New America will host a panel discussion with student loan experts who will provide their views on the findings in a new report, "Why Student Loans Are Different" and how the report contributes to our understanding of student debt.
Wednesday April 29, 2015
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
[u'New America', u'1899 L Street NW Suite 400', u'Washington, DC 20036']
The open access of community college is one of America’s greatest postsecondary strengths, but also one of its greatest challenges. While almost anyone with minimum qualifications can enter a community college and pursue a postsecondary credential, few will actually complete.More about the event
New Report Calls for Reimagining Outdated Policies
Washington, DC - Today, New America’s Family-Centered Social Policy Initiative released its first report, calling for new frameworks to help American families navigate today’s challenges. According to the report, Strengthening Ties: The Case for Building a Social Policy Centered on Families, outdated and siloed social policies fail to help families thrive and prosper in the face of new economic, demographic, and technological changes. Policymakers must adapt and think of innovative ways to support families and help them succeed.
Roth was reviewing Kevin Carey’s new book, The End of College, which likewise foresees an "apocalyptic," Silicon Valley-esque "hacking" of higher education in the U.S.—particularly when it comes to the country’s so-called "cathedrals of learning" (e.g., highly exclusive universities such as Yale). Roth, who sees deep flaws with the book’s logic, quotes Carey as writing, "those that cannot change will disappear. The story of higher education’s future is a tale of ancient institutions in their last days of decadence, creating the seeds of a new world to come." According to Roth, there’s no way technology will disrupt the college system to the point of extinction. Ultimately, he argues, students still find value in studying and working face-to-face rather than watching "what happens from a distance on screen."
Overall, the micro-credentialing movement has a lot to offer teacher professional development. While pilots like DC’s are just getting started, it’s promising to see educators looking to other industries for new ways to improve professional learning. For teachers needing 90 hours of professional development every four years, however, the few initial micro-credential offerings are only a drop in the bucket. It still remains to be seen whether the movement will be revolutionary — or just a novelty.
The New America Foundation analysis shows a surge in average graduate-student debt between 2004 and 2012. According to the study, which was based on Department of Education data, average debt for master’s students at the 75th percentile of indebtedness increased from $54,000 to $85,000, adjusting for inflation. The study found that while many undergraduate students have"manageable" degrees of debt, those who pursue further postsecondary education are often crippled by massive piles of unpaid loans. Law students in the 50th percentile of indebtedness owe roughly $128,000 on average when they graduate, according to the report. For med students, that figure jumps to $200,000 in the 75th percentile and $250,000 for those in the 90th.
Historically, the department has erred on the "side of not forgiving anything," says Ben Miller, a senior policy analyst at the New America Foundation and a former Education Department official. Only under specific situations such as a school's complete closure or forged loan documents is there a systematic way to seek relief.
In the golden age of America’s middle class, American universities were a big part of the conveyor belt to opportunity. That’s still our vision. But stroll around many top college campuses these days and you can feel how affluence rules. Dominates. Colleges get racial and religious and geographic diversity. But spending the money to bring in low-income and middle class students can slip to a second-tier priority. And with that slips the goal of mixing economic classes, giving all a shot. This hour On Point: American colleges leaning toward the affluent, and the push to turn that around.
In January, the university announced a plan to double the proportion of Pell Grant recipients that it enrolls by 2020. Under the plan, Wash U. will spend at least $25 million a year for five years to increase the share of students receiving Pell Grants, federal grants that go to students from families making less than $60,000 annually, to 13 percent.“Improving the socioeconomic diversity of our student body is not just important; it’s critical to our success as a university,” Holden Thorp, the university’s provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, said in a news release.
University of California President Janet Napolitano took recently to the pages of the Washington Post to review and critique new books on the future of higher education by University Ventures Fund Managing Director Ryan Craig (College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education) and New America Foundation’s Education Policy Program Director Kevin Carey (The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere).
But I'm delighted that Carey is calling shenanigans on taxpayer support for the status quo. (If he expands his critique to government support for K-12 education, I'll be ecstatic). What's so beautiful about Carey's vision? Because he loves education the way it should be loved - and realizes that online education is far more lovable than conventional education.
"We're on new ground here," said Ben Miller, a former policy advisor at the Education Department who now works at the nonprofit New America Foundation in Washington. The Education Department crafted a plan last summer that allowed Corinthian to sell off or gradually wind down operations at its schools. The company agreed in November to sell off the vast majority of its schools to ECMC Group, a nonprofit student loan servicer.
A University of Everywhere, to use the education researcher Kevin Carey’s phrase, would be a disaster. If the heterogeneous sector of colleges and universities becomes technologically homogenized through participation in the educational cloud (All MOOCs, all the time!), then the very local ecologies of attention Crawford promotes would disappear under the rubrics of progress and efficiency.
In his much-debated new book The End of College, Kevin Carey really wants us to believe that the future of undergraduate education will run through MOOCs, or at least things that sound a lot like MOOCs. Carey envisions a “University of Everywhere” (U of E) that will be powered by open, online courses: “Anything that can be digitized—books, lecture videos, images, sounds, and increasingly powerful digital learning environments—will be available to anyone in the world with an Internet connection” (pg. 5).
"It’s great to see colleges be rewarded for doing the right thing, because too often they’re rewarded for doing the wrong thing," Steve Burd, senior policy analyst for nonprofit public policy institute Education Policy Program of New America, told HuffPost. "Rankings generally celebrate schools for getting more and more exclusive."
Once their lives are back on course, I urge these students to read a new book, "The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere," by Kevin Carey, director of the Education Policy Program at New America, to help them make sense of what is happening. While these students have been dealt a difficult hand, they might just be on the cutting edge of a major change in higher education. Even in closing, the school offers these students and future students of higher education an important lesson: American universities and colleges, many of which have been around for more than a century, are not immune to market forces. The current higher education model needs reform. Universities and students should prepare for and be open to a major shake-up ahead.
“It's probably a number the department is too embarrassed to share,” said Jason Delisle, director of the federal education budget project at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank.
But are things really so dire for traditional undergraduate education? Are we really looking at The End of College, as Kevin Carey insists? As we consider the impact of new technologies on higher education, must college be “unbound,” “disrupted” or “unbundled” in order to best serve this generation of students? It will be several years before we are able to assess the long-term viability and validity of an unbundled college program, but I believe unbundling is a fatally flawed approach. Rebundling is my rallying cry.
"They called it free college but students had to front a lot of the money," said Rachel Fishman, an education policy analyst at New America, a public policy think tank. In a press release, Starbucks referred to the new program as a "benefit for Starbucks partners." Experts say that in general it's a great deal for students, with an important caveat.
Higher Ed Happy Hour Episode 5
Kevin, Libby and Andrew unpack the Department of Education's long-delayed list of financially troubled institutions and debate whether college administrators are finally taking a hard line with perpetually awful Greek organizations. Plus, reminiscing about college basketball.
In Kevin Carey's new book, "The End of College," he writes "The story of higher education's future is a tale of ancient institutions in their last days of decadence creating the seeds of a new world to come."Carey argues that the days of four-year degrees, all-things-to-all-people hybrid universities and ineffective instruction must end. Carey joined MPR News' Kerri Miller to talk about his book.