No. of Recommendations: 3
It's not just students who are being smothered by debt. In many cases parents have taken on more debt to help a child get a quality education. There was an article yesterday on the NBC site.

Clearly a lot of parents don't understand the amount of debt they'll end up with. (I'm not saying they weren't told, I'm saying they don't understand). And kids get excited about being able to go to their first choice/dream school, then imagine that eventually there'll be a lot of money coming in and they'll be able to help their parents pay it off.

I'm glad someone is looking at alternatives to a four year degree. More and more people need at least advanced training in order to get a decent job, and there doesn't seem to be any reasonable way of always getting the information to them about their choices. Guidance counselors tend to spend most of their energy on kids heading for the traditional four year degree, and neglect the rest of the kids.

And about this:

If a $100K university professor teaches 6-3 semester hr courses per year with an average attendance of 100 students each, the cost per credit hour is $55.

In many cases, particularly at private colleges, professors teach just one or two cases a semester. In some cases these are very large classes, but in other cases student enrollment is very small. Over the past several months I've been reading Durham in Wonderland, which is a blog about the Duke Lacrosse case. It's written by a professor at Brooklyn College who was angered when some of the professors at Duke attacked and vilified the lacrosse team when there wasn't a shred of evidence. Quite a number of the blog posts center around the professors who did the attacking, and he described their CVs, discussed the courses they taught, and was able to pull up the number of students in their classes. In a few cases there were five or six students in a class, and that would be the only class the professor had.

Public and community colleges can't afford to carry a load like that. Professors have to have enough students in their classes to pay their way. And while I understand that one of the points of tenure is to free professors to do research and write books and so on, giving tenure to people who can't pull in enough students to pay the heating bill for the classroom indicates that some schools need to re-examine their thinking on the matter.

It's good to see more thinking about education. What it costs, how kids can get the training and information they need, what society needs from education and so on.

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