Liberal Arts Students Earn Less?
The sky is falling! The Wall Street Journal ran an article titled “Parents’ Fears Confirmed: Liberal Arts Students Earn Less” that appeared to assert that students going to a liberal arts college will be economically worse off than peers at “...
Mere College Graduates Can Be Teachers?
The Indiana State Board of Education is proposing a teaching license that would allow college graduates with good grades and work experience to become classroom teachers. According to the Board:
“Candidates would need to hold a bachelor’s degree with ...
"Random Thoughts" on Higher Education
As a long-time admirer of Thomas Sowell, I look forward to his regular random thoughts columns where his exceptional wit runs wild on the passing scene. Hence, as a fly on the wall of higher education, I’ve decided to ...
Prager U: What Did Your Parents Most Want You to Be?
Prager U has a tagline of “we teach what isn’t taught.” This latest course by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin is exhibit A in that regard.
Many students are concerned about doing well in school in order to land a good ...
Prager U: Why Capitalism Works
“The genius of capitalism is that it channels self-interest into altruism.”
In the newest Prager University course, renowned social critic George Gilder critiques the idea that capitalism is a selfish economic system. In these days of “you didn’t build ...
Honest University Commercial
I nominate the creator of this video to be the next Secretary of Education. Enjoy.
Prager U: America's Debt Crisis Explained
“If you are under, say 30, you have a tsunami-sized problem coming towards you – and you probably don’t even know it.”
In the newest Prager University course, Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, helps us understand the ...
Prager U: Does God Exist? 4 New Arguments
Many colleges in the United States were founded as places to train clergy. Fast forward a few hundred years and religious studies courses are often relegated to one of many options that satisfy a general education requirement.
The folks at ...
I’m torn on this one. I wish students’ reading lists consisted of deeper material, but I can’t entirely refute using Covey – especially because I wrote about using that book in my leadership courses.
When my senior students ...
Prager U: The Least Free Place in America
“Teachers and students must always remain free to inquire, otherwise our civilization will stagnate and die.”
— U.S. Supreme Court, Sweezy v. New Hampshire (1957)
In the newest Prager University course, Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in ...
Prager U: Why Rent Control Hurts Renters
Prager University kicks off the new year with a redesigned site (well done!) and a new course on rent control. In the course, Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute shows why price ceilings on apartments hurt those it intends to ...
Prager U: Is Evil Rational
Time to put your thinking caps on (does anyone actually own a thinking cap?). In the newest Prager University course, Dennis Prager ponders whether we can depend on reason alone to make a better world?
Prager U: A Black South African, Israel, and Apartheid
Is Israel is an apartheid state?
In the newest Prager University course, hear how South African Parliament member Kenneth Meshoe, a brave gentlemen who lived through apartheid South Africa and travels regularly to Israel, answers that accusation.
Prager U: How to Praise Your Child
Children raised with the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality are likely to develop a sense of unearned self-esteem. How can we counter this deleterious practice?
In the newest Prager University course, best-selling author Rabbi Joseph Telushkin proposes a better way ...
Prager U: The Public Unions vs. The Public
In the newest Prager University course, Philip Howard, founder of nonpartisan reform coalition Common Good, discusses the effects of public service union contracts on cities’ balance sheets.
In light of the Motor City bankruptcy, this course is quite timely.
Several Prager University videos touch upon political issues — this one does not. The latest course is useful for anyone who is (at least partly) human. Watch as Dr. Stephen Marmer of UCLA Medical School discusses the anatomy of offering forgiveness.
Prager U: Why America's Military Must Be Strong
I have often heard Dennis Prager state on his radio show that Auschwitz was not liberated by peace activists.
With that in mind, for the newest Prager University course, renowned British historian Andrew Roberts suggests that if you yearn for ...
Grads, Don't Do What You Love
. . . do what’s meaningful. That is the message in the Wall Street Journal from Carl McCoy, a writer and English-language instructor at the Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture:
Does the doctor love going into the hospital to see ...
Student Loans are a Horror Movie
. . . a real horror movie.
I don’t know what is scarier, the short film or this article from The Atlantic that marginalizes the reality depicted in it.
Yes, I get the for-profit thing. But, given the questionable benefits of college-for-all ...
Prager U: Separation of Church and State
In the age of banning nativity scenes in a public park and renaming Good Friday on a municipal calendar, some clarification is needed on ”a wall of separation between church and state.” Thus, in the newest Prager University course, distinguished ...
One thing I love about research is finding golden nuggets in unexpected places. Consider this quote from management guru Peter Drucker’s 1957 book of societal forecasts, Landmarks of Tomorrow:
Society must [also] demand that education be considered by the educated ...
Prager U: God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?
“The conclusion that God exists doesn’t require faith. Atheism requires faith. It takes faith to believe in everything coming from nothing. It takes only reason to believe in everything coming from God.”
In this week’s Prager University course, ...
Re: I Think I’ll Scream if . . .
Last week, George used this title to refer to yet another toting of the college wage premium. Here’s one claim that I think is even worse than that. According to a Chronicle article on employers’ perceptions of graduates’ (often ...
College Degrees and Disparate Impact
The fear of disparate-impact lawsuits over pre-employment tests likely contributed to employers’ using the college degree as a de facto screening mechanism for many jobs that diligent 18-year-olds can perform.
Yet, something still bothers me.
Why can’t someone file ...
Peter Drucker on the Dangers of College-for-All
Credential inflation is apparently not a new phenomenon:
The popular substitute for advancement from the ranks – a college education for all able young people – is not really acceptable. The abilities which make for scholastic success are not the abilities the ...
Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of NAS
The National Association of Scholars Conference — A Mighty Maze: Charting the Future of American Higher Education — is less than two weeks away! This event takes place on March 1 and 2 at the Harvard Club in Manhattan.
Participants will convene to address ...
NAS's Hundred Great Ideas
In celebration of the 100th issue of Academic Questions, the National Association of Scholars published “One Hundred Great Ideas for Higher Education” — 100 ideas by 100 individuals who are passionate about change in higher ed.
Most of us have mused about positive (...
Prager U: Adam Carolla -- Change Your Life
“Polar bears, they can’t change. Actually, you can ask. No, you know what. Don’t bother. They’ll eat you.”
Adam Carolla is back for another Prager University course: “Change Your Life.” In the entertaining and witty style that ...
The New York Times is getting in on the action.
Over the weekend, the paper published an article featuring successful individuals who either bypassed or left the traditional college path. As more alternative forms of education like Udacity, Khan Academy, ...
Prager U: Free-Market Morality
Over the weekend, an Associated Press article on the “changing U.S. electorate” contained an eye-opening quote from a young attorney who voted for President Obama: “I trust the government to take care of us. . . . I don’t trust the ...
I applaud my university’s monthly magazine for stressing how employers are dissatisfied with graduates’ writing skills (see page 18). Yet, while I have no interest in biting the hand that feeds me, I do have to call attention to a ...
Prager U: Do You Have Free Will?
Many undergraduates are required to “take philosophy courses” as part of their university core classes, but few students (outside of philosophy majors) “study philosophy” in college. In fact, when I’ve asked students about what they learned in their philosophy ...
Governor Mitch Daniels on Leadership
We were fortunate to have Governor Mitch Daniels on campus to facilitate a Q&A with a classroom of students. He stopped off at our school on the way to his keynote address at the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce’...
Prager U: Do High Taxes Raise More Money?
Talk-radio host Dennis Prager created Prager University to counteract the lack of wisdom conveyed in many college courses. In the latest five-minute video on the Laffer Curve, UCLA Economics professor Tim Groseclose addresses whether higher tax rates result in more ...
Why Hillsdale's Constitution Courses are Effective
Regarding George’s post on Hillsdale’s Constitution 201 course, I completed Hillsdale’s Constitution 101 course over the summer (my “diploma” arrived yesterday). The course was well done; the college’s passion for teaching our founding principles is quite evident. The 101 ...
How Much Are the Humanities Worth?
At one point, I’d shake my head in the affirmative when reading essays extolling the virtues of studying classical subjects in college. I still believe a well-developed mind will pay off in the long run; it’s the “in ...
Re: Cut Algebra? Are You Serious?
Here’s one way to make algebra more vocational: In Washington, D.C., weaker students are getting paid to attend summer school.
I don’t understand why the NCAA did not cancel the Penn State football program for the foreseeable future (i.e. give it the “death penalty”), perhaps for several decades. That seems like a logical way to move forward after ...
Credibility without a Degree
On Time’s website, Michael Ellsberg makes a passionate case for seeking non-college methods to achieve intellectual credibility. I firmly agree with this argument, but worry that his advocating of a large social-media presence combined with watching Khan Academy videos ...
Are the Liberal Arts Enough?
The Wall Street Journal has an article detailing interdisciplinary programs that add job-preparation components to liberal-arts majors.
Colleges are not employment agencies unless the non-technical majors fall by the wayside. A good liberal arts education should be enough to prepare ...
More College-Debt Sob Stories
The New York Times has a lengthy piece on students facing financially crippling college debt. These articles are nothing new for readers of this site, yet that doesn’t make this one any less worthy of your attention.
Additionally, any ...
Is Underemployment That Bad?
It’s hard to go more than a few days without reading an article containing data on underemployed college graduates (case in point: the 5/4 and 5/7 WSJ). While I understand the function of the under-employment variable in macroeconomic analyses, I don’...
Millennials' Financial Illiteracy
Add personal finance to the list that includes civic education and other topics that millennials are not learning as they enter their twenties. USA Today has a sad piece on twentysomethings who are struggling with managing “dollars and cents.”
Courses are Not the Answer
Requiring a course in a certain subject is not equivalent to wanting students to have knowledge of said subject.
Wherever you stand on the Pope Center’s mandatory-economics debate, don’t think that in practice, the solution to this quandary ...
Rethinking the Business Major
If you think business schools have problems, wait until you read some of the solutions.
In the Wall Street Journal, Melissa Korn presents some critiques of today’s business education:
The biggest complaint: The undergraduate degrees focus too much on ...
According to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Americans over 60 years old have $36 billion of outstanding student loans.
To be fair, this total balance is not exclusively from loans that originated 30-plus years ago. Some of ...
Teaching Entrepreneurship in College
The Wall Street Journal recently ran a timely debate, “Can Entrepreneurship be taught?”
On the pro side, Noam Wasserman of Harvard asserts that classrooms can (1) teach skills necessary for success in entrepreneurial ventures and (2) present cases of success and failure ...
Critiquing Online Learning, Part One
As a professor on the front lines of distance education, I have to respond to Thomas K. Lindsay’s series of posts that defend online learning (parts one and two). More online education is coming, so it’s best to ...
Student Loans vs. Auto Loans
The total outstanding student-loan balance in the U.S. being greater than total outstanding credit-card debt — old news. But total outstanding student loans are now also greater than total outstanding auto loans ($870 billion vs. $730 billion). To make this matter even ...
On the College-Degree Wage Premium
While the headline of Daniel de Vise’s Washington Post article refers to census data that reports a historic high of adult Americans’ holding bachelor’s degrees in 2011 – three in ten — the real news is in the middle of the ...
If there is one way to sum up my first three months as a Faculty Senate chair, it’s that I’ve taken the red pill that unearthed the reality of 2014 higher education. If there is a second way, it’...
On Minding the Campus, Richard Vedder updates us on the latest cracks in the foundation of higher education. For many schools, muddling along may not be an option much longer.
One of my favorite ways to rib students in class is by quizzing them on topics they should know, but they don’t. Think Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking,” but I’m the Jay asking the questions. In my latest foray, ...
PowerPoint makes good teachers bad and bad teachers worse. Yet, it’s so pervasive that I often wonder if I’m alone in my distaste. Thankfully, I’m not. Kudos to Rebecca Schuman, education columnist for Slate.com, for this ...
Prager U: The Bigger the Government...
…the smaller the citizen.
Anarchists are apt to favor abolition of the Federal government; the rest of us want to debate when that government should be the first resort and when it should be the last resort.
With that idea ...
I'm Taking Zombies Next Semester!
Central Michigan is offering a course on apocalyptic literature – “From Revelation to The Walking Dead.” I’m sure some readers are laughing. Perhaps there are others who think, “well, at least it covers Revelation.”
I’d like to be positive ...
"New Study Shows the Value of a College Education"
The Pew Research Center reported that individuals with a high school degree earned 62% of the salary of college degree holders. In related news, researchers found that people with kitchens in their homes were 99% more likely to engage in the act ...
Is feminism pro-woman, or just anti-male? In the newest Prager University video, lifelong feminist and former National Organization for Women member, Tammy Bruce, weighs in.
I’ve posted Prager U videos for awhile, but for new Phi Beta Con readers, ...
Prager U: Lower Taxes, Higher Revenue
In the newest Prager University course, UCLA Professor of Economics Tim Groseclose explains the Laffer Curve – a representation of the non-linear relationship between tax rates and revenue collected at those rates.
In the newest Prager University course, Dennis Prager articulates one of his life’s passions — teaching people that happiness is not a selfish pursuit, it is a moral obligation.
George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation
American history is certainly not a strong portion of our nation’s (especially college students’) knowledge base. With that in mind, while many are adding Thanksgiving night shopping to their plans — a topic for another rant — please also consider adding ...
Prager U: God and Suffering
“All good people are appalled at the suffering of the innocent . . . [But] unjust suffering is a problem only because we have a sense of what is just and unjust. Where does this sense come from?”
In the newest Prager University ...
Prager U: Why America Invaded Iraq
Today, hearing good people differ on how to respond to Syria (if at all) unearths memories of a similar quandary with Iraq a decade ago.
Why did America invade Iraq? In this new, timely Prager University course, renowned British historian, ...
Prager U: The American Trinity Second Edition
Dennis Prager hits one out of the park with his newest Prager University course – The American Trinity Second Edition. For this video, Prager has remade one of his original courses into a visually stunning presentation of what it means to ...
Is the MBA Bubble Bursting?
The renowned Thunderbird School of Global Management is selling its campus to for-profit college operator, Laureate Education Inc., in an attempt to stay afloat.
At one point in time, the MBA was considered a ticket to top investment banks or ...
Prager U: Why Europe Has a Problem with Israel
In the newest Prager University course, Daniel Gordis, President of the Shalem Center, analyzes the hostility towards Israel by exploring the complex relationship between Europe, Israel and the Arab World.
Prager U: Were the Middle Ages Dark?
According to Anthony Esolen, Providence College professor of English, perhaps they should be relabed “The Brilliant Ages.”
The Dilbert Ph.D. Saga Continues
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
No one explains reality in three pictures like Scott Adams.
The Daily Show on Going to College
I have to give credit to the Jon Stewart crew. This is hysterical.
When I advise students, I often feel like H&R Block when discussing the university core courses. All too often, students only need help checking boxes and filling out schedules. They think such courses will not help their careers; they ...
Prager U: Did FDR End or Extend the Depression?
In the newest Prager University course, Lee Ohanian, Professor of Economics at UCLA, challenges the conventional wisdom of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” rescuing the nation from the Great Depression.
Prager U: What Matters Most
Many college ethics courses both cost over $1000 and fill students’ heads with drivel. Dennis Prager’s newest Prager University course does neither. In “What Matters Most,” Prager discusses the daily battles we face between our feelings and our values – a ...
Prager U: The President Who Shrank Government
Today, we have “Yes, we can!” In the mid-1920s we had “Don’t do.” The man behind that missive – President “Silent Cal” Calvin Coolidge.
There’s more to acknowledge about President Coolidge beyond the out-of-context misquote of “the business ...
Prager U: The U.N. vs. Israel
“There are 193 countries in the United Nations today. Of these, one has been singled out as an especially egregious offender of the organization’s mandate to preserve and enhance human freedom and tolerance. Can you guess which it is?”
Prager U: How Teachers' Unions Hurt Schools
Fixing the problems that plague education in the U.S. requires a multifaceted solution. In the newest Prager University course, Stanford University Professor Terry Moe addresses one of the larger issues: how the power of teachers’ unions stifles change.
Prager U: Aznar on Europe, America, and Israel
“The presence of America must be decisive, not irrelevant.”
So says former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar. In the latest Prager U video, Mr. Aznar shares profound thoughts on the present state of Europe, the United States, and Israel.
Prager U: If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists
I’ve had versions of the following conversation with college students more than once, and it always makes me chuckle.
After seeing a student frantically rummaging through a (worthless, overpriced) textbook, I approach the student and ask what’s on ...
Here’s a new Prager U course that will be a lightning rod in many Women’s Studies courses. In this video, Dennis Prager explores why many men (even the committed ones) have their heads on swivels when there are ...
The Reality of the Youth Vote
I really want to lay my displeasure with the results of the election at the feet of the education system for failing to teach civics, for failing to cover both sides of major issues, and for spending precious class time ...
Prager U: Capital Punishment
Is executing a murderer also murder? What about the possibility of sentencing an innocent person to death? Does the death penalty deter murder? In the newest Prager University course, Dennis Prager passionately tackles issues pertaining to capital punishment with his ...
Prager U: Adam Carolla on Luck
Dennis Prager’s latest Prager University video features comedian Adam Carolla performing his shtick about why we should make our own luck. This is a terrific video to show to students, especially on the first day of class.
A White Student Union at Towson University?
Holy political incorrectness, Batman! A Towson University student is looking to start a White Student Union. (Insert sarcasm.) Surprisingly, there is some resistance.
Students Should Read Political Speeches
Students who want to be politically astute should spend time reading the transcripts of political speeches (perhaps even before listening to them). Professors and teachers who show speeches in their classrooms should also make use of the speech transcripts that ...
Nathan — I thought the “college students staring up at fading Obama posters” line was cute, but I wasn’t crazy about the message. It highlights that hope and change didn’t work out so well for the college kids who ...
Advice for a Young Scholar: The Reading List
David Clemens’s advice is taken to the next level by the citations used in his essay. While the piece was aimed at an aspiring scholar, anyone interested in exploring literature that is critical of academia should consider perusing the ...
Cut Algebra? Are You Serious?
In the New York Times, Professor Andrew Hacker argues for rethinking high-school curricula. Among his proposals, Hacker suggests a greater focus on practical math and on the history of math instead of a heavy focus on complex algebra and calculus.
For All Intensive Porpoises, Stew Dents Right Like They Talk
You might want to hold onto your drink while reading James Courter’s WSJ editorial on poor college-freshman writing. In the column, Mr. Courter weaves in examples of depressing student errors (e.g. “poultry excuse” and “halfhazard work”) that he ...
For those of you keeping score at home, according to the New York Fed’s quarterly report on consumer credit:
Outstanding student-loan debt: $904 Billion.
Outstanding credit-card debt: $679 Billion.
Last weekend’s Dilbert poked fun at what it truly means to be educated. Enjoy.
Is Underemployment That Bad: Your Feedback
Thank you for the plethora of positive and negative comments on my underemployment post. When I post something, I always hope it’s interesting, but I never know which posts will generate some return energy.
With that in mind, many ...
Teacher or Education Provider?
I enjoy exchanging handshakes, high-fives, and hugs with my graduating students on their commencement day. But as one who teachers online classes, I find there is another aspect of graduation that is more of a downer.
As I watched the ...
Take Out Student Loans, Delay Marriage
Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran an article on twentysomethings’ deciding to delay marriage, children, and other adult responsibilities because of their student-loan debt burdens.
The news is hardly surprising, yet it’s still worth noting. Every report like ...
The Future of Higher Ed, or of Credentialing?
A wide variance in student ability and motivation leads many professors to “teach to the middle.” Doing so seems great on paper, but in practice, it shortchanges the top and makes unreasonable demands of the bottom. A better alternative is ...
A Crisis of Competence and the Sin of Omission
The National Association of Scholars report “A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California” is receiving a lot of well-deserved publicity since its release on April 2. This comprehensive, 80-page report provides both qualitative ...
The Wall Street Journal has an article about new SAT anti-cheating measures:
In one of the most significant changes, students registering for college-admissions tests that take place in the 2012-13 school year will have to upload or mail photos of ...
Critiquing Online Learning, Part Two
As I mentioned in the first part of my online-education critique, we must be frank about who takes online courses.
The media want you to think that motivated and busy adults who cannot get to campus constitute the majority of ...
Krugman Flip-Flops on Higher Education
I like to read columns of people I disagree with. Perhaps there’s a masochistic streak in me.
On that front, Paul Krugman’s New York Times column from March 8 struck a nerve because it refuted one of the only ...
Worry About Apathy First, Not Indoctrination
I’m a big fan of Dennis Prager’s radio show. I subscribe to his podcasts. I assign his happiness book to my graduate students as part of a seminar on leadership. I’ve also watched all of his five-minute ...
High School Dropouts Falling Behind
The Wall Street Journal has an article on the declining job prospects for those without a high-school diploma. While it’s hard to argue that the data are incorrect, it’s also worth noting that the article indirectly supports the ...