Is the University of the People a Template for the Future? Reply

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Students sitting in lesson, in classroom, low angle view

It’s election time. As is usual, we hear a lot about the high cost of higher education from all of the prospective presidential candidates, each of whom is working hard to connect with young voters. Yet when the election is over, very often the rhetoric about reducing college costs or helping struggling students tends to die down. Other priorities seem to rise to the foreground and very little is done to help with the cost of education.

However, the rhetoric regarding college education has been changing in recent years. More people are seeing higher education as a right, rather than a privilege. Public K-12 school was established with the idea that this basic level of education should be accessible to all, because it is difficult to make it in the world and be a contributive member of society without this basic education. As we continue through the digital age, K-12 education no longer provides that basic level of education needed to be successful – a college education or some kind of secondary vocational training is essential.

Places like the University of the People start for this very reason, stating clearly that everyone should have access to higher education. UoPeople is a non-profit university that is associated with and is partially supported by many groups such as the United Nations, UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), and the Clinton Global Initiative.

The philosophy behind universities like this is simple: higher education creates economic development both on a global scale and on a personal scale. This is especially true in developing nations, where quite possibly the lack of access to education can keep entire societies in a position where they are unable to lift themselves out of poverty. The theory is: an educated world is a more productive and peaceful one. This is a sound theory, one proven in many parts of the world. India, for example owes its relative peace and rise as a developed nation at least in part to its efforts to educate its citizens.

At UoPeople, anyone who is qualified for higher education should be able to get it. A prospective student must be able to demonstrate that they have at least a 12th grade education in order to be ready for college level work; have a qualified level of English, and access to internet. Those who attend pay no tuition, simply a $100 exam fee at the end of each course and a one-time $50 application fee to register. For those who are unable to afford that, scholarships are available. The college is fully accredited, and the courses are online – so they can be taken from anywhere around the world. Currently there are Associates and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science available, but a new Health Science and MBA program will likely be added in time. In 2015, the school reached an enrollment level of 3,000 students.

While still in its infancy, the school is growing and providing a high quality education that will help students get high paying jobs later in life. The development of this school and the degree programs makes us wonder – will more schools like this pop up? Is this a possible template for universal college education in the future? It’s worth thinking about.

Corinthian Colleges abruptly closes 28 campuses; 16,000 students’ future uncertain Reply

After 20 years of operation, for-profit Corinthian Colleges Inc. will shut down their remaining 28 campuses, including 10 locations in California, as well as other colleges in California, Arizona, and New York under the Everest, WyoTech, and Heald college names. Corinthian Colleges was under investigation and charged with a $30 million fine by the federal government for misrepresentation of job placement data, attendance records, deceptive and aggressive marketing tactics, and altered grades.

Even though Corinthian Colleges expected the closure for months, more than 16,000 degree-seeking students received notice Sunday that the college they had been attending will be closed starting Monday. Many students received tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and will now be looking to transfer their credits to another college in hopes to finish their degree or seek federal student loan forgiveness. However, because Corinthian Colleges was a private college, there is a strong chance that their credits will not be transferable.

Groups of devastated students are now protesting their federal student loans and meeting with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, located in Washington D.C., to help figure out a solution for all of the students affected. Many frustrated students were mere months away from graduating with a full bachelor’s degree and now face uncertainty about their educational and financial future.

At its peak, Corinthian Colleges operated 120 campuses with over 110,000 students across North America and doubled revenue to $1.75 billion from 2007 to 2011. The order of the closure comes from the U.S. Education Department, who barred access to student loans in the summer of 2014, as the Obama Administration works to crack down on frivolous for-profit colleges that promise educational and career success to people looking to better themselves and seek the American Dream.

Though this marks a potentially disastrous outcome for many students and employees of the colleges, it will be a cautionary tale for students and educational institutions alike.

9 Questions to Ask Yourself About College Campuses Reply

college1If you’re planning on going to a physical college, then you’ve got to spend some time contemplating the college campuses. What do you want from them? How much do you really care about the place where you’re going to be studying?

If you’re not sure whether or not to go to a physical college or to use online college courses, then you’ve still got to ask yourself the same questions. Would you miss having an actual campus to walk around on? Would you rather not have to deal with the complications of a physical campus?

For students just getting started in their thinking about college, here are some key questions you should be asking yourself about college campuses.

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The CLA+ Exam and What It Could Mean Reply

dv1644022Forbes just today posted a new article about the CLA+ exam, and what it could mean for accountability in higher education. You can find that article here. It’s a relatively positive take on the CLA+ and what it could do.

Here, let’s talk a bit about some of the potential issues with the CLA+ and how it could affect college education in the future.

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3 Tips for Looking Ahead to Post-Graduation Before You’ve Applied Reply

GraduatesThere’s a slew of articles coming out now concerning the class of 2014 graduating from college. The articles talk about the issues they face, important facts of this class, and more. This article, in particular, paints a bleak picture of what faces these students post graduation.

Upon reading that, any number of reactions make sense. “It’s not worth going to college if I’m going to graduate with debt and unable to find a job,” goes one line of thinking. “I need to devote the entirety of my collegiate plans to making sure I’ll be able to get a good job after,” goes another.

So, what should you take away from this article? How should you look ahead to your post-graduation life? And how should it affect your college planning now, especially if you’re a junior in high school just getting started?

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Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath and Your College Decision Reply

checkmateMalcolm Gladwell is one of those writers who is always interesting to read, whether or not there are flaws with his reasoning, argumentation, or evidence. If nothing else, his books always give you something to chew over. In his most recent book, David and Goliath, he puts forward the notion that students should not necessarily go to major, prestigious universities just to take advantage of that prestige. Instead, students should go to universities where they are likely to truly and notably excel. This Business Insider article does a pretty good job of summing up Gladwell’s argument, and critiquing that argument. So what should you do when you’re making decisions between schools, both for applications and for acceptances? Where should you aim yourself?

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