At Cairn University, a Program-Accreditation Nightmare

Just over one year ago, Cairn University, a small, private, Christian school in southeastern Pennsylvania, made a strategic institutional decision to eliminate its School of Social Work and all related degrees and programs, thus bringing to an end a 50-plus-year run. Closing what was a pioneering program with a long history and a sound reputation … Continue reading “At Cairn University, a Program-Accreditation Nightmare”

How Higher Education is Going to Change

Predictions that American higher education is on the verge of great change have been heard for quite a few years, but so far the system doesn’t look much different than it did twenty years ago. Perhaps the prognostications were wrong. I have never doubted that higher education was on an unsustainable path and after reading … Continue reading “How Higher Education is Going to Change”

What Policies Are Conservatives Actually For in Higher Education?

It’s no secret that higher ed reformers have struggled to offer a compelling alternative to free college and loan forgiveness offered from the left. This failure is partially because conservatives and libertarians are usually on the defensive about higher ed policy. In response to that problem, the American Enterprise Institute organized a panel discussion titled … Continue reading “What Policies Are Conservatives Actually For in Higher Education?”

Did You Know? Ed Dept. Punts on Accreditation Rules for Online Classes

Accreditation agencies have the responsibility of judging whether colleges are offering students a quality education. Since COVID-19, however, their biggest changes have been to dismiss concerns about short-changing students. This change can be seen most clearly with online classes. Ordinarily, accreditation standards would ensure educational quality, and schools that cut corners would risk penalties and … Continue reading “Did You Know? Ed Dept. Punts on Accreditation Rules for Online Classes”

America Needs a GED Equivalent for a College Degree

As higher education undergoes dramatic changes thanks to the coronavirus, reformers should aim higher than expanding online education. Now is a propitious time to end the dominance of accreditation agencies in higher ed and create a GED-like equivalency exam for a college degree. Many students want a traditional college life: living on campus for four … Continue reading “America Needs a GED Equivalent for a College Degree”

Can American Higher Education Be Restored?

People who analyze and write about higher education generally fall into two camps. One camp consists of those who believe that our system is “the envy of the world” and just needs more public support to do its great work of improving our citizens and strengthening our economy. (For a sense of what that camp … Continue reading “Can American Higher Education Be Restored?”

The Department of Education De-Accredits an Accreditor

The final year of the U.S. Department of Education in the Obama administration is noteworthy for all its carnage. In September, the large ITT Tech chain of schools, which had operated in 38 states, was forced to close when Department officials shut off its access to federal student aid. That decision, which I wrote about … Continue reading “The Department of Education De-Accredits an Accreditor”

Will We, at Last, Do Something About Accreditation?

Accreditation is supposed to act as a quality guarantee for colleges and universities, but it works very poorly. Students can and regularly do graduate from accredited schools without having learned anything. It’s as if toasters with the Underwriters Laboratories seal were prone to shorting out and catching fire. We know, for example, that a large … Continue reading “Will We, at Last, Do Something About Accreditation?”

How Would Trump Change Higher Education Policy?

Last month I looked at Hillary Clinton’s higher education proposals in this Clarion Call, and found nothing to praise in them. They merely deepen the already ruinous federal involvement in subsidizing college. Now it’s time to take a look at the higher education ideas that have been advanced by Donald Trump and the Republicans. I … Continue reading “How Would Trump Change Higher Education Policy?”