Careers without College

Most Americans have been conditioned to believe that if you don’t enroll in college after high school, you have almost no chance at a successful life. That’s not true. As a 3rd-year engineering student working for a semester at an old-school machine tool company in Detroit, I got my first inkling that alternative paths into … Continue reading “Careers without College”

Stith: “The Best Community College System in the Country”

In the past year, the North Carolina Community College system said goodbye to one president and gained another. After former president Peter Hans took up his new role as the head of the University of North Carolina system, the community college system began its search for a new leader.  In December 2020, Thomas Stith was … Continue reading “Stith: “The Best Community College System in the Country””

The Scuba Model of Higher Education

Scuba diving ought to be very dangerous. Recreational diving involves submerging to depths of up to 60 feet. If something goes wrong at that depth, a quick return to the surface is not an option. Ascending to the surface too quickly will cause decompression sickness, which can be deadly. The diver needs to solve any … Continue reading “The Scuba Model of Higher Education”

Reforming Higher Ed in 2021

The year 2020 brought changes that colleges would have never made by choice. Enrollment declines, remote classes, and dramatic employee cuts (for faculty and some staff alike) were unthinkable a year ago. But, for the sake of the future, more work remains. Below are some priorities the Martin Center staff would like to see catch … Continue reading “Reforming Higher Ed in 2021”

How Young People Make Decisions in Choosing College

For years, college-for-all was the dominant narrative of pundits, parents, and high school guidance counselors. And most people interpreted that directive to mean that everyone should attend a four-year university. That’s starting to change. I hear more every day about apprenticeships, community colleges, certificate programs, and coding academies. But students still need guidance when making … Continue reading “How Young People Make Decisions in Choosing College”

The Key to Success for Young People Isn’t Always College

As young people worry about their futures, going to college isn’t necessarily their first step toward a good job. Entrepreneur Isaac Morehouse predicts the relevance of colleges, and the degrees they confer, will erode as employers increasingly look for workers with demonstrated, often self-taught job skills. “I think it will be a long, slow decline, … Continue reading “The Key to Success for Young People Isn’t Always College”

Trump Moves Forward on Apprenticeships—But More Needs to Be Done

A quick scan of the news confirms that college students spend more on higher education than ever before, but they lack the necessary skills to succeed in the workplace. Apprenticeship programs could offer a promising college alternative, but establishing them can be difficult. That could change, however, as the Department of Labor (DOL) is making … Continue reading “Trump Moves Forward on Apprenticeships—But More Needs to Be Done”

Preparing Students for Life Beyond High School

Few factors affect the long-term direction of students’ lives more than the quality of their K-12 education. For students who decide to attend a four-year university, their ability to keep up with college-level work is closely linked to how well their high school prepared them. Additionally, high school is the ideal time to consider what … Continue reading “Preparing Students for Life Beyond High School”

The Legal Innovations Trying to Save Law School from Itself

The world of law school and the legal profession is in turmoil. This is because there are not only many market distortions at play, but because the economy is undergoing transitions. One of these distortions is the overabundance of federal aid, especially loans that allow law schools to maintain high levels of enrollment. Schools are even … Continue reading “The Legal Innovations Trying to Save Law School from Itself”

Why Aren’t There More Apprentices in America?

Within the fractious realm of higher education policy, one of the few ideas to gain bipartisan support is the expansion of technical training for young workers, largely through apprenticeships. Both the political left and right favor apprenticeships as a way to educate and train America’s youth for future success while also meeting the demands of … Continue reading “Why Aren’t There More Apprentices in America?”