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08/23/2013

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college admissions

The problem with Altius and those companies is that they talk a big game and say that they are "accredited", when they are not. Those unaccredited companies and institutions prey on people who are looking for a quicker way to achieve a degree and are in a lower economic class. They give all colleges and universities a bad name when they do stupid things like that just to enroll students. I am originally from Northwest Ohio and working at a higher education institution in Northwest Indiana. I do not like having to tell people that you wasted money going to an unaccredited institution, but I have to in a nice way when they come into my office. If you are unsure about a college or university, call your local community college and they may be able to check on that for you. It's better to know sooner rather than after spending a lot of money just to be told that your credits cannot transfer and that your degree is worthless.

Jeanne B

Meaningless? I don't consider my college education to be meaningless. The piece of paper, perhaps, but not the knowledge gained nor the experience of living among a diverse campus culture.

It is true that the State Government in Ohio has changed allocation such that funds awarded are based on output rather than input, and that new ways to foster retention are needed. But watering down the curriculum is not the answer nor is it a consideration--at least not at BGSU, where I am employed as an academic departmental secretary.

In fact, the focus is on how we can maintain retention while also increasing enrollment, by demonstrating that the education received at BGSU is of a higher quality and lasting value than what can be gotten for less at a community college or one that offers the entire degree program online.

Regardless, the main issue facing educators today is that the clientele has changed. The students beginning classes next week are far more tech savvy than were previous generations. They are wired in, and the traditional methods of delivery are becoming redundant. To avoid having the collegiate institution also become redundant and to be able to remain competitive in an online marketplace necessitates a shift in the manner of delivery.

Your idea of Xbox PhDs, while pushed to the extreme to be funny or incendiary, is not completely off-base. Employing multiple technologies in and outside of the classroom and modifying the structure of lectures and homework will revolutionize the experience and ensure that traditional colleges thrive for decades to come.

That said, I agree with the President of the United States that the cost of a college education must be within the reach of the majority of students. There is a middle ground wherein affordability can exist alongside the quality of education while allowing for the necessary operating costs to be met.

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About Keith Burris

Keith C. Burris has been a journalist for 30 years and has written widely on politics, government, culture, and the arts for publications ranging from Commonweal to The New York Times. He worked previously for The Blade from 1986 to 1989. For 25 years he lived in Connecticut where, for 21 years, he was editorial page editor of the Journal Inquirer, in Manchester. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and has taught at a number of American colleges and universities. He and his wife Amy, an artist, have three grown children -- Alexander, Sophia, and William. Contact him at kburris@theblade.com.

About Kirk Walters

Kirk Walters has been the editorial cartoonist for The Blade since 1985. His work is distributed by King Features to over 350 newspapers. His cartoons have been used by NPR and PBS Newshour. One of his cartoons is among DVD bonus features of "The Smartest Guys in the Room"--an Academy Award nominated documentary on the Enron scandal. Kirk lives with his children and a mountain of bills in west Toledo. Contact him at kirk@theblade.com.