, 2017, 09:33:57 AM
^ I think there are 2 schools of thought on adjuncts. Personally, I have always thought of them as professionals with a day job who explore their passion by teaching a class or two at night or during the day if their schedule works. The pay sucks but it is more of a labor of love and the money is less important to them.

Then there are the professional adjuncts who cobble together 3-4 classes a semester, between 2-3 colleges in a city and use it to make ends meet. That is fine to if that is what makes you happy. There is no wrong way to do it. I have a few friends that do this. Their situations help them do this because they have a spouse with a job with benefits.

So ultimately, there is no wrong way to go about it. People find their own way to make it work for them.

I agree that for those that choose the adjunct route as a side job. But I do believe universities exploit this as well, making less full time professor positions available, meaning that even if you wanted to teach full time, there are less opportunities to get those full tenured positions. So for those seeking jobs in academia, this is their only route.

On the flip side, I do believe an adjunct professor brings more to the table as a teacher, because they can provide examples real world applications for the subject matter. I found in college that too much of what I learned was in the abstract. The best teachers I had were ones that gave us case studies based on actual issues they were working on or had worked on in the past.

There's a balance. I just don't know what that perfect balance is.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 10, 2017, 09:41:52 AM
That's the difference between professors that are bogged down in research and ones that are able to do other things with their mind during downtime.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: westerninterloper on November 10, 2017, 11:47:11 AM
I've been a FT faculty member at a mid sized Ohio university (not "The" big one), and see many sides to this.  I work in a professional school, and the adjuncts we employ to teach often do work FT jobs, and bring that immediate practical experience and their social networks to their students. This is particularly valuable in professional schools like education, business, and law.

OTOH, it is clear that universities exploit adjuncts to manage the bottom line. Our university president recently went off script in a discussion about expanding enrollments, saying "we can use adjuncts...they are cheaper". We don't pay our adjuncts diddly.

As a FT faculty member, the reduction in tenure-line faculty means that more and more institutional work - recruiting, advising, letters of recommendation, grants, student thesis and dissertation projects, professional associations, and the never-ending committee work, falls on fewer and fewer people. I've sometimes fantasized about quitting my tenured position and taking a full-time teaching position, which would mean I would teach exactly one more course each semester, and be freed from all of that other work. It's tempting sometimes.

In sum, though, the loss of tenured faculty means a few things for the university:
1. concentration of authority among administrators, who more and more come into the field (NOT AN INDUSTRY) with background in educational administration (NOT LEADERSHIP), but no foundational academic background. They fundamentally do not understand what academics do; they are focused on the institution and "the students", an interest which often just means maintaining enrollment, and thus, the institution.

2. diminished opportunities for students - with fewer FT faculty members who are expected to be fully engaged in their field -- adjuncts rarely publish research or present at conferences - the work of introducing students to that work falls on just a few faculty members.

3. still more increase in mid-level administrators - the rapid decrease in tenured faculty (my department is down by 1/2 in the ten years I've been here, other departments are down 2/3rds), means more work for "support staff" that used to be taken care of by faculty. Recruiters, advisors, "college student personnel" who are essentially salespeople for the university to keep students enrolled, paying, and satisfied enough to stay.

Higher education has become a product like most other services used to me (ahem, health care), and universities must compete for students. The radical reduction in state funding all over the country has seen to that. It is absolute bullshit to criticize these institutions for being part of a market - including branding identities that mean $100K arches - when state governments have FORCED them into a competitive environment. Republicans think that running public services like a business leads to better outcomes. This is what you get.

Our university has invested almost a quarter of a billion dollars in infrastructure in the last five years, just to remain competitive with other institutions that can offer single-room housing, basic classroom technology, matching chairs and furniture (my office desk is way older than I am), and heating and cooling systems that work. We were losing students because so many have the expectation of living in their own rooms - most young people (surveying my classes) have grown up with their own space, and can't fathom having a roommate, so they go to a university that will 'meet their expectations'. This is what transitioning from a service to a business looks like.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 10, 2017, 12:04:16 PM
Doing away with shared dorm rooms for single person rooms was certainly a big expense for schools that they pretty much had to do. Today's students can't fathom all those rules from the '60s about when boys and girls can see each other. They're not going to be put into a situation where they can't have their stupid boyfriend sleep over every single night.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Brutus_buckeye on November 10, 2017, 12:11:07 PM
^ it is a shame that a single dorm room is what will keep kids in college now a days. Living in the dorm and having a roommate is a fun and enriching experience. I am afraid that all this isolationism will really harm kids abilities to connect to others on a social and societal level going forward.


But to the business reason. I think it is also a combination of housing as both a control issue and profit center. As someone who has college property, the universities used to rely heavily on off campus landlords to provide housing for students. Now, they see this as a profit center and also they see it as a way to keep control on the students. They don't have control if an off campus house hangs an offensive sheet out their window or if they have a keg party on the weekend or dress in offensive costumes. Enticing and cajoling the students back on campus provides more opportunities for the school to police the student and control their behaviors, which is not necessarily good either.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 10, 2017, 01:02:19 PM
A lot of parents like the idea of their sons having empty balls and all A's from being able to lock themselves in their rooms for 4 years.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: westerninterloper on November 10, 2017, 01:24:26 PM
One university admin aphorism that seems to hold true:
Make sure students have plenty of sex, the alumni have plenty of sports, and faculty have plenty of alcohol. [We almost never get alcohol.]

I've seen the control issue in relation to housing - our univ recently rebuilt the Greek housing, and made sure that all greek orgs were concentrated on campus. We don't have the same kinds of frat party issues that other campuses do. However, our housing office is essentially an independent organization, and funds itself. Dining services is all private, and I'm constantly aghast at how much students (have to) spend on food.

And yet...for all of these costs, university education is still a good value. The difference in lifetime earnings for a college graduate compared to a HS grad is enormous, and more than makes up for the tens of thousands of dollars it costs to attend. It's just horrifically unfair to make low income students go so deep into debt in order to earn a credential.

Trade schools, industrial work, etc are attractive at the moment, because there is a pent up demand for labor in those sectors,  but many of my students' parents work in those fields, and understand how cyclical work is in industry. It's not that young people don't want to work with their hands, they just understand that a job in education, health care, or government won't be subject to the whimsy of the American business cycle. More than a few of my students were houseless/homeless during the Great Recession, and they want stability and predictability.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 10, 2017, 02:16:02 PM
I couldn't do the skilled trades since I am way too scared of heights. Being a machinist or working on cars are about it if you want to stay on the ground and not get immediately pointed toward scaffolding -- and my folks wouldn't let me go into auto repair.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: westerninterloper on November 10, 2017, 02:32:51 PM
I couldn't do the skilled trades since I am way too scared of heights. Being a machinist or working on cars are about it if you want to stay on the ground and not get immediately pointed toward scaffolding -- and my folks wouldn't let me go into auto repair.

I spent half the day yesterday using an industrial sander on my friends' wood floors, and I havent felt that kind of immediate satisfaction in years. Academic work is a lot of delayed, then minimal gratification. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Brutus_buckeye on November 10, 2017, 05:47:12 PM
Skilled trades is a very good profession. There are plumbers, welders and electricians that earn consistently more per year and over their lifetime than many masters degree candidates including teachers, college administrative staff and even tenured PHD professors. The big drawback to many of these positions is that they are labor intensive and can take a toll on the body as you age. In addition, you often do not have the flexibility you would otherwise have in other white collar professions
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on November 12, 2017, 11:41:20 PM
Doing away with shared dorm rooms for single person rooms was certainly a big expense for schools that they pretty much had to do. Today's students can't fathom all those rules from the '60s about when boys and girls can see each other. They're not going to be put into a situation where they can't have their stupid boyfriend sleep over every single night.

Those rules were gone at Case during the very early 80s, on the south side we had suites of six small singles with common restrooms/showers and a living area.  At least two of my suitemates basically had their girlfriends living with them.  I think they might have cared if both women didn't officially live on campus, but otherwise they didn't.   So this is nothing new.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 14, 2017, 12:03:42 AM
Yale's new dorms are pretty incredible.  They just opened but they look like they're from 1750.  This report is pretty interesting because the guy in charge makes the point that students are assigned randomly to the freshman "colleges" (the different dorm clusters).  You can't overstate how important the dorm experience is.  All teaching at all levels is split between the instructor and the students themselves.  Maybe not for a typical 100-level lecture class in an auditorium but is definitely the case for any sort of class with group projects and certainly anything in the arts. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS4tC4R5ctg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7j_9lK9rFA

It's my general observation that people who went away for college and lived in the dorms -- even for people who didn't finish a degree program -- benefited greatly from it.  The experience of getting away from the home town and getting a totally new group of friends from all over the place is something you can't do later.  People who joined the military had a similar experience. 

If you're away from the family, you are free to become a different person, and you can put on the act that you're the same person for those occasional trips back to the home town.  If you never leave, there are all sorts of soft forces that keep you from being able to change. 

Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: E Rocc on November 14, 2017, 12:22:11 AM
It's my general observation that people who went away for college and lived in the dorms -- even for people who didn't finish a degree program -- benefited greatly from it.  The experience of getting away from the home town and getting a totally new group of friends from all over the place is something you can't do later.  People who joined the military had a similar experience. 

Not neccesarily.  I started out living at Case, switched over to commuting after three semesters.  My GPA was a full point higher when I was commuting.  Mostly it was the "food" literally making me sick, but that wasn't all of it.  It's not for everybody.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on November 14, 2017, 11:08:41 AM


It's my general observation that people who went away for college and lived in the dorms -- even for people who didn't finish a degree program -- benefited greatly from it.  The experience of getting away from the home town and getting a totally new group of friends from all over the place is something you can't do later.  People who joined the military had a similar experience. 






But then you have to go to their weddings for the rest of your life
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on November 14, 2017, 01:43:46 PM
But then you have to go to their weddings for the rest of your life

Yes, unfortunately more than one wedding per dude.   Interesting how some guys who were groomsmen in the first wedding weren't even invited to the second wedding. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on January 03, 2018, 12:13:37 AM
People who thought they were in a public service loan forgiveness program...weren't:
http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/02/pf/college/public-service-loan-forgiveness-lawsuits/index.html
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: eastvillagedon on April 15, 2018, 01:55:43 PM
I think I actually had teachers who fell into this category. Okay, that was Painesville :(. lol

‘I was a teacher for 17 years, but I couldn’t read or write’

http://www.bbc.com/news/stories-43700153
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 16, 2018, 03:41:57 PM
Linked in this article is a factoid claiming that only 11% of economic mobility can be attributed to access to education:
https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/05/whats-really-behind-economic-mobility/560360/

The article asserts that where we live matters more than our education.  Well, duh.  That's always been the case ever since mechanization of farming made family farms uncompetitive and the kids were free to move to the city like never before. 

The other well duh is the marriage thing.  And obviously men who do not have college degrees and no family are less likely to marry women who have both than vice-verse. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on May 16, 2018, 04:02:29 PM
If I had a nearing-college age kid right now I would ban them from all quaint little schools in jobless small towns. I don't have the money to subsidize them until age 35 when they could have gone to a school in a city and have a job lined up before graduation due to the vastly superior networking available in cities.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on May 16, 2018, 05:34:33 PM
Depends on what the kid wants to do and where they're likely to get their terminal degree.  I'll guess most graduates of Kenyon College--a quaint little school in a jobless small town near an even larger jobless small town (Mt. Vernon)--are doing fine.  Many of them probably went on to graduate school in larger markets, and of course, many also come from backgrounds that gave them access to networks of their own.  If my own children wanted to go to Kenyon, or even a slightly less prestigious small-town small school like Denison (both of which were on my own short list), I'd at least let them proceed as far as getting through the scholarship hunt before we got down to brass tacks.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on May 16, 2018, 05:54:27 PM
My network is pretty much all public sectors, blue-collar guys and professional musicians. I own a small business.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: 327 on May 16, 2018, 07:11:15 PM
Kenyon and Denison are off the radar for most people.  Even with scholarships you can end up with serious debt.  I grew up near Denison and parents' weekend would fill the town with exotic sports cars.  These schools serve as backups for coastal blueblood kids who can't get into anything fancy back home.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on May 16, 2018, 07:18:28 PM
^Yeah, don't even go to the tiny school in the big city. The Columbus job scene doesn't pay attention to anything in town besides OSU and Columbus State.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 16, 2018, 07:29:48 PM
^Yeah, don't even go to the tiny school in the big city. The Columbus job scene doesn't pay attention to anything in town besides OSU and Columbus State.

Mt. Ida college in Boston just went out of business.  There is a prediction that A LOT of these small schools are going to hit the skids in the next 10-20 years.  But some of them are sitting on absolutely ridiculous endowments so they'll stick it out. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: taestell on May 16, 2018, 10:38:49 PM
So Purdue University bought Kaplan University (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/04/27/purdue-buys-kaplan-university/100990102/). That seems...very unusual...but I guess it might be easier for a public university to buy a for-profit university and integrate it, rather than build out similar programs on their own.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 17, 2018, 12:01:36 AM
So Purdue University bought Kaplan University (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/04/27/purdue-buys-kaplan-university/100990102/). That seems...very unusual...but I guess it might be easier for a public university to buy a for-profit university and integrate it, rather than build out similar programs on their own.

My mom just took an "extension" class in gardening from her state's university.  I suppose that universities have always had continuing education classes, but I sense that the non-profits have picked up a few of the for-profit dirty tricks.  Get local hobbyists to pay to become adjuncts, then way-overcharge for the exact classes these hobbyists were previously teaching for free at the YMCA or wherever. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on May 17, 2018, 01:35:46 AM
Wait, adjuncts are paying to teach rather than just being paid like crap?
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on May 17, 2018, 01:55:08 AM
Wait, adjuncts are paying to teach rather than just being paid like crap?

I am suspicious that this is going on for these sorts of continuing education classes -- an adjunct has to take a class to become and adjunct (beyond simply earning an advanced degree).  I did not have to do this when I was an adjunct.  I did, however, get paid crap with no benefits. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on May 17, 2018, 02:02:59 AM
Strangely, the people I know who have taught these types of classes are real estate developers who have made millions rather than starving artists. They did it more for the PR than anything. This doesn't mean I knew them well enough for them to offer me a job.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 14, 2018, 01:03:06 AM
2.5 million Americans owe over $100k in student loans:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VgrOUuklHk
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on June 14, 2018, 10:29:57 AM
More importantly, a lot of those with $100k+ in student loans aren't doctors or lawyers or investment bankers.

I really wish I had a way to short private student loans.  It would be an openly political investment because the only thing that sustains those loans is the federal guaranty.  And that might well be less than politically invincible.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: freefourur on June 14, 2018, 10:34:48 AM
I think people tend to focus on the borrowing aspect which is important. But a major part of the problem is the cost of education is increasing faster than inflation making education out of reach for some. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: mu2010 on June 14, 2018, 11:13:05 AM
The increases are largely due to an arms race among colleges for the newest and fanciest facilities. It's a tremendous waste of resources and the cost of it all is being passed on to 18 year olds in the form of debt that will take 15 years to pay off.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on June 14, 2018, 11:16:02 AM
Networking should be the only thing non-STEM (and some STEM) students should be thinking about when selecting a school in 2018. Double Olympic pools and retro gaming lounges don't get you a job.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 14, 2018, 11:25:07 AM
The increases are largely due to an arms race among colleges for the newest and fanciest facilities. It's a tremendous waste of resources and the cost of it all is being passed on to 18 year olds in the form of debt that will take 15 years to pay off.

In smaller countries like France and England there are maybe 20~ major universities and their relative "rank" has been known for many years.  But in the United States, with 200+ major colleges and universities, and hundreds of smaller places, they offer innumerable competing programs. 

Also, the payoff period for loans I believe is 20+ years, not 15.  I am still paying on a $4,000 loan from academic year 1996-97.  The interest rate was originally 5.5% but has been 1.9% since a 2005 refinance, which is why I've been taking my sweet time paying it off.  The balance is probably under $1,000 at this point. 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on June 14, 2018, 11:29:58 AM
I think 20 is fairly standard now.  Mine are all 20 year loans, so they'll be paid off when I'm 45.  The difference between mine and most loans (even government loans) today is that mine have a blended interest rate around 2.1%.  My most expensive one is 3.5%.  I was lucky to go to law school during the credit bubble when loans flowed like lemonade at a picnic.  (Or beer at a frat party, perhaps a more apt metaphor.)
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: GCrites80s on June 14, 2018, 11:30:38 AM
And schools here can change in "rank" over something as outlandish as a Sweet Sixteen appearance.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: mu2010 on June 14, 2018, 01:01:42 PM
My undergrad loans, I believe, were amortized over 10 or 12 years. Not sure what was different and why some over over 15, 20, or more years. I was in school from '06-'10, I paid off the loans early and was done by the end of '15. The government loans were around 6% fixed and I also had a private bank student loan that was variable, but always around 4% after the recession.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: jmecklenborg on June 14, 2018, 01:10:24 PM
I believe

^See, even those of us who are reasonably intelligent don't quite understand what is going on with these loans.  I certainly received zero consultation prior to borrowing the money or after I graduated.  I remember knowing that you got a six-month grace period but I was really confused when I started getting mail in 2005 about consolidating my loans.  It looked like a scam (there was no website and I think I called but could never get through) but I did it and my interest rate dropped precipitously on the old loan.  It did on the newer loan too, but that loan seems like it switched to a variable rate after having been a fixed rate.  Nobody tells you anythying! 
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: Gramarye on June 14, 2018, 01:10:56 PM
I think many schools simply shunt students into "default" (no pun intended) loans with certain providers.  I never actually sought out Bank of America as my law school student loan provider.  It was just who the financial aid office worked with and it would have been a much bigger lift than it was worth to go to a different provider, especially considering that I didn't really have some sweetheart deal with a different provider lined up, and I was reasonably confident that I wasn't going to do much better anywhere else.

Same with the term lengths.  In fact, the term on one of my loans randomly changed at some point (after it was acquired) and I didn't even call to fight it.  It was a 15 year loan.  After it was acquired, my payment suddenly dropped by a decent amount.  I eventually realized they were now treating it as a 20 year loan.  At first I was annoyed because it means more interest over the life of the loan.  But it's 1.625% interest.  If someone wants to give me 1.625% unsecured credit on 20-year fixed terms, even if it wasn't what we originally negotiated (especially because there really wasn't a negotiation and I just kind of signed the standard option, not much different than clicking "Agree" to the Apple terms of service), I'm willing to let someone with a more serious problem tie up their customer service line.  I just laugh and enjoy the story because it means the loan purchasers didn't even really read the note itself.  In fact, it's entirely possible that they still haven't gotten physical possession of it and couldn't read it even if they wanted to.
Title: Re: Peak Education
Post by: taestell on June 24, 2018, 08:22:54 AM
The increases are largely due to an arms race among colleges for the newest and fanciest facilities. It's a tremendous waste of resources and the cost of it all is being passed on to 18 year olds in the form of debt that will take 15 years to pay off.

In smaller countries like France and England there are maybe 20~ major universities and their relative "rank" has been known for many years.  But in the United States, with 200+ major colleges and universities, and hundreds of smaller places, they offer innumerable competing programs. 

Also, the payoff period for loans I believe is 20+ years, not 15.  I am still paying on a $4,000 loan from academic year 1996-97.  The interest rate was originally 5.5% but has been 1.9% since a 2005 refinance, which is why I've been taking my sweet time paying it off.  The balance is probably under $1,000 at this point. 

Well that is the unavoidable result of (1) states no longer funding public universities → (2) public universities having to get more of their funding from tuition rather than the states → (3) universities realizing that potential students care more about having nice dorms and rec centers than academic programs, and since they now have to "run like a business", they have to offer these amenities in order to attract the tuition-paying students. The whole thing could be avoided if we just shifted funding of universities back to the government.