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  1. #81
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    I agree with the person that pointed out that there are plenty of ways to have a decent college education (in whatever field you are interested in) for less than the off-touted $200K.

    What happened to common sense, both in parents and kids? There is this huge push to only consider "the RIGHT" schools, anything else is considered too lowbrow.
    Online (accredited, of course), community college, evening classes, trade school.....not for their kids, regardless of what the kid wants to do with their life! ONLY XYZ university will do!

    I went back to school by taking all the basics at a local community college satellite campus; less than $1000/semester instead of $4-5K. Smaller classes, more professor involvement, and the very same (in some cases, better) education than the same ENG101 classes at a major university.

    And the scholarship opportunities are HUGE for those going on from a CC to a regular university; they already know you have made it through a couple years, have adjusted to college, and are serious about your education, so they actively recruit decent students, at least in my area.

    My DD just did the same; started at the local CC and went on to the state university. She has loans of under $15,000 for a Masters Degree, in a field she is already working in. Of course, she worked weekends on campus and over the summer to help pay her own way (what a concept!)

    Both of our Masters degrees don't say sh@t about where we started; just where we finished, and no one has ever asked to make sure we are "properly" educated.


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  2. #82
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    Education is to further one's goals in life.

    If one has no need to earn a living then learning for learning sake is acceptable. Otherwise, marketable skills from an education is needed.

    To that end, one evaluates one's talents and desires, applies the education system to develop those talents.

    The country is full of slackers. We don't need any more indebted, educated slackers.


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  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetjocky View Post
    Just to get a better job? How's that working out? (Being a bit sarcastic here.)
    Pretty well, thank you

    I do think education these days has to have a practical aspect. The waaay olden-days concept of just expanding one's mind is all well and good, but the young men who attended that didn't really need to worry about where their next meal was coming from. They could afford to walk in the manicured gardens in their togas and discuss philosophy to their heart's content.

    If you want to look at art and discuss philosophy, all well and good. But throw in some business courses too, or aim for an education degree or something.


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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilitiger2 View Post
    Not sure its elitist but, whatever, truly not everyone is cut out for a liberal arts education, but it is a nice idea. If the lineman or trash collector or whatever WANT to go for it, by all means, but it should not be sold to them that this is what they NEED or MUST HAVE.
    Not to mention, exposure to other POV's, cultures, etc can happen through work and trade school as well. How incredibly elitist to say that a lib arts education is needed to "see other points of view", since that "only comes thru education and sadly usually higher Ed".

    You know what teaches compromise really well? The necessity to compromise in order to get s*** done. Sure, you might end up working in a closed-minded little group with a single POV and maybe yours will never expand, but don't kid yourself that the same can't happen in college. The college-educated closed-minded twit will merely be able to use fancy phrases like "sir, I do believe that is an appeal to probability (which btw keeps getting used in just about every thread on debt or Obamacare, by people with various levels of education)" when arguing their rigidly fixed POV.


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  5. #85
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    I went to a small, well respected private liberal arts college back in the '80s. Got an English degree. I did get a job right out of college as a tech writer which kind of sparked my interests in computers. It took a while but I'm now a computer tech. It has nothing to do with my degree but probably got me here in a round about way. A technical college might have been cheaper but I didn't know then I liked computers so much.

    I think I'd also be just as happy as a mechanic. I like fixing things and puzzling out weird problems. I'm REALLY lucky because my bank outsources most of their computer support. They have just so much time to fix stuff. But I work for a group than needs specialized support. We have more time and need to FIX the computer instead of just reimaging it. (Reimaging = wiping it and starting over - bye bye all your files...)



  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by pezk View Post
    What yardsticks are you using to judge "educated"?

    The IQ part of your statement is demeaning. At what level of IQ do people deserve a liberal arts education?
    Well, hopefully the required IQ for a liberal arts education which, classically, could prepare one to go to law school, is lower than that required for the electrician. Do you really want the deeply unintelligent person to wire your house?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    I believe that the study used "knowledge" as the yardstick. Here is a description of the study that I am talking about-

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_810224.html

    Oh please, I am not talking about who "deserves" a liberal education. Don't go there. I am talking about who can benefit from it in terms of debt versus income. We have all seen college educated people who still cannot read with comprehension. Again, if someone is going to end up as a McDonald's manager, do you really think that it was worth spending $80,000 on a college education?

    That's my point. Not whether someone "deserves" it.
    Yes, but how do you know who will ultimately become a McDonald's Manager and do nothing else in his professional career at the outset?

    We tried and failed at sorting people into born categories in the past. For example, by deciding that women were "for" being wives, mothers and housekeepers, we decided not to tap 50% of the population's potential intelligence. That is a piss poor plan.

    And along the way, we suffered from the incredible narrow-mindedness of having a small, rather homogeneous elite tell us "how it is" for all people in general.

    Politics aside, it's just philosophically a bad idea to presume that all knowledge can and should be in the hands of a few rather similar people. It's an intellectual cul-de-sac.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Yes, but how do you know who will ultimately become a McDonald's Manager and do nothing else in his professional career at the outset?

    We tried and failed at sorting people into born categories in the past. For example, by deciding that women were "for" being wives, mothers and housekeepers, we decided not to tap 50% of the population's potential intelligence. That is a piss poor plan.

    And along the way, we suffered from the incredible narrow-mindedness of having a small, rather homogeneous elite tell us "how it is" for all people in general.

    Politics aside, it's just philosophically a bad idea to presume that all knowledge can and should be in the hands of a few rather similar people. It's an intellectual cul-de-sac.
    But no one is saying DON'T GO to college and get a liberal arts degree if you can afford to do that and you want to do it. Who is sorting people?

    I am speaking from the perspective of parents expectations of children going to college--taking on crushing debt--and the student is miserable, often ends up going 5 semesters, and ends up (maybe) with a piece of paper that won't get him a very good job.

    If you were a C or D student in high school and hated it, maybe you shouldn't be forced to go to college by your parent's expectations. That's all. Not everyone is a good student, particularly of subjects in which they have no interest. College is not for everyone.

    By the way, mvp, my father was a Master Electrician. He was NOT a good student and did not do well in high school. He did not want to go to college--he loved being an electrician and was good at it.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    But no one is saying DON'T GO to college and get a liberal arts degree if you can afford to do that and you want to do it. Who is sorting people?

    I am speaking from the perspective of parents expectations of children going to college--taking on crushing debt--and the student is miserable, often ends up going 5 semesters, and ends up (maybe) with a piece of paper that won't get him a very good job.

    If you were a C or D student in high school and hated it, maybe you shouldn't be forced to go to college by your parent's expectations. That's all. Not everyone is a good student, particularly of subjects in which they have no interest. College is not for everyone.

    By the way, mvp, my father was a Master Electrician. He was NOT a good student and did not do well in high school. He did not want to go to college--he loved being an electrician and was good at it.
    This in spades. If my plumber wants to discuss Sartre while installing a pressure tank, terrific, but I would hardly require him to endure a four year degee which he had no interest in using. I test plenty of those struggling students who basically hate college, and are delighted when they can pursue something they enjoy- which could be guiding, carpentry, or crane operator. If they want to take classes at the community college in something, GREAT but the four year liberal arts degree should not be held up like the "grand tour or Europe" as some kind of milestone. As someone said earlier, if it fits with someone's career plans, that's fine, but if someone's interests and career is elsewhere, they should puruse that,and not incur debt for the magic of "broadening their horizons".

    And it is NOT about IQ. i just tested a guy who details cars. While doing a test that requires replicating designs with colored blocks, he was WHISTLING and scored off the charts! Turned out across the board he scored very highly, extremely bright and really enjoyed what he did.He likes racing cars, and detailing them, and hunting and fishing.He paid attention in high school,has a great memory and has absolutely no interest whatsoever in any further education.

    I think its just matching opportunity to someone's interests and abilities. I am certainly supportive of education at every stage; it can be a great way to enhance somone's opportunities, but for a good many, higher ed is NOT the best resource.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetjocky View Post
    Great videos! Lots to think about. Slightly OT, but are you familiar with the TED Talks website? www.ted.com/talks Fascinating discussion about almost everything under the sun (a little like COTH Off-Topic Day).
    Thanks,

    I LOVE TED! Have found so many amazing speakers there.
    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
    Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night



  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    Pretty well, thank you

    I do think education these days has to have a practical aspect. The waaay olden-days concept of just expanding one's mind is all well and good, but the young men who attended that didn't really need to worry about where their next meal was coming from. They could afford to walk in the manicured gardens in their togas and discuss philosophy to their heart's content.

    If you want to look at art and discuss philosophy, all well and good. But throw in some business courses too, or aim for an education degree or something.
    Not sure which century or millennium you are talking about, as universities were not yet invented during Toga Times.

    But what you do need to understand is that for about the past 150 years in the US, getting a college education (and even a liberal arts one) *was* a basis for developing the desired job skills of the non-laboring class.

    IMO, it still is. Ask any employer who is surprised and disappointed that their young employees can't write their way out of a paper bag, analyze an argument, much less propose a complete one.

    The purpose of a liberal arts education is not so much to teach you stuff-- the plumber who can discuss Sartre. Sartre is somewhat beside the point. Rather, the purpose of stretching your mind around Sartre (or whathaveyou) is to teach you how to use and develop your mind.

    One of the products of my liberal arts education has been the ability I have to research absolutely anything and teach myself anything. Diesel engines, horse anatomy, tax law, hard core high falutin' philosophy, statistics, loan documents.... literally anything.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    But no one is saying DON'T GO to college and get a liberal arts degree if you can afford to do that and you want to do it. Who is sorting people?
    Well, by definition you are sorting those folks. Your criterion is "those who can afford that education and those who cannot."

    The rub, however, is that intelligence, even original genius, does not correlate reliably with wealth. And that's a pretty decent reason to make it possible for the poor to pursue higher education. The other reason, of course, is that we create an exceptionally limited toolbox if we decide that wealthy folks are the only ones who get to study and describe the world we all share for everyone else.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    But what you do need to understand is that for about the past 150 years in the US, getting a college education (and even a liberal arts one) *was* a basis for developing the desired job skills of the non-laboring class.

    IMO, it still is.
    The problem is that for a very long time, going to college and/or having a college degree was one way of demonstrating the qualifications of the "non-laboring" class, and their ability to do well in the professional workplace.

    Now, 70% of all high school students go to college immediately after graduation. 70%! Just about everyone *goes* to college now in some form or another. So...now to prove you are in the "non-laboring class" (to use your word), one must go on to an advanced degree.

    Are Americans just smarter than they used to be? Certainly college isn't "more affordable" than in the past. Yes, employers still want a college degree for their graduates - because why not?

    http://www.good.is/posts/more-high-s...an-ever-before
    (this is a fascinating article, just beaming with happiness over the fact that now 70% of HS graduates have taken chemistry, v. only 49% in 1990....hmmm....do you think that our students are better off by all taking chemistry v. business, for example - which I know has been dropped altogether by my high school now).

    And now, the average college graduate has a debt of $27,000 before ever having worked a full time job.

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/18/pf/c...ebt/index.html

    Thanks for the great discussion. I have tons of interesting material for my class in March! Not sure how long OT day will remain open but this has been fun!


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  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Well, by definition you are sorting those folks. Your criterion is "those who can afford that education and those who cannot."

    The rub, however, is that intelligence, even original genius, does not correlate reliably with wealth. And that's a pretty decent reason to make it possible for the poor to pursue higher education. The other reason, of course, is that we create an exceptionally limited toolbox if we decide that wealthy folks are the only ones who get to study and describe the world we all share for everyone else.
    But so far, you are the one who is sorting by class. I have consistently said that if someone has the ability and desire, I think a liberal arts degree is a great idea. I support that actively.But there are a lot of people who have neither the ability nor the real interest, and for them, I do not see pushing it as some sort of holy grail experience, whatever their background. As others have noted, there are certainly means other than a liberal arts education for developing into a productive, well developed adult. There are many roads to Rome,Rome being a happy, self supporting life. As I mentioned, in my own family my cousin was sent to prep school (because his dad went, he dropped out his second year) and then, also because dad went, to college, which has been a disaster. Some people just really have other interests, priorities and abilities and should NOT be herded into a LA education and wind up feeling like failures (whether or not they incur debt).

    Not sure I agree with everything in this but another interesting discussion of the purpose and value of (I think he is talking about) a liberal arts education".

    http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critic...atlarge_menand Thoughtful article anyway.


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