Three-year graduation rates tell a very small part of the story.
With these changes, students will be more prepared for the world of work, armed with the most important skills and knowledge, and having graduated with something of real value. Most associate degrees feature credits and take semesters to graduate.
As a society we allow -- in fact, condone -- institutional policies, practices, and systems in higher education that, taken together, make good teaching a heroic act performed by truly dedicated faculty members, rather than the universal expectation and norm across campuses.
Levels of dissatisfaction with the priorities and outcomes of higher education among parents, alumni, employers, and elected officials are unlikely to decline absent significant reform. The primary problem is that the current culture of colleges and universities no longer puts learning first -- and in most institutions, that culture perpetuates a fear of doing so.
Culture -- in higher education, and in our society -- is at the heart of the matter. What was the worst part?
Our students also face significant, real-life challenges: financial and food insecurity, lack of academic preparation, child care, full-time work. The widespread acceptance and application of a new and better touchstone for decision-making in higher education, linked to a strong framework of essential, core principles.
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