The Chronicle reports that colleges are inviting dropouts back in an attempt to boost their degree counts. But it’s not quite working for them.
Americans are already obsessed with postsecondary education. With the President’s 2020 goal of having the greatest number of citizens with degrees, college admission boards have very little incentive to turn applicants away. Re-enrolling students who make the conscious decision to dropout sounds like desperation to me.
According to proponents, the 3-year program, dubbed “Project Win-Win” and costing $1.3 million, has met with limited success:
McNeese State University, in Louisiana, points to a student who dropped out of college two years ago, when she was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. She had planned to earn a four-year degree in teaching but was recently awarded an associate degree because she had enough credits for that.
Still, one wonders why this student wasn’t awarded her associate degree immediately upon completion of the requirements instead of years later when someone actually noticed what she had achieved. The answer: a college bureaucracy that leaves far too much administrative responsibility to the student.
Another question that must be asked is: what value does a college degree actually hold if the student completed most of the work years ago? The awarding of a degree in these circumstances is akin to a paramedic who dropped out in 1995 being fully re-credentialed after taking a basic anatomy course.
On average, it takes 6 years to finish a 4-year college degree. The GPA required for graduation is a paltry 2.0. Academic standards continue plummeting. Why are we further diluting a credential that is already of questionable value?
To pump up degree counts.