Imagine the (not unlikely) scenario in which more and more state universities shift to a two and two model: almost all undergraduates spend two years in low cost community colleges and then the best of them go on to two more years at a university. It is hard to see why the humanities departments in the community colleges would need to be staffed with holders of Ph.D degrees — in part because it is overwhelmingly clear that most students need basic skills in community colleges rather than advanced courses. There might be a small “honors college” with something like the traditional structure of a 20th century university faculty, but demand for Ph.D’s would drop precipitously and the majority, possibly a very large majority of existing doctoral programs would close their doors. That would further diminish the demand for Ph.D’s, and would lead to another round of cutbacks in doctoral programs. In the end we might have a small number of excellent programs, producing a relatively small number of top scholars capable of doing important work — as opposed to large number of mediocre scholars most of whom don’t produce anything that even their fellow specialists and academic colleagues value.Source
Dec 23, 2011
The future of higher education in the US?
Labels: higher education