College funding: Does it make sense to fund campuses based on whether students earn their degrees?

Georgia will now fund colleges based on completion rates rather than enrollment rates.  (AJC/file photo)

Georgia will now fund colleges based on completion rates rather than enrollment rates. (AJC/file photo)

Reflecting the national trend to outcomes-based education funding, Georgia’s public colleges will now earn dollars based on how many students earn diplomas rather than how many enroll.

Tennessee has led the nation in this effort, eliminating enrollment as a funding criteria for its public colleges. (For a story on the Tennessee funding formula and how it works, go here.)

To look at Tennessee’s actual program, go to this state presentation. This Tennessee Higher Education Commission presentation includes actual data for colleges and details the weighting formula.

“The outcomes-based funding formula bases the entire institutional allocation of state appropriations on the basis of outcomes including degree production, research funding and graduation rates at universities, and student remediation, job placements, student transfer and associates degrees at community colleges,” according to the commission.

I attended a presentation last year on the Tennessee formula where I learned that all state funding is back up for grabs every year. No institution is entitled to any minimal level of appropriation based on prior-year funding.  State appropriations have to be earned anew each year. The goal was to to stop rewarding campuses  for enrollment growth — for getting students in the door — and reward them instead for getting students out the door with degrees.

The Complete College Tennessee Act was only passed in 2010 so it is too early to assess its impact on grad rates but colleges are taking student advisement more seriously. Here is a PolitiFact Tennessee review of the changes already visible on Tennessee campuses.

And, finally here is a critique of the Tennessee formula in which a University of Tennessee professor writes:

Ultimately, it is students who earn degrees, and therefore I believe that the source of Tennessee’s problems with graduation and retention rates lie largely in the student’s own individual histories – the personal and financial obstacles that they face, and their lack of adequate academic preparation for college level work.  Although we may have only limited influence on the former, we can address the preparation of students en masse if we can generate a cultural shift in our state. We must create an “education culture,” where educational achievement is given the highest priority at every level of society, from teachers and students to parents and, yes, political leaders.  If political leaders wish to contribute to the creation of such a culture, they must, as the saying goes, “put their money where their mouth is,” and increase educational investment across the board in our state.

Now, Georgia is following Tennessee’s lead.

According to the AJC:

A commission appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal approved a new formula Wednesday that links the state funding colleges receive to their improving student success and the number of degrees or certificates awarded. The plan, which won’t go into effect for a couple of years, represents a drastic shift from the current system that focuses on enrollment and how many credits students take, with little attention paid to whether they ever graduate.

The new formula is one of a series of steps Georgia is taking that acknowledges the state’s economic future depends on colleges producing a more skilled workforce to attract and keep employers. The formula is “important to the future direction of our state, ” Deal told the commission. “This actually is probably one of the most important final pieces in the puzzle.” Deal will officially receive the formula report before the end of the year, and the change does not require approval from the state Legislature.

The 2015 fiscal year allotment will provide a base funding moving forward, said Kristin Bernhard, Deal’s education policy adviser. Starting with the 2016 fiscal year, colleges would earn or lose money based on whether they improve.  So far, Tennessee is the only state where 100 percent of public college funding is tied to outcomes. Nearly a dozen states are working on plans to tie at least some portion, if not all, of college funding to performance goals.

Georgia’s new formula ties funding to how well students progress through college and the number of degrees awarded. While progression is rewarded, the formula focuses on “outcomes, ” such as the number of certificates awarded by technical colleges and the number bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees awarded by research universities such as the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech.

Colleges can receive extra money if they succeed with students who are known to struggle the most in school. This incentive money is tied to adult learners, who are 25 or older, and low-income students, as measured by those who receive the federal Pell Grant. Schools may also be rewarded for how well they meet certain initiatives that help Georgia’s workforce needs. Specifics are still being determined, but the technical colleges may want to consider work placement, while universities may focus on the number of science, math, technology and engineering graduates, Bernhard said.

The formula will determine how much money the state allocates to the two systems. The systems will still decide how to divvy up that lump sum among their colleges. Georgia spends about 11 percent of its state budget on public colleges, but only 44 percent of students attending a public four-year college graduate in six years. Projections show that by 2020 about 60 percent of jobs will require education after high school, although only 42 percent of Georgians meet that standard.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

110 comments Add your comment

Peter Smagorinsky

December 13th, 2012
11:49 am

This law will punish universities whose students lack the money to dedicate themselves entirely to school for a concentrated period of time. A major reason people stop attending school is that they can’t afford tuition in conjunction with the need to spend time earning. So, UGA and Georgia Tech should look as though they’re doing a better job than other universities in the system, because the students tend to be relatively affluent to begin with, and perhaps come with HOPE or other assistance. But universities that serve other demographics enroll people who are less financially stable, and more likely need to work at the expense of academics. Does that mean they’re doing a better job of retention? Only if you ignore the REASONS that people do and do not persist in pursuit of their degrees.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

December 13th, 2012
12:16 pm

This simply encourages the very hungry higher ed sector, especially administration, to adopt the criteria of the Lumina Foundation’s Diploma Qualifications Profile to move toward Equity in Credentials. But it lessens the value of everyone’s degree in the process. I wrote about it here this summer. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/credential-inflation-how-reforming-higher-ed-with-learner-outcomes-can-damage-all-degrees/

Universities will make the changes needed to keep their funding but students will be hurt. Degrees without marketable knowledge and skills create expectations that cannot be met. In fact that reality was a huge fuse in the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and in what happened in Eqypt over the last few years. A UNESCO report from the early 70s I read a few days ago talked about how socially incendiary such degrees can become.

Although UNESCO saw it as a feature not a bug. What has happened in other countries ahead of the US in the Equity of Credentials and Qualifications Frameworks that then regulate employers is that it creates a degree frenzy trying to distinguish yourself. Suddenly all must get masters. Again lucrative for higher ed institutions but without genuine value being necessarily added.

Higher ed all over the world seems to want a perpetual annuity from anyone who wants gainful employment to come in regularly over their life and pay up for the next magic credential.

Maureen-I know you admire Anthony Carnevale’s work but it strikes me as just an excuse to destroy what does work in higher ed in terms of its practical effects.

Old Physics Teacher

December 13th, 2012
12:22 pm

This is just Great! Thank you, Governor and the rest of the politicians! You are now doing to the universities what you did to K-12 education! Every nation on the planet sends their very best to the USA to learn from our universities because these university provide the best instruction in the world!

With this new idiocy, the Universities will have two options to “win:” a) Do NOT ADMIT anyone who cannot, ABSOLUTELY CANNOT, earn a degree. SAT entrance scores must be > 1900 and GPA >3.8, and instructors will have to keep track of where the students are and prevent them from partying rather than studying. Just a great Idea! Ranks right up there with the Edsel and new Coke!

or b) keep the same entrance requirements and dilute the instruction until a reasonably smart 13 year-old could pass the exams. Then Wall-mart would have to give an employment test to college graduates to see if they were qualified to run a cash register.

To paraphrase Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and it is our politicians!”

Prof

December 13th, 2012
12:29 pm

In answer to your question, Maureen, yes.

You make good points, Peter Smagorinsky, and you left out the problem that this six-year rate really means six years from the one institution, so that its transfer students won’t count for the institution.

But over several decades, I have seen many pernicious effects of the state’s policy that funding follows the school’s enrollment rates. Students needing remediation are accepted who really aren’t ready for college, so that as Georgia’s K-12 education has been dumbed down over the last ten years so have the admission standards of Georgia’s colleges and universities.

Then there is the corresponding grade inflation as these remedial students on whom the school’s funding to an extent depends are encouraged to stay in school, and they pressure professors for higher grades. I am so tired of students pleading that my giving them a well-deserved C will mean they’ll lose their HOPE scholarship!

It also has meant that everyone seems to game the system to keep students in school and the overall enrollments high. As the professor teaching the end-result, I have found it more and more difficult to observe high classroom and grading standards.

No, my administration may not be happy about the legislature’s decision, but this faculty member definitely is.

Hall Mom

December 13th, 2012
12:39 pm

I can see two possible trends:

1) Grade inflation, which will then make a Georgia college education almost meaningless
2) Colleges will become so selective that none but the traditional student will be admitted

mammap

December 13th, 2012
12:54 pm

Has it occurred to anyone that many students who are attending college shouldn’t be there in the first place? Think of all of the Hope funding wasted because of the scores of students who flunked out. We should be focused on providing incentives to students who are capable and who go in to the STEM fields. Otherwise, we will continue heading toward the bottom compared to many other countries.

MANGLER

December 13th, 2012
12:57 pm

So in order to get funding, colleges will have to graduate more students? Yeah, can’t imagine anything fishy happening there.
I have been contemplating returning to school to further things along. However, this decision will make me seriously have to consider whether it would mean anything besides some debt.

AlreadySheared

December 13th, 2012
1:15 pm

At first glance, this appears to be another potshot taken by the state’s good ol’ boys at Georgia Tech, which is by many measures the best public college in the state and one of the best in the country. It is, however, a real booger to get through, and many do not.

As another local educational functionary put it:”Isolated pockets of excellence are unacceptable.”

indigo

December 13th, 2012
1:16 pm

Many in America have yet to learn that college is not for everyone. A goodly number of high school graduates would fare much better by going to a trade school. Additionally, it seems that graduates in the Humanities are going to find it increasingly difficult to find jobs in a society that is becomming more and more technical every year.

What's Best for Kids???

December 13th, 2012
1:20 pm

This will make the paper that the degree is printed on completely worthless.
Goes back to k-12. Who cares if the kids learned anything? Are they happy? Did they get an A?

Old Physics Teacher

December 13th, 2012
1:23 pm

Prof,

Have you considered the possibility that students whine to you because it’s successful? Freshman Chem at Georgia has historically flunked 50% of the students in the introductory course. They’ve whined and whined and whined. Every time the Freshman Coordinator gets replaced (retirement or accepting a more lucrative position) the students are convinced their parents whining to the Regents is why he “got fired,” and now the course will be easier. It never is because the Chem professors pay no attention to the whining. Now, the Dean will have a vested interest in keeping students “on tract” to graduate. That will be passed down to the non-tenured faculty to threaten them with. The end result “is left as an exercise for the …prof.”

Just Sayin.....

December 13th, 2012
1:43 pm

Everyone else has already pointed out what is wrong with results based funding in higher education.

You get the activity that you make rules for. For outcome based funding, colleges will either demand better students or lower standards so that anyone can pass. There is no middle ground! Is this REALLY what we want from colleges and universities?

Another view

December 13th, 2012
1:49 pm

“I can see two possible trends:
1) Grade inflation, which will then make a Georgia college education almost meaningless
2) Colleges will become so selective that none but the traditional student will be admitted”

Colleges will not become more selective, because as the article points out, the goal is to graduate MORE students, and you cannot graduate more students by limiting the student population. Instead, and I can tell you this as a professor currently working in a USG university, standards will be dramatically lowered. Already my World History to 1500 course will no longer have a writing component or exams. Instead, all student assessment will starting in January be nothing more than weekly online multiple choice quizzes that they can retake as many times as they want to improve their grade. This will be open book, multiple choice, and limited to five question per week. Enjoy your educated citizenry Georgia.

Another view

December 13th, 2012
1:52 pm

@Old Physics Teacher. “Freshman Chem at Georgia has historically flunked 50% of the students in the introductory course.” Not anymore. Expect a 90% passing rate.

Prof

December 13th, 2012
1:55 pm

@ Old Physics Teacher, December 13th, 1:23 pm.

Well, It isn’t successful with me. It helps to be a tenured Full Professor, I guess.

There aren’t very many untenured faculty, since there has been a hiring/salary freeze since 2008 throughout the USG system. And also…were you a HS Physics teacher?…. I do think that sort of grade pressuring is a myth at the University level. Deans just aren’t like principals.

Progressive Humanist

December 13th, 2012
1:56 pm

This will lead to grade inflation and a lowering of standards. If professors assign too many C’s, D’s (without even considering F’s), they might not have a job the next year because the funding for their position may disappear. So they will assign even more A’s and B’s. It won’t take students long to figure out that they don’t have to do much work to get those A’s and B’s and they’ll coast, knowing that they’ll get a decent grade regardless. Professors will then continue to give good grades for poorer and poorer work. Rigor will dissipate and graduates will have learned less. Measures should be put in place to make college more rigorous, not less.

Prof

December 13th, 2012
2:02 pm

@ MANGLER. It could also mean that your classmates would be of a higher caliber.

Prof

December 13th, 2012
2:08 pm

@ Progressive Humanist. And just how would that work with tenured faculty? Also, “funding for positions” doesn’t disappear so easily, for then the entire “line” would disappear; and believe me, department chairs are going to fight that.

C’mon, y’all–don’t assume that higher education works like K-12 education does. Tenured professors are notoriously a feisty, independent lot who don’t relish being told what to do by administrators (”the dark side”).

Another view

December 13th, 2012
2:08 pm

@Progressive Humanist. I will never give a grade below a C in my classes with this formula. There is your answer. Also, the long-term move will be this. In five or six years you will see the USG come up with standardized testing for CORE Areas A-E based on multiple choice tests. There will now be CRCT exams at the college level to compensate for the 5-6 years of faculty just passing students to keep funding. When this is done, you will then have college designed around teaching to a test. That worked real well in Atlanta Public Schools. The rest of the country will know this, and your students will not be hired.

Another view

December 13th, 2012
2:10 pm

@Prof. My tenure and funding at CSU is tied to RPG. What do you think I will do?

Progressive Humanist

December 13th, 2012
2:20 pm

Prof- Don’t assume you’re the only professor here. I’m a tenure track prof at a USG university and I know how department heads fight for the entire line. We had someone leave this year and we’re shuffling positions around so that it won’t look like we don’t need the position (we do). But if funding is not there positions will disappear, and this formula is designed to ensure that funding will be reduced when students are not successful. So there will be increased pressure to ensure that students appear successful even if they aren’t by our current standards.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

December 13th, 2012
2:26 pm

Prof- Here is a post explaining how the Lumina DQP I mentioned above will work. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/constructing-an-alternative-vision-of-either-the-natural-or-human-world-as-the-basis-for-a-college-degree/

Since USG Vice Chancellor Lynne Weisenbach had Lumina officials at the November 2011 ceremony announcing reforming USG to get graduation rates up, this is coming.

Moreover, SACS is the enforcer for this and the transformed vision for higher ed laid out in the January 2012 The Crucible Moment report. They get to threaten colleges and universities with loss of participation in the federal student loan program if their demands are not met. And you thought they bossed around school boards. Or allowed the Supers to.

Also look into what is called the Bologna Process and its Social Dimensions caveat. Arne Duncan has expressly mentioned the US wants to adhere to these as well.

Equity in Credentials despite backgrounds means little transmission of knowledge. We are fast becoming a nation where K-12 and higher ed cost more than the education the accreditors will allow them to provide to students. Otherwise knowledge interferes with equal results.

Prof

December 13th, 2012
2:28 pm

@ Another View. Ah. Yes. Columbus State University is a small USG school. But if your tenure and funding is tied to the RPG, then it must be that it was tied to your grades and student evaluation ratings before, right? For only at a teaching-priority school could your statement be true. So you will probably do just what you would have done before this change in the funding formula came about: you’ll give good grades to assure that you get tenure and funding. It seems to me that the only difference is that the source of the pressure has changed for you…BOTH of which I deplore.

But your incoming freshmen should be better than they were before.

Bhorsoft

December 13th, 2012
2:33 pm

Sounds good on the surface, but will lead to the wrong behaviors in practice. I’m reminded of the old Dilbert cartoon where the pointy-haired managers says to his team, “I’ll pay $10 for every bug found.” Wally the programmer then says, “I’m going to write me a new minivan!”

I see the 4 year degree that usually takes 5 years going down to a 3 year degree that my dog could earn.

Prof

December 13th, 2012
2:41 pm

@ Progressive Humanist. I know there are many other professors on this blog, in varying situations. But under the old funding formula, the same situation of position-shuffling happened when there was a long-term pattern of low course enrollments for the line. Then, the “hook” was that continued student enrollment was the goal. Now it will be the student 6-year graduation rate.

These problems will not be new with the change in funding formula.

I myself think that this change will mean that schools will tend to accept only students they expect to graduate in 6 years. But I don’t see that as a bad thing. Teach remedial students at the upper-division level long enough, and you’ll see what I mean.

beteachin

December 13th, 2012
2:43 pm

Hmmmm. First thought: Now can we finally get the right changes made to HOPE? Since graduation rate is now more important that overall enrollment, then why should we award HOPE to students who have no chance of graduating? (As we all know, high school grades are a moving target from teacher to teacher and school to school.) Therefore, why not give the scholarship as a reward for first year college success instead of basing the award on high school grades? After successfully completing the freshman year with a B average, the student automatically gains HOPE for the sophomore year and so on. Upon graduation, the student could be granted a lump sum in the amount they would have received as a freshman. If they do not graduate, the fees for less-than-HOPE-worthy coursework should not, of course, be reimbursed.
Second thought: Will colleges be forced to graduate more people (dumb it down?) in order to keep the funding? Yep. Sadly so.

Progressive Humanist

December 13th, 2012
2:57 pm

Prof,

And how do we ensure a high 6-year graduation rate (and continuous funding)? We make sure that students get passing grades, high ones. And if funding is dependent upon that, then they’ll get high grades regardless of other considerations such as the level of achievement they’ve shown.

While raising entrance requirements sounds like a logical solution, I work at one of the more difficult public universities for freshmen to be accepted to, as measured by GPA and SAT scores, so that’s not much of an option for us. We’re already near the top in terms of those criteria, and we don’t have many students who require remediation coming in.

HS Public Teacher

December 13th, 2012
2:58 pm

I see this as major trouble.

If funding is based on number of degrees (or percentage of degrees), then doesn’t this just mean an incentive for colleges to hand out degrees freely like toilet paper?

What about quality of education? Does Georgia not care about this any more for higher ed?

The more difficult degree programs of course have a higher percentage of failures. Is Georgia trying to shift all colleges to only offer the easier degrees?

I just don’t understand.

HS Public Teacher

December 13th, 2012
3:00 pm

I think that I will open a Georgia college and accept anyone. I will admit anyone that wants to attend – no entrance requirement at all. As long as they pay their tuition and fees bill every semester, they will earn a piece of paper (degree) at the end of four years.

Problem solved!

Ole Guy

December 13th, 2012
3:03 pm

Pete, you seem to take a somewhat…”delicate”…view on (what you call) the major cause behind college dropouts. While money issues lie behind many of our decisions in life, it is the truly unprepared (in undelicate terms, call em’ stupid) who invite woe upon themselves. If one were to purchase a house, car, or any hi-dollar product/service, and later find themselves having to return these items due to a (supposedly unforseen) lack of funding, just where do you think the initial problem may lie? Could it be that sudden tradegy which life seems to cast in our direction at most-inopportune times? Probably, but certainly not the vast numbers of kids who don’t graduate because they simply cannot handle any academic workload beyond 8th grade.

Let’s not continue, folks, on this self-delusional path toward answering that big question…”Why can’t my little Johnny reed, rat, and do rithmitic”? None of these generational tragedys…such as masses of kids being steeped in the kettles of lifetime failures…will ever simply go away until those hard…very hard…decisions are made to get serious about education.

If there are any confusions over these generalities…well, that’s just too gd bad. I’ve been over these issues too many times; far too many out there seem to reject any suggestion that the educational system, in its entirety, can and must return to the old ways…the methodologies which enabled earlier generations to grow and to actually contribute to the relentless march of civilization.

As to the initial question…should college funding be based on rates of graduation…why the hell not? Is college a place where one might “find” one’s self”? During the Vietnam War years, college, for many, was a place to “sit out the Draft”; to hide within the world of academe. Only problem, for these folks, was (the government, for once, actually did something right) they had to maintain a decent gpa; they had to study and apply themselves, if for no other reason, to stay out of the Draft (Selective Service was extremely adept at finding those who failed in this endeavour)

ONCE AGAIN, let’s knock it off with this incessant attempt at trying to validate generational failure. Kids don’t drop out because…OOPS…they ran outa dough. THEY FAIL BECAUSE THEY FAILED TO PLAN’, something which the public school system (and the adults who are products of the very same systems) never DEMANDED.

Bhorsoft

December 13th, 2012
3:09 pm

I see lots more business and marketing majors and a decline in STEM majors.

Prof

December 13th, 2012
3:14 pm

@ Progressive Humanist. I see your point. But there aren’t that many Georgia schools in that situation (unfortunately).

Prof

December 13th, 2012
3:22 pm

I also think that this funding change is not due so much to sinister plots to water down Georgia higher education and the worth of its degrees, but is part of that national trend of “outcomes-based education,” as Maureen put it. That in turn, I do think, is due to the student loan crisis fast approaching where students have over-extended themselves with higher education loans and the taxpayers wind up paying for it.

Prof

December 13th, 2012
3:33 pm

That is, if the student can’t graduate in 6 years, then he/she shouldn’t be making long-term educational loans that the taxpayers underwrite. It’s rather like the change in the home mortgage market, with the newly stringent borrowing rules resulting from the 2008 collapse of the market that was due to risky loans to unqualified borrowers.

Old Physics Teacher

December 13th, 2012
5:33 pm

Prof,

I’ve talked to many tenured professors on many different campuses. Most all of the liberal arts faculty agreed with you. However the ones that do mathematics and the business school faculty understand what’s actually going to happen.

You guys keep complaining about the students we send you. *We* don’t send you any students. YOUR admissions department accepts them. AND THEY ARE GOING TO BE ACCEPTING MORE AND MORE OF THEM Irrespective of what you want them to do! Your tenured positions are only tenured as long as there is funding for them. When your pay is dependent on how many students are in your class and how many of them pass, you’re going to singing a different tune. You are about to see the end of your “academic freedom.” Now you may retire before it actually gets to you, but rest assured the garbage the legislatures of each state AND the federal government have stuck us lowly non-tenured high school teachers is heading your way and your smugness is not going to prevent them from bending you over and kicking you where it hurts the most. Your best tactic is to convince the ID-ten-Ts at the legislature to mind their own business or you’re about to become their next scapegoat.

Veritus

December 13th, 2012
5:35 pm

What will end up happening is both: grade inflation and an increase in selectivity.

I anticipate that UGA and GT will greatly benefit from this change. UGA and GT continue to become more selective attracting only the best and brightest. UGA’s new push to become a premier research university will only polarize the differences between UGA/GT and…well, everyone else.

I think GT and UGA will not experience much grade inflation. Both schools, especially Georgia Tech, have very difficult curriculum – especially for the sciences.

Unfortunately, everyone who CAN’T get into these schools will suffer grade inflation. The goal will be quantity, not quality. Those STEM students won’t be able to compete with students at GT or UGA. The pre-health students will do poorly on standardized tests such as the MCAT and DAT. Students will graduate with less real world application and skill needed to be successful. It’s a shame.

I completely agree that we need to stop with the notion that everyone needs to go to college. Some people ARE NOT college-ready students and likely will never be. Most people just need a trade. If only our flagship universities could open a strong trade school component. I doubt that will happen because of the increasing influence of prestige and pedigree in workforce(not just business and law anymore. The Chronicle of Higher Education published an interesting article on this last week)

Now, it’s not all doom-and-gloom. What could also happen is discouragement of those who AREN’T college ready and don’t need to attending college. We’ll get more technical school grads.

People who comment on these articles are so cynical. I hope they’re not representative of the population at large.

I don’t see why everyone is so focused on graduation rates. Co-ops, internships, study abroad, part-time study and financial issues may prevent a traditional 4-year graduation rate.

AthensResident

December 13th, 2012
6:05 pm

Enough yammering on the Internet. Write your state legislator or legislator-elect and tell them why the graduation-only approach to funding is bad for students, parents, industry, and the academy. If you have time to post here, you have time to write a letter – and invite your colleagues to do the same.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

December 13th, 2012
6:10 pm

Profiif you do not think there is a serious plot to water down higher ed then you haven’t read the reports I mentioned or what AACU has been publishing since at least 1995.

If a have a theory on how things fit, I look for proof.

If I say or imply there’s a plot. I have open declarations in people’s own words on intentions and hoped for consequences.

Please remember that what is going on in education is linked tight to changing the US and other countries to a government planned economy based on Green Energy or Low Carbon as the current name goes. In this scenario people hope to get jobs via fiat.

Every bit of economics I know says this is a disastrous scenario being spun but education is an intricate part of a much broader planned Transformation. I get to say that sort of thing as long as I have the blueprints to back it up.

bootney farnsworth

December 13th, 2012
6:20 pm

if you wanna crash the system, then sure.

USG schools are already forced to deal with being funded based on enrollment 2-3 years past. and that the lions share of funding will go to UGA regardless of their needs- or anyone elses.

the reality of college life these days is it takes way more than 4 years to complete a college degree.
tying funding to srictly graduation rates will create the same stupid problems K-12 has.

I’ve been a big advocate for major college reform, but this ins’t it.

bootney farnsworth

December 13th, 2012
6:26 pm

@ ole guy

should we pay:

soldiers for the amount of people they kill?
cops for amount of arrests?
politicans by the amount of bills introduced?
firemen by the fires they put out?
clergy by the proven number of souls saved?

endorsing payment via degrees is the same as assembly line workers per unit and hookers by trick.

bootney farnsworth

December 13th, 2012
6:27 pm

set funding at X rate, and adjust degrees offered and stupid presidental ego trips accordingly

ScienceTeacher671

December 13th, 2012
6:35 pm

What a stupid idea.

RTY

December 13th, 2012
7:04 pm

Wait Gov. Deal will come up with another great idea and the State Legislature will follow: Charter Colleges – since the public colleges can’t produce degrees they will give the poor student a chance to change schools. Deal and the Legislature won’t stop till businesses move out and people stop moving into Georgia. By then it will be too late.

teaching taxpayer

December 13th, 2012
7:28 pm

Bootney, I suspect hookers may be insulted by the indirect comparison you’ve made between us professors and them. That said, more and more of our students are being taught by adjuncts, term-to-term faculty, and non tenure-track “lecturers.” These faculty know they have to teach to the student evaluations. High grades are an effective way of doing so.

Once upon a time, administrators complained about grade inflation. Now, when it comes to non tenure-track faculty, they’ll demand it. Our students will have credentials but not educations.

old teach

December 13th, 2012
7:29 pm

As we in k12 education have watched students’ effort steadily diminish over the last decade, the one anthem we have sung is, “Just wait until you get to college. The professor won’t accept late work or allow you to take tests multiple times. You’ll have to toe his/her line.” Oh well…

old teach

December 13th, 2012
7:31 pm

This action basically removes the last bit of personal responsibility for the student.

catlady

December 13th, 2012
7:50 pm

It only makes sense if you greatly restrict admissions to the clearly-well-prepared, and to those who can afford to go without having to stop and work. I doubt that we would be willing to accept those restrictions, however.

Tech Prof

December 13th, 2012
8:08 pm

Human nature is to survive. If you put k-12 teachers in the position that test scores can cost them their mortgage payment, grocery allowance, health benefits, etc., then the decision become easy for many … fill out a few test answer sheets so the teacher and his/her family have a place to live, food to eat, etc. We have witnessed this in GA, right? Now, we thurst the same sort of high stakes into higher education. Pass Johnny and Susie so that you can have your job and, therefore, your home, your food, etc. The end result is so easy to see. Johnny and Susie are awarded (don’t earn) their degrees, but are unemployable. Businesses will cry for applicants who can actually do something useful, but will notice that USG grads can’t. Sigh.

Prof

December 13th, 2012
8:18 pm

@ Old Physics Teacher, December 13th, 5:33 pm.

Well, I’m in the liberal arts faculty, so what can I say? Sorry if I sounded smug; it’s more resigned. This effort to tie state funding to a 6-year graduation rate is going on all over the country; and probably the drastic raising of the standards for our HOPE scholarships is also tied to this. Why give HOPE money to high school seniors who probably won’t graduate in 6 years?

By the way, what happens for tenured faculty when there aren’t enough students to fill a class is that they have to teach a freshman-sophomore class instead. And if they give out too many low grades, the word gets out and students don’t sign up for their classes. Sort of a self-regulating market, you might say. The “garbage” that you “lowly non-tenured high school teachers” have to deal with has already floated our way… I’ve been dealing with its aftermath for just about ten years, when all the changes began in K-12.

And AthensResident, I don’t think it’s going to do any good for us to send letters/emails to our legislators. This was decided about 2 years ago. I read about it in the AJC.

But I will go down in flames before I accept late work, allow retesting, or lower my standards!

Tech Prof

December 13th, 2012
8:22 pm

@Prof — “But I will go down in flames before I accept late work, allow retesting, or lower my standards!” Here here!!

the prof

December 13th, 2012
9:40 pm

I am in my fifteenth year at a medium sized USG institution. High eval’s don’t necessarily correlate with a high grade distribution. I’ve had 4.3-4.6’s on a 5 scale for just about every class over the years with a grade distribution heavy on the D and F end. My classes are almost always full or beyond. I agree with “Prof” about going down in flames! I haven’t heard a word (YET) about easing my grading although our institution has a “High Withdrawal” link on our registration page that only administrators have access too! The only change I have seen is that we are being asked to teach larger and larger sections.

Prof

December 13th, 2012
10:06 pm

@ the prof. You may also find that you are asked to teach more of those larger sections unless you are publishing or winning grants…These are times of budget cuts for all USG schools, and that means that the untenured and adjunct profs are being cut back so the tenured ones teach their classes. Very cheering to hear that you’re “keeping the faith,” as we used to say.

bootney farnsworth

December 13th, 2012
10:42 pm

instead of making more responsible colleges and students, the explosion of mickey mouse, useless degrees which will come of this would make Jim Harrock cringe

bootney farnsworth

December 13th, 2012
10:50 pm

where were these idiots when

-Ga State started a football team
-UGA was granted and engineering school it doesn’t need
-GPC was engaged in full blown social engineering
-West Georgia was imploding
-Mike Adams was spending money like a drunken sailor
-Ga Gwinnett wasn’t accredited yet kept growing

the ship is sinking, and those idiots are quibbling about the furnature

td

December 13th, 2012
11:09 pm

Prof

December 13th, 2012
8:18 pm

“But I will go down in flames before I accept late work, allow retesting, or lower my standards!”

As long as your “standards” allows X % of students to receive a passing grade in your class then you will not have any problem. The next step in writing your contract will have outcome based measurements (how many students enroll in your class and how many pass your class) that you will be required to meet or then your job will at stake.

Private Citizen

December 13th, 2012
11:39 pm

What’s wrong with going to school for a couple of years and stopping and then going to school for a couple of years and completing degree? A lot of people need to do that. -Get away from the school environment, recharge, earn some money, then go back into the fray, so to speak. Plus, “life experience” is productive for students, relevance of their studies, quality of university experience, what they study, who they study with, etc.

Private Citizen

December 13th, 2012
11:50 pm

Do they really call this thing “RPG?” Isn’t that the name of the shoulder mounted missile used by terrorists? Yes, it is an existing acronym for “rocket propelled grenade.”

Bows head to look at feet – Everything is bad all the time now.

Private Citizen

December 13th, 2012
11:55 pm

“RPG” is also a highly used term for “role playing game.” Somebody just hit me across the head with a cast frying pan and put me out of my misery, please.

Private Citizen

December 13th, 2012
11:57 pm

prof, I am in my fifteenth year at a medium sized USG institution. Yes, prof, they changed the law because they want you to graduate. You’re the one who caused all of this. The one.

Grace in ATL

December 14th, 2012
1:36 am

Ha! I know this new change does not apply to Grad school yet but it exposes the ratchet grad schools and professors have been using to KEEP Grad students in school than graduating them. I worked part time on my MA degree at Georgia State in the late 90’s. I was already working full-time in the field when I went back to school. By the time I finally finished the required courses over a 5 year span, I was not done. I then had to study for an extensive make or break comprehensive exam, and then submit to a brutal oral exam to three of my professors, THEN expected to drop everything to write a publishable thesis paper. My thesis professor expected me to be his unpaid research assistant too. I was working full time, going to school, then had a baby. They did not seem to care if I did not complete my degree. I had a fellow grad student tell me that he was desperate to find a job to, “stop working for free” for his thesis professor. I knew several part-time students that never graduated. I never finished the awful paper and did not graduate with my MA.

My husband started the UGA Terry evening MBA in Gwinnett part-time, took similar load as I did, took his last class, and was DONE/Graduated! None of the oral/comp/paper BS. He now makes more money than me..mnnnn

I’ve heard now my former GSU program has merged with another and has stream-lined their program. They have made a few minor changes to the program that probably help students graduate but it’s a little too late.

Tina Trent

December 14th, 2012
6:12 am

Grade inflation already exists.

The most dramatic “grade inflation” is admitting unqualified students to college and then giving them remedial coursework. They may be unqualified academically, but they still qualify for federal financial aid. Bodies in the seats means bucks for the administration.

Students who have no business being in college are still big moneymakers for some schools. They end up saddled with debt (which they frequently don’t pay), and taxpayers foot either most or all of the bill. The winners are, again, only those earning salaries from the school.

At the last community college where I taught, I was asked to volunteer one Saturday helping students fill out FAFSA forms. Because it was hard for some of them, the administration said, or they didn’t read English well enough. It is, what, a three question form? For guaranteed money, which goes to the student and the school.

That’s insane. If you can’t read, what the hell are you doing in college? Of course this was plastered over with pressures to behave as if it would be oppressive to deny anyone access to guvmint cash for skool. But that arrangement was primarily benefitting the administrators and faculty, not the kids who were putting other options on hold to extend their high school failures a few more unproductive years.

All this talk about academic standards ignores such ugly realities. I think imposing standards is about the most “compassionate” thing you can do for students. Many of them who would otherwise fail will benefit from an administration focused on helping them succeed rather than keeping bodies in seats ringing cha-ching for the institution.

And no, not everybody belongs in college.

Money is the motivator for failure right now. It’s about time the states make it a motivator for success.

redweather

December 14th, 2012
6:45 am

bootney farnsworth

December 14th, 2012
7:22 am

lets see where we are in Georgia. pay attention legislators, this is the machine you’ve set in motion.

-unnecessary replication of specialized programs
-a systematic, deliberate undermining of confidence in education to cover up the failures of the legislature
-a systematic backing away from the constitutional duty to fund/provide education.
-a university system whos Regents are stacked with idiots, butt kissers, and UGA grads
-an insistance to educate illegal immigrants at the post grad level
-an explosion of courses which have no real life application (but bring in money)
-the only state in the union to extensively furlough teachers and cut school days
-a Regents system who deliberately turned a blind eye to rampant fiscal issues at GPC.
-presidents who are allowed to spend millions every year on pet projects in persuit of “social justice”
-a legislature who have fought tooth and nail to make community colleges subervient to tech schools

and all this is just at the tope of my head.

in Georgia, its not that we’re mad the system doesn’t work…despite what red meat Fran and co say, this is the system THEY have worked very hard to put into place.

higher ed is functioning exactly as downtown wants it to.

bootney farnsworth

December 14th, 2012
7:27 am

@ Tina

for awhile at GPC, you didn’t dare ask such questions. if you did, you ran the risk of being hauled in front of HR to explain yourself.

clem

December 14th, 2012
7:47 am

seems top admin people at bit universities make a heck of lot more than their comrades in other state agencies doing similar jobs. i guess the theory is these guys need to make more to supervise college profs. kinda like the lady who left as top budget person for the governor and doubled salary going to lottery where frankly it could not be near as difficult in scope. get those salaries in line then find a more efficient/effective budget formula for regents. what are best funding practices in the rest of the country?

clem

December 14th, 2012
7:54 am

there are also too many bs courses in college. why an accountant needs english lit courses after reading ivanhoe in high school makes no sense unless you want to be on jeopardy

Private Citizen

December 14th, 2012
8:06 am

hey b-o-o-t-n-e-y in some places you don’t even have to ask such questions. if you don’t slink around and bump shoulders with them and talk the talk, the beknighted will haul you in front of HR and invent something to question you about it. you can be minding your own business. it is like they are trouble makers and looking for something to do. it’s like in the old movies when the bullies confront a kid in an alley for a shakedown. I once told an old lady sort-of-mentor of mine about this and her answer was, “welll maybe they’ll move on to somebody else.” her answer was not based in principle. it was weird. this stuff has been going on for a long time here, the beknighted doing management by intimidation. that’s what Arne Duncan does if you actually see him operate, it is not very sobering. mandate something with a juiced up (as in injected with stimulant drugs) name and then go around and bow up and threaten people to be on the end of the point of it. What they’re doing right now is setting up a gauntlet to thin the herd of teachers. Maybe it is just HR clean-out time. Get rid of half the teachers and replace them with new young hires. Okay. The problem is that it has almost nothing to do with the engineering side of the mission. It’s like telling your builders to pour all the sidewalks 2″ thick instead of 4″ thick. Race To The Top is an ill-named sham to make a gauntlet to change employee demographic. Maybe if teacher pay didn’t climb per years of service, this would not be such an issue.

SBinF

December 14th, 2012
8:20 am

Good heavens, now in college too?

God forbid we hold students accountable for their performance in school.

Jack ®

December 14th, 2012
8:30 am

Lots of luck when creating an “education culture”. We need engineers, lots of engineers, and we’re not going to get them with the present culture producing 13-year old mothers and 14-year old fathers. And we’re not going to get them when the most important thing in a young person’s life is a pair of sneakers that cost a million dollars. Also, the idea that “isolated pockets of excellance are not acceptable” means to me that our top students are not allowed to advance any further than their listless classmates.

williebkind

December 14th, 2012
8:41 am

“College funding: Does it make sense to fund campuses based on whether students earn their degrees?”

No it does not but degrees are useless without skills. Too many pieces of paper hanging on the wall lying to the public that the certified have skills. I dont believe college graduates have what it takes to make a business prosper. Many work in occupations that have nothing to do with their college discipline. But they have that degree so the world owes them $80k salaries right?

Whirled Peas

December 14th, 2012
9:13 am

Colleges should not be funded. Students should. Give the funds to the student and let him decide which school gets it. Power to the people!

lori

December 14th, 2012
11:07 am

As an instructor in a small college in Georgia, I have seen the effects and waste of money spent on enrolling students who will never complete college . Numbers were the game; not any sort of accountability required. Remedial instructors were pressured to give passing scores to students who seldom attended classes or attended until Pell Grant debit cards were received and then just never returned. A student who enters with a 5th grade reading comprehension score (and believe me there are a lot of these) will require divine intervention to receive any sort of degree or certificate. Just the facts. Colleges want nothing to do with techinal schools (beneath them?) but this is a huge need in both high schools and college settings.

Private Citizen

December 14th, 2012
11:29 am

Ole Guy, you say some sat out the Vietnam War circa 1970 by hiding in college. The thing is, it is that generation that invented to computer desktop, the portable computer, and the internet. I recall reading (?) Steve Jobs saying he took LSD and it was all good from there.

Here: “Steve Jobs Told the Pentagon LSD Was “A positive life-changing experience for me.” http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/06/11/steve_jobs_on_lsd_a_positive_life_changing_experience_for_me_.html

My point is, where is your head at? what is your priority when you make an opinion? Is it on producing? All of this current control stuff seems to be about co-opting people and telling them what to do. Hayek wrote plentifully about the results of a planned economy. It usually results in downtrodden workers and the firing squad for those who resist. You best keep your eyes open. I think Americans should stop accepting so much control&direct. Also, this college campus stuff may be the result of economic contraction. If you want that to stop you better start looking at inefficiencies, because they seem to be adding up- excessive imprisoning people, paying 4x the world rate for health services (twice the cost, half the coverage). Municipalities and school systems using debt to build things. After years and years of this stuff, it is going to add up like a weight around your neck that can drown you. There’s a story about out in California, some school district borrowed $25 million and it will cost them $100 million the repay it. The weird part is that the state regulator said the school system was completely clueless as to their actions, their manager said “How can you turn down $25 million?” and that was the extent of his reasoning.

Private Citizen

December 14th, 2012
11:40 am

I wonder if the LSD usage had something to do with Jobs prematurely getting cancer. I don’t think “drinking lots of water” flushes out synthetic drugs from the body.

Speaking of drugs, hey Bootney, this is a completely brilliant post: http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2012/12/13/college-funding-does-it-make-sense-to-fund-campuses-based-on-whether-students-earn-their-degrees/?cp=all#comment-245233

should we pay:

soldiers for the amount of people they kill?
cops for amount of arrests?
politicans by the amount of bills introduced?
firemen by the fires they put out?
____________

What you are really saying is, into which caste does education belong? -business/profit/money or governing. they are two separate castes, each with fundamentally different priorities.

Prof

December 14th, 2012
11:41 am

@ td, Dec. 13, 11:09 pm. You have a strange idea of faculty contracts, even in fantasy-land. In fact, there seem to be a lot of fantasies on this blog about how the free-wheeling, ornery, independent professors will now be reined in by money-mad administrators, Ain’t gonna happen, folks, or at least not the way you imagine.

@PC, Dec. 13, 11:39 am. Ah yes, the life of Trofimov in Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard,” the perpetual student. Now the bane of the University administrator, who may find upon applying for re-admittance that programs and course requirements have changed and so have admission requirements. Not to mention that future employers will scowl at the missing years on the resume.

@Grace in ATL. Very sorry this happened to you, although it might have been a good idea for you to have made a confidential appointment with the department’s Graduate Director to tell him or her what was going on….if only for the sake of the other graduate students the professor had. But believe me, if there’s pressure now to move undergraduates on through to get the degree faster the same is true for graduate students, with the pressure on departments to produce more MAs and PhDs in shorter periods of time. This is not necessarily altruistic. Graduate classes are small, and thesis-only courses even smaller (one person); and it’s not efficient to let well-paid professors have such light teaching-loads for 5 or 10 years.

@ Tina Trent, Dec. 14, 6:12 am. Exactly right, and my original argument in favor of the change in the state’s funding formula. But that was then, and something else is now. USG schools already have had the Regents cut out their remedial courses for the last year or so.

Universities were notified of this change in the state’s funding formula at least a year ago. My own is already preparing for it with better student retention programs: in advisement and mentoring, and also an early computerized warning system when freshman/sophomore grade averages suggest that trouble is ahead and the student needs some counseling. All to the good, I think.

Vox Populi

December 14th, 2012
2:13 pm

College funding: Does it make sense to fund campuses based on whether students earn their degrees? …No. What a stupid idea.
High School is already just day care for thugs. The legitimate college or University is now supposed to confer “job training” on kids whose enduring academic achievement is some high score on Angry Birds. Why, we can’t expect literacy out of college students; that’s racist, isn’t it? Grades? Ditto.
The college degree, especially here in Georgia, is already worthless. Get ready to see Georgia colleges handing out degrees to freshman just for showing up for football games.

Pride and Joy

December 14th, 2012
2:51 pm

We already dole out college diplomas like fruitcake at Christmas and nobody wants those either.
When we tell colleges and universities to graduate more kids we are giving them the OK to steal our tax payer money and produce more know-little or nothing “graduates.” I already throw resume’s in the trash. Some of these fools have a Master’s degree and have poor grammar on their resume’s. “I has experience doing X and I has experience doing Y…” and I call them to say “You don’t HAVE what it takes to get an interview.”

Pride and Joy

December 14th, 2012
2:52 pm

I didn’t mean to put an apostrophe on resume. I meant to give it an accent mark, of course.

Private Citizen

December 14th, 2012
3:34 pm

Ole Guy

December 14th, 2012
4:28 pm

Farns, I can understand your arguement…as far as REASONABLE arguements go. Believe it or not, a Soldier’s reason de etre/reason for being is NOT to kill people. Not being in Law Enforcement, I cannot speak knowledgably for police. However, as with the Profession of Arms, I suspect the Law Enforcement Officer (among the other “examples” you have forwarded) has a the primary interest in preventing/not enciting those “examples”.

The ONLY reason one goes to college lies in the sweat and (sometimes) tears which go with a college diploma. In other words, the ONLY reason is graduation; not “finding” one’s self, not having to take high school redux disguised as remedials, only to flunk out, and certainly not to waste any more of mommy’s and daddy’s…not to mention taxpayers time and money than absolutely necessary.

Just exactly how far are we, as citizens, obliged to extend ourselves, in the name of helping a generation to prepare for the big bad world? Your arguement; your…”examples”…seem to suggest that we should be willing to offer a “bottomless” cup of bounty in the name of higher education gone awry; of an educational system which, quite frankly, began the slippery slope to oblivian long ago. Perhaps it is folks who share your zeal for rewarding mediocrity who should be held to the fires of accountability. The failures within the primary educational system have gone entirely unaddressed for so long they have become the norm; your “arguement” seems to suggest that we should continue rewarding that very mediocrity into the halls of higher academe.

Farns, I don’t know what your background is; what “station in life” you may occupy…and quite frankly, I don’t really care. However, I suspect you, yourself, may be a product of the primary educational system of the mid-to-late 80s, the period of time when kids were rewarded for simply showing up; when everyone was a winner…lest there may be a few bruised egos, some hurt feelings, and perhaps even some crying.

Farns, this may or may not make any sense to you…LIFE IS A ONE-SHOT PROPOSITION…you either hack it the first time around, or thats it. That may seem cruel…the worse thing we can do (of course, it’s already become institutionalized in many facets of education) is reward less than optimal performance. We wonder why other countries accell on the global platform of competition while we insist on accepting far less than we should.

Does this answer the question as to whether we should fund colleges which produce flunkies?

Private Citizen

December 14th, 2012
6:30 pm

wow Ole Guy, You’ve really got it bad. you’ve complete depersonalised the student and turned them into an object of your authority fantasy. “Fires of accountability” Accountable to whom? Adults are accountable only to themselves. This whole thing reminds me of when the campus republicans can appointed to contribute direction to the University of Texas at Austin. The first thing they wanted to to / did was eliminate the UT informal classes that served the community, a well like, well participated-in program that had been going for 50 years. The rational was that the program was a net loss to UT of about $120k/.year. Meanwhile the program contributed to quality of life for the city and many of the citizens were UT alumni and professionals. They liked studying art or music or literature in the evenings and being connected to their university. Then someone noted that the city tax payers payed about $5 million dollars of the cost every year, paid for the local fire dept. services that covered all of UT. They finally came to their senses and the informal classes are now back to being a part of the community, as before. The question is about who has the power and who does not have the power. The ought to be asking why tuition is so high and why it is so seemingly impossible the cost of operating university. U.S. public college tuition used to be cheap and that’s a fact. The cost went up about 100% where I live and no one even said anything. It was weird. Not a word from anyone. Why does that get a free pass and no mention? Who has the power? Whose interests are being served? Half the world doesn’t even pay tuition. They’ve got a different concept. It’s like you’ve got a gas hungry car with a 12 cylinder vroom vroom engine, gets 8 miles / gallon on a good day. You want to say who can ride and then tell them where to go. Other places they have little pleasant cars and people pick their own destinations. Seriously, I do not know what has happened to the cost structure of U.S. schools. I went to pay tuition one time and bill was 1.5x what is had been not long before. I looked up my previous invoices. The tuition had gone up by 1/2 and no one said anything. The newspaper did not say anything. The school did not say anything, no person around me said anything. It is very weird. And then it went up again after that. What is that about?

Private Citizen

December 14th, 2012
6:48 pm

Out in the real world, most people want nothing to do with college. They’d rather be welding or laying pipe or be a plumber or own their own business. This “college for all” thing the politicians keep pushing has very little to do with reality. You almost wonder if it is a strategy to put people in debt, since average U.S. college debt is 25k / person. That’s over a trillion dollars now. Yes, U. S. college debt for individuals in now over $1 trillion. It is a peculiar situation, not happening anywhere else outside of the U. S. COLLEGE = DEBT. SELL/PROMOTE COLLEGE = SELL/PROMOTE DEBT SERVICE. Current sales: $1 trillion dollars of DEBT, Not tuition, but PERSONAL DEBT.

Clark Atlanta University (GA) average debt accrued at graduation: $47,066, applies to 94% of students (in-debt) there.

(2011) “Student loans outstanding will exceed $1 trillion this year” http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/college/story/2011-10-19/student-loan-debt/50818676/1

and that would mean…. $65 billion / year in interest payments? @ 6.5%

Private Citizen

December 14th, 2012
6:51 pm

$65 billion per year in interest payments from individuals, over ten years that would be $650 billion dollars in interest payments alone, having nothing to do with principle? This is not a projection. This is what is happening right now. There’s only 300 million people in the United States. Talk about “owned!”

Private Citizen

December 14th, 2012
7:10 pm

Private Citizen

December 14th, 2012
7:22 pm

I’m going to go out a limb here. The last class I took at a Georgia public college was online, the person teaching the class was from the high side of the academic establishment, they were feeding us complete garbage and busy-work assignments, when I asked them about the content, their answer to me was that “the syllabus is a contract” and then when I paid for the class – one class! – it was $900. and then the people in the finance dept. claimed I had not paid it and I had to sit on the phone with them while I emailed to the the documents from their website and my receipt from their website showing that I had paid them. The course content was terrible, the money people were incompetent, and the course was not a good value.

Private Citizen

December 14th, 2012
8:05 pm

maybe it wasn’t “complete garbage” but it was formula and some of it was brainwashing. I recommended some better syllabi to the instructor?professor? after the class. First time I’ve ever done that, but some of the stuff in the syllabus was just really off the mark. The current enrolment is probably “record enrolment!” but what is the stop-gap to make quality, and not just push prefab / busywork at folks through online classes? and at a high price, too. If there were 15 people in that class, that’s $13,500. paid in-state tuition for one online class based on a little Q/A via message boards and checking off a bunch of to-do assignments with formula one-liners and “insight” compliments and such. There were no scheduled class meetings online and I never met anyone in the class or the instructor?/professor?/whatever. The person “facilitating” the class was not published in the field and did not seem very aware of the body of work associated with the field. Some of the assigned resources were just awkward and there was pressure to “be happy” and comment in a certain style. The syllabus basically spelled out that if you disagreed with anything you were out of line. It is a one-way street re: authority. I think it went to null/void for me what I pointed out that one of the “luminaries!” used as example in a video was also prosecuted for violently beating their spouse and i posted the url to the news story. It’s like I had interrupted the tupperware party or something, the ongoing “celebration of knowledge!” ™

bootney farnsworth

December 14th, 2012
10:58 pm

@ ole guy,

you are very sadly mistaken if you really think the only reason people go to college is to get the degree.

bootney farnsworth

December 14th, 2012
11:03 pm

@ ole guy

awww….you think you know me. that’s cute.
stupid, wrong, and so far off base you may as well be in orbit, but cute.

I’m curious. is your worldview really as limited as your posts come off, or are you playing a part? you wouldn’t be the first here to do so.

bootney farnsworth

December 14th, 2012
11:07 pm

what really tickles me is who some people – like ole guy- are so busy putting forward their pre determined position they don’t actually read posts from the people they are pontificating to.

Carlos

December 14th, 2012
11:34 pm

My recollection is that according to the AJC, the University System of Georgia, collectively, hired over 5,000 people during a period when the rest of the state government was downsizing. Enrollment grew sufficiently to convince banks to loan money for new buildings. Tuition went up. Not surprisingly, the Hope Scholarship money ran out at the new, higher burn rate. Student enrollment peak, the cash stream was reduced and layoffs are in the air.

The non-completion rate, for whatever reasons, indicates a HUGE waste of money over a long period, but, hey, who cared so long as empire-building school administrators ruling ever larger institutions were rewarded based on ever larger student registration. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Looks like education administrator malpractice to me. One wonders what the central admin people were feeding the Board of Regents at their meetings.

The GOVERNOR and not the BOR was responsible for this higher retention initiative. It may not be wise due to its emphasis on only one factor, but recognize that it is a reaction to administrative profligacy on a grand scale over a long period of time.

To rustle up some of that old Christmas spirit, why not triple the UGA President’s departing handshake to six big ones rather than merely $2 million. Think of it as the equivalent of a Wall Street bonus system among educational grandees — paid for in higher tuition and a further depleted Hope Scholarship fund.

N. GA Teacher

December 15th, 2012
8:20 am

The key term here is “earn” a degree. All of us who teach high school and college agree that students should earn their diplomas and degrees. They should clearly demonstrate the motivation, work ethic, self discipline and accomplishment. But what upper-level administrators will do is misinterpret “receive” for “earn”. At the high school level, NCLB has ruined this, and this new proposal, if passed, will ruin legitimacy for college quality. Pressure (i.e; “your job is on the line) will be placed on professors to pass undeserving students. What education REALLY needs is the OPPOSITE legislation: that noone receive diplomas or degrees without absolute proof of EARNING them, with jobs on the line if unqualified get through.

Ole Guy

December 15th, 2012
10:17 am

Farns, Citizen…you folks are truly a post of incredulous marvel. Citizen, there has been absolutely no depersonalization of kids here. The fires of accountability…something of which far too many in the adult world know nothing…all starts at the earliest of years, generally around the age of six…SUPPOSEDLY. This is, SUPPOSEDLY, the age at which the kid starts the process of socialization; the point at which the kid, SUPPOSEDLY, begins to realize his/her part in the big picture of society. At some point, the kid’s going to realize that…things…have to get done, and it’s up to that kid…NOT mommy; NOT daddy; NOT the other kid…to do these things. In other words, the kid has RESPONSIBILITIES; when these responsibilities are left unmet, the kid’s world…mommy, daddy, and the kid’s peers are left to either accomplish that which the kid has failed to accomplish, or the task simply goes unmet. The FIRES OF ACCOUNTABILITY arise when mommy, daddy, and/or the kid’s peers express some form of disdain; some “reminder” of the kid’s failings.

Farns, without allowing ourselves to become too distracted by the superflous, let us re-examine the wisdom of rewarding, by way of college funding, the mediocrity; the falacy of an institution of higher learning doing anything short of providing that higher learning. A college’s mission is granting diplomas…period; not providing a proving ground upon which the ill-prepared might “find” themselves. Once again, your “reasoning” skills seem way off base…a college’s track record in providing well-educated graduates has not one thing to do with a Soldier’s “head count” of the enemy, nor of a police officer’s citations issued. I don’t know if you are simply attempting to be funny or if you are simply…simple. This issue, as with the many others within these pages, begs serious reflection. Once in a while, we may find ourselves deviating from the seriousness which these issues demand, however, you appear to excell in that respect…too bad.

Prof

December 15th, 2012
12:40 pm

@ Ole Guy, Dec. 15, 10:17 am. “A college’s mission is granting diplomas…period.”

Say what? I guess you never made it through college yourself. Very sorry to hear that. You don’t know what you’ve been missing.

Private Citizen

December 15th, 2012
4:00 pm

hey prof, a little west coast poetry for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIM4gmho8P0#t=1m17s college should be fun. one local school, someone said “there is no life on that campus.” this is place where the high-brow informed me the syllabus was a contract. I was tactful. I did not retort “your syllabus is a mouse trap.”

Private Citizen

December 15th, 2012
4:12 pm

Kudoes to Ole Guy’s pioneer spirit. The problem is the last person I knew with pioneer spirit went off and did an arranged marriage with “Reverand” Sung Myung Moon’s “Unification” Church. Boy, they need to put crime scene tape around that place. They’ve got a double-deal with the IRS, same as the “Church of Scientology.” Hey Ole Guy, I wish you would apply some of your pioneer spirit to the IRS. In comparison, the entire tax code of Hong Kong is 200 pages long. I think you’re a little selective in where you’re pointing the character reform canon. I’d look up, not down. I guess you missed my post where I said $65 billion per year in interest payments from individuals, over ten years that would be $650 billion dollars in interest payments alone, having nothing to do with principle? This is not a projection. This is what is happening right now. There’s only 300 million people in the United States. Students are being exploited and now we are going into rationing resources and overt control schemes. More top-down telling people what to do.

Private Citizen

December 15th, 2012
4:21 pm

These spineless politicians ought to be standing up to college education being used to create debt slavery in the United States. And that’s the triple-truth, Ruth.

Ole Guy

December 15th, 2012
7:50 pm

Prof, you can utter all the nonesense you wish about college mission statements regarding higher learning and the growth/citizenship thing. The ONLY REAL objective of both student and faculty is the awarding of a diploma. As to the ideals of learning, growing, etc, that is entirely up to the kid; the college/university, with all the infrastructure (librarys, class facilities, etc) has the responsibility of providing the tools which enable the kid to learn. However, without that diploma, the entire effort is one moot waste. In the end, it’s ENTIRELY up to the kid. In high school, teacher takes role call, partly in the interest of accountability; partly to make sure little Johnny is there to learn. In college, prof couldn’t give two rat’s sixes if the kid shows up or sleeps off a drunk. Prof is only interested in RESULTS; it’s entirely up to the kid. AND THAT, BOYS AND GIRLS, IS LIFE.

I’ll weaken just this once and provide my educational “201 file”: BS, Engineering, BS Education, MS, Personnel, MBA, not to mention a bucket-load of military officer’s courses…what we euphamistically refered to as “finishing school”.

I’m not trying to crow on the issue, however, I’ll let you in on a few pending tragedys…you to, Private.

We, the entire Nation, have just witnessed a tragedy of unimaginable proportion unfold in Connecticut; the continuation of freighteningly similar events, across the country, in recent time. One common thread just may lie in a generations’ inability to cope with the crap life surely tosses in our faces…the crap of having to perform; of becoming a contributor; not a social liability; not a drain on resources. Your arguements, as well as those of Private (and, sadly, a few more) seem to wish only to perpetuate generational dependence on the world about without one single sacrifice toward social growth.

My last communication came from the ATL aerodrome; after a day of travel, during which I have given your collective comments some thought (you, Private, and, sadly, a few others), I am convinced that YOUR attitudes greatly lend toward the generational decay we see in 1) failures to graduate, 2) teen pregos, 3) and, in no small way, extreme difficulty in securing a meaningful part in society. Sure, the economic times are tough…certainly at least as tough as history has seen.

Private, I don’t believe your utterance about attributing the kids’ difficulties in school to the teachers’ inability to teach. This very mindset, planted in the heads of these kids, only leads to generational irresponsibility…”Johnny, why did you make such poor grades? IT”S ALL TEACHER’S FAULT! Everyone managed to make acceptable grades, but…IT”S TEACHER”S FAULT!

Just where does that one stop? At what point will the little Johnnys…the young adults of tomorrow…start accepting responsibility for their actions?

As for your last remark…I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT…AND i’M SURE AS HELL NOT GOING TO WASTE MY MENTAL ENERGIES FIGURING IT OUT.

Ole Guy

December 16th, 2012
2:38 am

Clem, English Lit courses are not taught so that accountants can go through life with working knowledge of Chauser’s works and the like. As RESPONSIBLE…CONTRIBUTING members of society, we are often called upon to both read and absorb vast quantities of data and information; to navigate the forrest of facts, and to grasp the important issues while weeding out the superflous. British Lit, for me (and I rather suspect for many) was like root canal without benefit of anasthesia. However…and this is purely a subjective observation…British Lit, as with many “nonsensical” course requirements, made me a better engineer, a better leader, and a better…person.

Many folks seem to view a college education as nothing more than skills training; a prereq for a job. While these views are not entirely without merit, the over-riding value of the degree lies not so much in the job market, but in the “people” market. Understanding, and EFFECTIVELY communicating with those with whom we share this blue bb in space remains the true mark of an educated man…or woman.

Unfortunately, in an economic climate in which the untested have come to view this as luxury, it is easy to see where these values are merely discounted and cast into oblivian.

Private Citizen

December 16th, 2012
8:32 am

Ole Guy, Thank you for opening up. This is how we get somewhere. Let’s dialogue. Private, I don’t believe your utterance about attributing the kids’ difficulties in school to the teachers’ inability to teach. I don’t think I said that, and I’m not in the mood at the moment to go back and read through to fact check, but since I am the object of attribution, it is not my thought or spiel to say teachers can not teach. I think you’ve got the wrong potato on that. Ole Guy, You’re moderately educated and you think you are King Kong. I am sincerely you have four degrees and finishing school, however my opinion of US MBA degrees is that they do not educate you, hence you shall know them by their works are you say this are peculiar times. They certainly do not teach you responsibility and action and governing your peers. Let me get to the point. You just went full-derp into cognitive dissonance and denial over current college being used to make system of debt slavery. Obviously you do not relate. You are in the position in your life to make leadership. You have experience, degrees, and military finishing school and what do you do? You abandon the college age and those who attend college and ignore their exploitation. That’s not leadership, Ole Guy, that’s “I got mine” naracissism. I’ve seen a lot of that. Seemingly every guy like you who has the degrees, the set-up, the finishing school, and the retirement in place says “I don’t know anything about that” when confronted the costs and debt in the U.S. system now for college students. That’s not acceptable Ole Guy, but it’s real. I will hold you to a little higher standard of accountability than your business school did for you.

Prof

December 16th, 2012
12:18 pm

I probably should not stick my nose into the unfolding discussion between Ole Guy and Private Citizen. Let the fireworks ensue. But I will just point out what we have learned about Ole Guy from his past posts
assuming of course that we can believe posts on this anonymous blog.

He has noted that his father was a WW2 vet, and he was born a year after it ended, which would be 1946. He went into combat in the Vietnam War in the Air Force, although he doesn’t seem to despise the 1960s Peace Movement. When he came out, he entered business, where he’s been pretty much a success. He claims that he taught in K-12 for a year at some point, though without a Teaching Certificate. His posts consistently call for paddling in the school, toughness on today’s undisciplined students, and the formation of unions by Georgia’s teachers. And his spelling is uniformly atrocious.

In other words, as he accurately terms himself, he is an Ole Guy.

Ole Guy

December 16th, 2012
4:32 pm

OK Guys, lets knock off the crapin around. Your assessments of my background and character are of little interest to me, however, for the sake of perspective, howbout we share some fact:

At this point in my life, I am both thrilled and humbled to be able to command the wage and perks I do for what is, essentially, part time/on-call work. Sometimes, I feel like the 50’s character, Clark Kent who, emerging from the telephone booth, transformed from the mild-mannered individual he was into the man with the cape. I take these periodic trips, as I now do, temporarily escaping the retired life only to resume, in a few days, the docile life of a Cobb County retiree. I live a somewhat docile life in a docile Cobb County house which can only be euphamistically described as an East Cobb DIY with a shaggy lawn and leaky water pipes. I drive an ole beat up clunker which is not that much newer than my college ride; when I travel, either for pleasure or for work, I wear beat up jeans and carry my stuff in bags just a little more classy than the plastic ones at Kroger.

Why am I going into such detail? Private, your remark about the “I got mine thing ” pisses me off. Sure, after a lifetime of both successes and abject failures, I have managed to emerge somewhat intact and in (mostly) one piece. I grew up in the post-war 50s…an era of hope punctuated by the innocence of Leave it to Beaver and Popeye. That innocense was (generationaly) torn by the harsh realities of assasination, public unrest over an unpopular war, and the stark reality that we (generationaly) would soon be obliged to shoulder that war.

As we (generationaly) became young adults, we were faced with, among other things, financial difficulty, the fear of STD, and the discovery that Santa Clause wasn’t going to make it all go away…WE, and WE alone were going to have to grapple our problems, come to terms with them, and DEAL with them.

Now that we are able to sit upon the easy chair of a fruitful life well-spent (for the most part), you start crying and wailing the “You got your’s” song of self-pity…it is this very mode of self-destruction which you probably initiated years ago and which you now proudly (sic) pass on to your kids.

Tough times is NOT a new concept only recently discovered by a generation too damn spoiled to understand. My Dad; his Dad, and the generations which carved this land all knew what adversity is. My personal experience has been a bitter sweet agregate of challenge and the motivation to overcome. The current gen, which I suspect you may have been an early part of, knows only “the good stuff”. You piss an moan when faced with such terrible travesty as the batterys in your electronic toys running dry…and you then ascribe my generations’ well-being to “You got yours” narcicism. Like piss ants, you can only quible an quake over a mis-spelled word or two; deep down, you hold only animosity toward those who, in your feeble assessments, have it better. The fact is, we don’t have it better, we only know how to “make lemonade out of lemmons” while you can only suck on that lemmon because you do not (and probably will never) know any better.

Private Citizen

December 16th, 2012
5:19 pm

but Ole Guy, you do “have yours.” You have a home and you’re not sunk in debt. The average debt for college grads is $25k. I mean, that is the average for each and every one of them. That means some have zero and some have $100k. You do “have yours” and you “got yours” without debt slavery as your next best friend, faithful dog at your side, so thrilling especially as you start your career if one can even get decent hire today. The average salary for a Harvard grad (!) is $54k. After taxes, it’s not 54k in spending money either. Point is, good for you, but conditions are very different today for persons attending college. I’ve had excellent classes at a cost of $200. for the class, while paying $200./month for an apartment. Well, recently I had a completely mechanistic bogus class, did not even meet anyone in the class or the instructor/professor/whatever and the class cost $900. Point is, I think the debt slavery is a serious matter. I think we’re getting run like dogs on a track. It’s your business what you think, but I was just pointing out you went into “well I don’t know anything about that” mode, which seem to be pretty standard for persons of a certain generation who even refuse to recognise the conditions young people are under today. If the prior generations abandon you and don’t even care to look out for you, what do expect the young people to be like? Need I reference that recently is the first time in U.S. history that college graduates are economically going backwards from the standing of their family? This is documented, not my opinion. USA has little upward mobility now and work hard does not mean getting ahead. Statistically. Factually. I’m not going to go find it and link and all of that but it is out there: standard of living going backwards, statistical low point of mobility. I sure wish Americans would start standing up for themselves or make competition or something. Check this out, from the monopolist. It’s like a practical joke or something. These two are sociopathic liars performing a little skit: http://money.cnn.com/video/magazines/fortune/2012/12/13/ldrshp-comcast-3.fortune At least I can recognise monopoly and know its effect- low output and high price. Why is no one paying attention? And the preppers just want to hide and go “boo-rah!” they too take little responsibility. It is like USA has turned to narcissism. I mean Ole Guy, Georgia school children don’t even have eyeglasses for themselves but anyone of means is so busy standing in line at the Olive Garden for their lunch party, they could care less. And I’ve dined with plenty of teachers just as that and they could certainly care less. It is bizarre, the lack of uptake. Their brains seem to stop at “Appleby’s or Olive Garden?” hey, you should see the 4 part series “Century of the Self.” You can “Google” it, if you like. It’s pretty long, maybe some parts of it are better than others.

Private Citizen

December 16th, 2012
5:28 pm

I have managed to emerge somewhat intact and in (mostly) one piece.

Well, I’ve got about ten friends where that is not the case for them. The best school teacher I know lives in a little apartment, will probably never be a homeowner, and drives a worn out car. Another teacher friend, oh yes he is a homeowner, since he moved from another state, cleaned out his retirement fund there and put the down payment on a house. So he has a house, a house payment and payments on $50k of student debt. The roof is worn out on his house. With the house payment and the school loan payment, he really does not have enough left to put a roof on his house, in other words to do house maintenance. Putting a student loan payment in the mix takes a lot out of quality of life. There will be at least one or two entire generations working in this situation. Oh, doube up? Do extra? Get a second job! Carpentry on the weekends! Not with the current workload. And you have to work at least one half day of the weekend either catching up or planning ahead and there is always those weekend emails telling you things to do for the coming week.

Private Citizen

December 16th, 2012
5:30 pm

“DEAL with it.” What, move to Argentina?

Private Citizen

December 16th, 2012
5:36 pm

Tough times is NOT a new concept

But you know what, Ole Guy, there’s a difference in “tough times” and debt slavery. They’re not the same thing, they do not play out the same, and they do not remedy the same. And we’ve had like, 15 years of recession now? I remember in 03 when the labor market was so tight, it was like a drum head. Our recessions last longer that all of WW2 and then quickly happen again and last as long again. It’s weird. Stores going out business. New shopping mall built, then boarded up within 5 years. New construction boarded up! like a slum! And college students taking on debt to go to school and have no choice! Systematically! Systematic exploitation of higher ed! Opportunity found! Like charging every household an extra dollar for their internet or water bill, somebody is going to get very rich from it. and somebody is going to pay pay pay.

Private Citizen

December 16th, 2012
5:49 pm

I sound like I’m whining but there has been many a day I am glad I got my BA degree completed before the current era, and I feel for those who are in a different circumstance that me from when I could work and pay cash for rent, tuition, and books. I could not do so now, the terms have changed. Earning are down and costs have doubled. Why was I paying rate and now costs have doubled? And I do not mean inflation, I mean per the value of the dollar, earning, etc. today’s costs are double to obtain college attendance and credits from I paid, maybe 4x what Ole Guy paid.

Ole Guy

December 16th, 2012
6:18 pm

Guys, I am in complete agreement that the environment these kids find themselves is tough; it doesn’t serve them well for us to deny this. And yes, I see a great many elders who, for any of a number of reasons, must work into their golden years. I see it in the hotels; I see it in the airport parking lots throughout the Country, and I am reminded just how fragile good fortune is…that it could vanish in the flash of an eye. I’ve gone from the tool box to the brief case and back so many times, with a few stops at the min wage department, so I completely understand the sad reality that life can toss poo poo in one’s face indiscriminantly and with little warning. Indeed, I to get pissed off at the notion of a society too concerned with their places in the Red Lobster line to give a second thought to the travails of others. I had a motor scooter in high school…one of them sexy Vespas upon which the honeys loved to ride side saddle. One Saturday morn, I pulled into the neighborhood gas station to find one of my teachers pumping gas (believe it or not, gas stations used to do that as a matter of routine). It was then and there that I realized that life is NOT always fair; that, for whatever reason, we must always face the very real possibility that we may have to keep returning to the trenches.

It is this very real issue which young people must both acknowledge and be prepared to encounter. We can comiserate, listen, nod; even offer help in one form or another. Private, your remark may not be too far off base. While probably no one may wish to relo to Argentina for a job, too many may reject any notion of leaving the comfort zone of familiarity in search of opportunity. Too many fail to consider any plausable alternatives as “not for me”. That being said, many of these problems which the younger gens…and, quite possibly, the not-so-young…face are problems of self-denial, ie acquiring debt via credit cards to taking out questionable loans in order to satiate a singular demand allthewhile rejecting outright any notion of DEALING WITH THE OFTENTIMES HARSHNESS OF REALITY.

Ole Guy

December 16th, 2012
6:35 pm

Stand by one, Private, you’re comparing apples to oranges and a few bananas on the side. Fortunately, a good deal of my education was covered via GI BILL and employer assistance, mostly within the Defense contracting business. However, there always remained some form of financial commitment which came out of part time jobs (when min wage was $2.00/hr). Just as with the company store which kept “customers” in perpetual servitude, the book stores were always too happy to buy back books at nickles on the dollar. So just what has changed? In all reality, probably not a whole hell of a lot. The waters of adversity are just as deep; the sting of battle with the relentless onslaught of one pile of crap after another remains pretty much unchanged. What has changed, however, is the willingness to walk through fire, swim through ice and maintain focus on the objective…folks allow themselves to become distracted by the small stuff…like one’s place in the line at Red Lobster.

Private Citizen

December 16th, 2012
7:46 pm

when min wage was $2.00/hr

$1.65/hr and it was worth something. And when you bought a car, liability insurance was not required. If you wanted insurance, you bought it at your own decision and it was to protect yourself. Safety inspections were required, not car insurance. The safety inspection cost $12. required annually and done at a gas station. PS There are still people in Germany today who remove the seatbelts from their cars because they consider it a restriction and and an insult to whether or not they no know to drive. There’s no fee for tuition over there, there;s a $100. registration fee and that’s it. They also provide dental along with their social care package. I guess they consider that having a healthy educated populace not indentured by debt leads to a strong economy and high quality standard of living. It’s also illegal to teach character in the schools there. There is no teacher taking focus from content to do character training, something I have been through many times in Georgia public school teaching and also seen where a work review person alienates content instruction and rewards character instruction. I have seen a teacher turn in an entire week of content lesson plans manipulated so that the entire week’s activities were based on “character” activities, as a defensive action to try and sate the work review person surveilling and harassing us, and the work review person light up like a light bulb and say it was the best thing they had ever seen, exploit accomplished.

For example, this would be illegal in Germany today http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/affect/valuesga.html and would be considered something from Stasi East Germany communist police state, and also dereliction of teaching content. If you read the link, it should startle you.

Tech Prof

December 17th, 2012
4:04 pm

A Georgia Southern University commented on this in the Savannah Morning News today: http://savannahnow.com/column/2012-12-16/moore-georgia-pushes-more-diploma-mills#.UM9uPny9KSP