, Salem, MA


June 25, 2013

Richard E. Wylie: College is worth the investment

At college campuses across the country, new graduates and their families have been celebrating achievements and honoring the hard work and sacrifice that was required to attain the goal of a college education. If we believe certain pundits, however, these efforts would have been better expended elsewhere. In my 46 years in higher education, I have never seen such negativity concerning higher education, as critics challenge the belief that a college education can position graduates for personal and professional success, state that a degree has little to no value and maintain that the cost of higher education is out of proportion to its benefits. I’m sure that millions of college alumni who have gone on to successful careers and rich lives would disagree with these notions.

I have never been a traditionalist or a protector of past practices, but it is time to challenge those who want to eviscerate the educational system that has made America the envy of the world. There is no question that changes need to be made, as we accommodate the needs of today’s students and today’s job market. I would argue that colleges and universities are meeting the challenge as they incorporate new modes of teaching and learning, expand online delivery of courses, increase accountability for learning competencies, strengthen career relevance in the curriculum, and embrace apprenticeship and internship as learning opportunities and resume builders.

Higher education is more than an accumulation of competencies, and if we dismantle the true scope of the college experience, reducing it to a series of narrow learning objectives taught in massive, open online courses as some pundits suggest, we will truly “dumb down” America’s youth. No doubt, this route is cheaper, but what price will we pay for this so-called affordability? How well educated will our future leaders be?

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate