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Why do some college professors bring their little kids to college

Why do some college professors bring their little kids to collegeWhy do some college professors bring their little kids to college2021-09-15 13:19:01Mr_丁

To show them off & to show their children how great the collage is so they will one day take over

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Why do some professors still use scantrons?

Why do some professors still use scantrons?2021-08-25 02:30:32Mr_廉

Half of my final exam in a course is a multiple choice questions. With 120 students or so, it is hard to do it by hand and hence the use of scantrons. I do not want the students to take it on a computer as that is asking for trouble in a timed examination that is in the classroom. What troubles - my battery died, I forgot my laptop, etc. How about a test in the computer lab. Well it is hard to see who is watching what on another person’s monitor. Computer labs are not test friendly. Scantron software analysis allows for easy download of raw data and it also gives excellent analysis of the data. Do most use it to improve the test - I do not think so but there is analysis that can improve your test.

Is college dead? Do too many kids go to college?

Is college dead? Do too many kids go to college?2021-07-25 00:33:15Mr_后

Yes, too many kids—many of them marginal academically—are going to four-year colleges. There aren’t anywhere near enough suitable jobs for the army of high school graduates (40%) matriculating. (Half of all grads end up under employed or unemployed. A record 25% minimum wage jobs are held by college grads.)

Wadhwa is wrong. While college may not be dead, it is seriously wounded. The data shows that most of those attending college today are not being well served. In the documentary, Ivory Tower, Theil describes college as being vastly "oversold." That's an accurate description of the situation. (In my opinion half the young people matriculating at four-year colleges would be better off choosing some other post-secondary education option.)

However college administrators make Bernie Madoff look like Robin Hood. Fueled by "College-Mania," government student loans, and the financial illiteracy of the consumer nothing is going to change significantly for decades.

Theil is exaggerating a bit to make a point. The problem with his premise is that the customized, self-directed education option isn’t ready for prime time—particularly when it comes to scale. However he is making a point that needs to be made. Consumers of post-secondary education options need to take off their blinders.

It has just gotten way too difficult to make a four-year college education pay off. The average American family just isn’t financially literate enough to comprehend that, except for a few, four-year college as an investment is problematical at best. Families don’t understand the risks involved and give planning for college about the same level of attention as planning a family picnic at a local state park.

In many ways it is hard to blame them. In the good old days—fifty years ago--college was the traditional path to financial success. If you graduated with any kind of a degree with any GPA, you could waltz out of the college gates straight into a well-paying, entry level corporate job.

This paradigm has collapsed. College in America doesn’t work that way anymore.

There are six factors that have made “college as an investment” problematical:

  • A society obsessed with the idea of the four-year college degree with almost no regard for cost or outcomes. (This is what I call “College-Mania.”)
  • Wildly escalating college costs.
  • The stagnation of wages.
  • A vast imbalance of supply (graduates) and demand (suitable jobs).
  • The easy availability of government backed loans.
  • Rampant over borrowing fueled by the financial illiteracy of parents and students.


Tuition is up 200% in twenty years. Fifty years ago a student could earn enough money in three weeks to pay their tuition. Today that takes six months.

Wages for the majority of the population have actually been slowing when you eliminate the supervisory personnel. The average family is losing ground financially.

These trends are destroying the return on investment for a four-year college degree.

Where In The Hell Are These Kids’ Parents?

I have a friend who is a Gen Xer. She claims most of the parents of the current crop of Gen Z’s, her peers, are driven by two maxims:

1) I must see to my children’s happiness, and

2) My children must go to college.

Navigating from that stage where high school grads received their high school diplomas, through post-secondary education, and into that first decent paying job is really tricky today. An eighteen year old shouldn’t be expected to have to figure their way through that maze on their own. This responsibility must fall to the parents. Unfortunately, despite the fact that for many families post-secondary education for their children is their second biggest expense, they are blind to the complexities of the issue:

Post-secondary Education Choices

For decades in our country the youth and their parents have been the target of societal, familial, educational, and political propaganda stressing the point that: To be a success in life you MUST graduate from a four year college.

This pressure has led a lot of young people to make some really naïve post-secondary education choices, the result of which is an investment of time and money with little or no return. Often this poor investment choice has had the corollary effect of running up debilitating debt.

Today forty percent of high school graduates rush off to college like lemmings. However only one in four will graduate and get a good job. Roughly fifty percent of those who enroll end up “left holding the bag,” and that bag is empty except for their obligation to repay loans for an education that has no value in the marketplace.

Two decades ago in his book, Another Way To Win, Dr. Kenneth Gray coined the term “one way to win.” He described the OWTW strategy widely followed in the US as:

• Graduate from high school.

• Matriculate at a four-year college.

• Graduate with a degree in anything.

• Become employed in a professional job.

Dr. Gray’s message to the then “academic middle” was that this was unlikely to be a successful strategy in the future. The succeeding twenty years have proven him inordinately prescient and not just for the “academic middle.”

The simple explanation is that it comes down to “supply” (graduates) and “demand” (suitable jobs).

What is Supply & Demand?

A half century ago only seven percent of high school graduates went on to college. In post-WW II America our economy was booming while the economies of many European and Asian countries were--only slowly--being rebuilt. The “Law of Supply and Demand” strongly favored the freshly minted college graduate.

Today, when forty percent go on to college, grads are “a dime a dozen.” In the post-Great Recession of 2008 we are slogging through the longest and slowest recovery since the Great Depression. In the last nine years we haven’t seen one year of 3% GDP growth. (Recent college grads have no concept what it is like to work in a strong economy.)

There just aren’t anywhere near enough suitable jobs for the army of high school graduates choosing to go to four-year colleges. College is a competition for a few good jobs, and many are going to lose. Those with less rigorous majors are the likely candidates.

There is another path to middleclass prosperity—hidden in plain sight. Dr. Kevin Fleming in his book, (RE)Defining the Goal: The True Path to Career Readiness in the 21st Century, explains where many well-paying jobs are lurking:

“The true ratio of jobs in our economy is 1:2:7. For every occupation that requires a master’s degree or more, two professional jobs require a university degree, and there are over a half a dozen jobs requiring a 1-year certificate or a 2-year degree, and each of these technicians is in very high-skilled areas in high demand.”

However in our society this path is stigmatized. A parent will only rarely suggest community college, and you’ll never hear a high school guidance counselor share this job information.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips

College tuition is up 200% in the last twenty years. E. Gordon Gee, former president of The Ohio State University, is the poster-child for uncontrolled spending. “I didn’t think a lot about costs. I do not think we have given significant thought to the impact of college costs on families.” (Encouraged to move on from OSU Mr. Gee is now president of West Virginia University.)

Roughly seventy-five percent of costs at a college are labor. Well that’s a good thing, right? We want the best and the brightest teaching “little Johnny” about Humbert Humbert’s idee fixe with Mrs. Haze’s daughter. However that’s not what is happening. Old, lovable, Mr. Chips is being cast out on the sidewalk to be replaced by lower cost, contingent faculty. Any cost savings are more than offset by the addition of shiny, new administrators with titles like, “Associate Provost for Investor Partnerships.” These administrators, who never see the inside of a classroom, pull down comfortable six, even seven, figure salaries.

It is bad enough that Chipping has been cast aside. The college “arms war” has gone nuclear. In order to attract increasingly, sybaritic students colleges and universities add expensive amenities that make them appear more like resorts than institutions of higher learning. These free perks include: water parks, steak restaurants, movie theaters with complimentary popcorn, arcades, upscale dorms with flat screen TV’s, ice rinks, heated pools, spas, climbing walls, fitness centers, etc. The more the schools spend. i.e. the higher the climbing walls, the more they are rewarded with new enrollees bearing tuition checks.

Other People’s Money

The “bottomless cookie jar” nature of the student financial aid programs exacerbates the high cost of college.

From 2008 to 2016, during a period of artificially low interest rates, the total student loan debt doubled from $640B to $1.3T, and the average student loan balance increased 80% from $20K to $36K. There doesn’t appear to be any limit to the amount of money that students, sanctioned by their parents, are willing to borrow. With interest rates on the rise the student loan debt crisis can be expected to mutate into a financial catastrophe.

William Bennett, President Reagan’s education secretary, wrote an op-ed thirty years ago in which he hypothesized that tuition was rising partly because of the explosive growth of federal financial assistance. He observed that demand for higher education grew as it became easier for students to borrow money, and that that demand allowed schools to raise their prices.

There has been plenty of pushback—particularly by academics—on Bennett’s theory, but recent studies have lent more credibility to his view. Researchers at the New York Federal Reserve suggested in 2015 that a common result is a tuition increase of about sixty cents for every increased dollar of student aid. A paper last year by Grey Gordon and Aaron Hedlund for the National Bureau of Economic Research also strongly supports Mr. Bennett’s theory.

It is bad enough that government policy is driving up costs, but the system of student aid is incredibly complex, with over a dozen federal loan, grant, work-study and tuition-tax-credit programs, and these programs have no educational performance standards.


The college administrators and the politicians aren’t going to “change their spots” any time soon. That leaves it up to the parents to guide their kids through this post-secondary education labyrinth.

A four-year college degree will be right for a select few—the academically gifted, highly motivated students with financially savvy parents. The “customized, self-directed” education option is in its infancy. (I do thing the coding bootcamp is real.) The big opportunity is being stigmatized and overlooked—community college.


I’m finding the other answers to this question interesting. Predictably many on Quora are “gung ho” college without regard to career outcomes. They just ASSUME everything will turn out OK. Nothing is further from the truth today. There just aren’t enough good jobs.

I used to blame the high schools. Guidance counselors reflexively funnel as many naïve teenagers as possible into 4-year colleges without much regard for their students’ future job prospects. However I have had an “awakening.”

Recently I did some volunteer work in a local suburban high school that sends sixty-five percent of their graduates on to college. During the lunch period in the cafeteria I was introduced to the superintendent. I couldn’t resist “getting on my soapbox” and explaining the “math”—that, funnel as he may, only a small percentage of his students were likely to graduate from college and get a well-paying job.

He took it well. He smiled and explained high school superintendent’s “math” to me:

“If the football team has a winning season, the band can play a recognizable version of ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ and the students go to college, we will be just fine.”

I gave a lot of thought to his response.

High schools are public institutions. As such, they are highly susceptible to being influenced by parents and other key members of the community. Most parents want their kids to go to college. In our society there is not much that, immediately, stands in their way of making that happen. I have come to the conclusion that expecting our teachers, counselors, and principals to take up the “college is not for everyone” banner is asking too much. In our society there is just too high a probability of the “messenger getting shot.”

The waterpark photo is from Texas Tech. The price tag was $8.4M.

Why are college professors harder than high school teachers

Why are college professors harder than high school teachers2021-08-31 17:21:08Mr_裘

College professors are harder than high school teachers because professors want to make you ready for a real job and life, while high school teachers want you to be ready for college

Why do many college professors hate shy students

Why do many college professors hate shy students2021-08-31 15:43:27Mr_衡

They want students to be engaged. This makes their jobs easier as well as a better overall learning experience. Hopefully they don't 'hate' them. :)

Why do some people not go to college?

Why do some people not go to college? 2021-08-30 21:34:10Mr_印

  • There are a number of reasons why students don't attend college but here's the reality that many will only begrudgingly admit: there are genuine obstacles---dire circumstances that prevent a student from continuing their education, and then there are excuses; knee-jerk responses that students regurgitate when questioned about their future. While it is easy to extend sympathy for those students with the most uncommon challenges, it is more difficult to identify with the students who allow a flimsy excuse to stand in the way of the golden gate. Below are some common excuses that high school students give and the reasons why they no longer hold water.
  • I can't afford itWelcome to the age of financial aid, community college, and work-study options. Many high school students today are aware that their parents cannot afford to foot their tuition bill. This is a common reality, but it doesn't mean that the students themselves can't afford college on their own. The combination of scholarship opportunities,federal aid, and flexible scheduling options make college a reality for students who are serious about obtaining a degree. Every year the number of high school students going on to college increases despite the fact the tuition also continues to rise. Seem strange? Not when you consider that financial aid of all varieties is more accessible than ever before and most students have realized that college is within reach.
  • I earn good money at my jobI'll just stay on full-time after college. Well, I can't help but ask, where do you work? Shoot me an application. The truth is that good money is hard to come by---even with a degree. In high school, the definition of what constitutes a fair paycheck is flexible because the bills haven't begun rolling in yet. Typically when students can afford to purchase three items from Abercrombie and Fitch they are by every teen standard 'rich.' Unfortunately many of these individuals don't realize until too late just how much it can take to make ends meet. Gas prices are higher than ever. Home ownership has more costs associated with it. Even groceries for one cost about $400 a month---a third of minimum wage earnings if you work every single day. And the better paying jobs? They require a college degree.
  • My grades aren't so greatThe beauty of community college is that your grades don't have to be great to get accepted. Community college is a second chance for students to shine. Not only is it affordable, but junior colleges typically offer the more alternative scheduling options. The classes are interesting. The instructors are reputable. The education is what you make of it. What's not to like?
  • I don't know what I want to do with my lifeThe truth is that most people---even those in their thirties and forties---don't feel as though they really know what they want to do with their life. Those with a college degree, however, can float around on their diploma and make some money while getting their dreams sorted out and finding their niche.

Why do some college costs outpace inflation?

Why do some college costs outpace inflation?2021-08-09 10:37:47Mr_裴

Joshua Gross is correct. I would add two more reasons:

  • State legislatures have been steadily cutting support for public higher education. When I joined my public institution 26+ years ago, students paid about 25% of the total cost of education. State coffers picked up the remaining 75%. Today, it is closer to 50–50%. That is a huge change.
  • Higher education is constantly being told to act more like a business. As a person who has worked in the corporate and academic world of marketing for almost 47 years, one of the key tenets of business practice is to meet and exceed your customers’ needs and expectations. If not, you go out of business! Students’ needs and wants today include:
    • suite and apartment style housing (not the bathroom at the end of the corridor style that was the norm when I started teaching at the university level decades ago)
    • fancy student centers rather than an old gym with some old equipment
    • climbing walls
    • natatoriums (“natatoria” gives me a spelling error!)
    • airconditioned coliseums
    • awesome football stadiums
    • etc.
  • If the university / college is not competitive on these things, students will simply go to another one. But, for a university / college to be competitive on these things, there are only a limited number of alternatives:
    • Get a rich donor (a great option for Harvard, but not so much for the State University of XYZ) to write a check for $35–40 million dollars, or
    • Call on the magic pot of money that the dorm fairy and the student center fairy and the climbing wall fairy and the natatorium fairy and the coliseum fairy and the football stadium fairy will magically provide, or
    • Increase student fees
      • Digression on Budgeting: The above bullets represent auxiliary enterprises. In most public universities the president cannot move money from tuition or state appropriations to such enterprises. Well, not without going to jail, that is.

Get it? Now do you understand why college costs keep going up?

Do foster kids get free college?

Do foster kids get free college? 2021-08-29 07:04:26Mr_霍


Do all college professors give midterm exams?

Do all college professors give midterm exams?2021-06-28 17:41:57Mr_贡

I can’t speak to all college professors, of course - even here in the United States, where the educational model is probably quite different from the traditional European model where academic progress was measured by year-end exams.

One should think about what the role of exam is to begin with. If the only thing tests do is determine whether someone mastered the material of a course, or to determine what course grades should be, just a final exam would do. But if quizzes, tests, exams, finals are to be both evaluative and informative, having more than one at the end of a term is useful. But it’s always a trade-off in the sense that the more testing exercises one has in a class, the less time is spent on teaching the material of the course. (How much material could be covered if there was a test every day?) So professors try to strike a balance. [My late wife used to have a saying (I never knew where she got it): “You can’t fatten the pig by weighing more often.” You can interpret that however you want!]

I used to have a dean who argued that professors should quiz or test early and often in their classes, so students would know very early and throughout the term whether they were approaching the material sufficiently well. I always argued that there were other ways to accomplish that.

Personally, I would prefer to have an exam somewhere near the middle of the term and then a final exam. But I would frequently have, say, ten-minute quizzes that didn’t count (in fact, they didn’t even turn them in) - just to help students test themselves about their approach to the course. I would pose problems and they were to just set up the solutions, but not actually solve them (they weren’t given enough time). If they didn’t know how to start those problems, they quickly saw that they weren’t understanding the material and spending more time on those problems would not have helped. (It encouraged them to learn how to use the principles we were covering to set up the problems. The rest was just manipulation.)

Students, on the other hand, often want grade feedback during the term. So I usually gave two exams (maybe at natural ‘breaks’ in the material being covered) in addition to a final exam. But it would be the final that mattered most in determining course grades.