The Coming Educational Revolution
Since World War II, American colleges have performed two functions. We have civilized men and women for leadership and we have done job training. Sadly, for a variety of reasons American colleges are not giving value for money at either task.
We are failing the republic.
The cost of higher eduction has increased, but the quality has not increased.
Students are paying more for, at best, the same product.
Fortunately for us all, technology and an end to debt financing is about the end the present system. Change is coming and it will benefit parents and students, if it does harm those in the present system afraid of change.
I am excited about these changes, because at a school like HBU they represent a chance to change the old order. We don’t have to play catch up anymore . . . most schools are Kodak and we are digital.
Here are five changes I think are coming in the next five years to higher education:
First, higher education will take place locally for at least one year. Canada is right about more than hockey: year thirteen of high school is a good idea. Eighteen is no longer the start of adulthood in our culture, just as prom is not the night that most couples get engaged. Schools like HBU will push year thirteen into the local schools and eighteen year olds will be able to save money by staying home and studying in high school.
Second, if it is information it will be free and on-line. You cannot charge, much, for information in this new world. Schools will charge for person-to-person mentoring. In short, we will return to the university of the MIddle Ages where education was about the professor and the student, not the school. The name of the school will be less important than the personal attention you got from your professor.
Third, students wanting a union card will go to on-line schools and get what they want. Students that want to educate the whole soul will still sit with a teacher, the way Plato sat with Socrates or Mary sat with Jesus, and change.
Fourth, debt financing must be radically reduced or end. College should be affordable to middle-class parents. This can either be done by socialism, government control of education, which will ruin it or by allowing the market to work. Schools will stop charging for some things, trim administration, and lower the cost to students.
Fifth, a course of study in college should lead either to a job or a measurable increase in virtue. Schools like HBU with a Christian worldview will have an advantage: we know what a lady or gentleman should be. Government colleges, like the post office, are remnants of another time. Majors must justify themselves on way or the other. The good news for HBU is that while Christian colleges will consolidate, our urban market and unique ideological flair will make us one of the survivors and thrivers.
The revolution that is coming will leave schools that are flexible in a good position. HBU will pass the state dinosaurs and help create the future. Schools will merger close. Those that are not nimble will die. HBU?
By the grace of God, we are about to be part of changing the educational world.