The New College Solution

To attract students to your college, you must offer an accredited bachelors degree.

To convince accreditors to certify your bachelors degree program, you must already have enrolled and run at least 4 years of your school.

  1. Religious/Fundamentalist Colleges — colleges that are built around a religious or ideological bent can attract students with the same bent for a few years and then apply for accreditation. E.g. Liberty University, the openly Christian college whose president is Jerry Falwell Jr.
  2. Tech/Silicon Valley Colleges — the technical skills of being a software engineer are so in demand that students will attend a new college that offers no degree. E.g. Make School (that I helped build)
  3. For-Profit/Bad Actor Colleges — because college education is a $400B market, it is attractive to the very wealthy and opportunistic investors to endure the almost decade long process of getting accredited to start new colleges in order to make money. E.g. Trump University and the University of Phoenix.

The Benefits of New Colleges

  1. More higher education for more people
  2. Adoption of evidence-based improvements in undergraduate education
  3. More affordable, timely, and excellent college educations for more students
  4. Liberating high schools and primary schools to set a diversity of educational goals.
  1. More higher education for more people
  2. Adoption of evidence-based improvements in undergraduate education
  3. More affordable, timely, and excellent college educations for more students
  4. Liberating high schools and primary schools to set a diversity of educational goals.

Objections

Won’t bad actors who only want to make money start “scam” universities with no admission or graduation standards?

Won’t a flood of new colleges be a race to the bottom, each one offering easier admission and graduation standards?

Isn’t this just a plan to deregulate and privatize higher education? Won’t it therefore lead to greater inequality and concentration of power and wealth in a corporate and owner class?

Won’t some or even many of new colleges fail, interrupting the education and lives of their students?

Won’t new colleges draw students away from existing colleges and universities and threaten these institutions existence and other goals (e.g. research)?

The New College Proposal

  1. File the new college with the Secretary of State.
  2. Each year, colleges must publicly file a standardized form with that year’s application, admission, graduation/withdrawal, and job placement/salary rates. It could also include tuition, and other objective data to create transparency of the college’s functioning.
  3. Certain thresholds of these metrics would qualify the college for public funding, e.g. acceptably high graduation and job placement/salary rates.

Objections

  1. The students are adults (>18).
  2. The students are able to research and compare and contrast colleges and pick the one they believe will best serve them. Especially since they will have the government required metrics to compare and contrast. In addition there will spring up rating agencies and even agents who can recommend colleges for you based on your goals.
  3. Students often are willing (and happy) to move even across state lines to attend school. That means many students are picking from a large list of colleges, not just the ones near their home.

What Does It Mean to Be Educated?

What does it mean to be educated?

An Alternative Proposal: Charter Colleges

  1. A new college founder applies to a federal or state board of charter colleges. Their application includes a mission and plan for how the college will meet higher educational goals and serve their students and the public.
  2. The charter board approves or denies new charter colleges within some reasonable amount of time (<6 months).
  3. When a college’s charter is approved, they can open their doors and their students then qualify for all public funding for higher education.
  4. New colleges whose charters are approved must report to the charter board with their success metrics as well as publish public metrics. The charter board can review and revoke charters of colleges that fail to serve their students or the public.

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Braus

Braus

Educator, Founder, Engineer. Interested in Evidence Based Education and Solving BIG Problems.