In the podcast I just posted, Anne Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni explains why she thinks students should have less choice in their college classes:
“When we look at college and university curricula today, what we find is they are pretty much “anything goes.” …
(Students) are being asked to construct their own curriculum. This is a distinct contrast with curricula in the past, where college and university professors and administrators pointed students to what they needed to know: the skills and knowledge that would help them succeed after graduation.
(There are) clear indications that students are leaving with dribs and drabs rather than a coherent educational framework.”
Such a free-flowing system, she says, also makes it harder for students to graduate on time:
“Faculty and administrators are finding that the more choice you give, the more likely it is that students will have detours or change their minds or not be sure. … Because there’s so much choice, it’s very easy to retard a student’s progress through school.”
More choice also means higher college costs — a big complaint of the Occupy Colleges movement:
“When colleges and universities open course after course after course and never close them, the price tag rises. So I think that colleges and universities could reduce costs by actually having a more coherent academic program, cutting back on low enrollment or outdated programs, and really directing students toward what they need to know.”