Yes, the following commentary will be most decidedly my opinion. First, something about my background in education, especially higher education. The following is a part of my experience in the field...
Attended a Lutheran college, a Catholic university, and a large state university.
Served as a high school teacher and administrator.
Was vice president of a college.
Served as a member of the board of trustees of a college.
Board member and board treasurer of American Indian College Fund [national].
Served in education and other services in a program sponsored by the Smithsonian [national].
Served on committees for regional accreditation for colleges and schools.
The state of higher education in the U.S. is of great concern to me currently. Frankly, I feel today's higher education institutions are mostly over-rated, professors are over-paid, tuition and other costs are far too high, and the quality of education a student receives is not up to par with the quality of higher ed. in the past. And yes, it is at least in part due to the colleges themselves.
Students entering a U.S. college or university today are generally not equipped to compete with students graduating from high schools in other Western, industrial nations. While money is squandered in many higher education programs, students graduating from high school have not only had their exposure very limited in the arts, physical education, history, English, etc., they have been in an environment that has told them or shown them that the liberal arts are not as important as they once were. This is greatly effecting the entire field of education, especially higher education in America.
There is not much prestige or importance given to the liberal arts curriculum nor the instructors in that field in higher education. It is even more unfortunate that the professors/educators in this area of study are grossly overpaid. The salaries paid to today's college instructors is all out of whack compared to the knowledge and experience they should be bringing to the classroom. If I were grading today's colleges, I would give them a C- or less.
Of course there are exceptions to the above. Of course I have shamefully over-simplified things in higher education. But there is more than a smidgen of truth in the opinions expressed above.
It is not surprising that the College Board and the SAT tests are being drastically changed. There was little relevance between SAT scores and what students are bringing to the higher education classroom. The lazy development of the SAT is but an example of the sleepy attention paid to what has been evolving in the field of higher education in recent decades. And America has been inattentive about it all. We became ignorant and lazy and lax in what and how higher education changed. Guidance counselors, college admissions staffs, and the college tests themselves have become a sort of silly jigsaw puzzle. And some of these people became very adept at playing the silly game of college admissions.
The entire area of higher education in America needs a major over-haul. This includes, but is not limited to, entrance exams, subjects taught in high schools, the way colleges select their professors and instructors, costs to get a higher education degree, importance of liberal arts, importance of math and science, freedom to pursue various routes to getting a higher education, variety in the very structure of the college classroom setting, what qualifications and experience should be considered in selecting college presidents, ad infinitum.
Higher education in America is failing. Primarily, our colleges and universities are living off of past standards that were used to build reputations. Higher education in America is loaded with the most educated people in our nation; they should be ashamed concerning what they have allowed to slip because of laziness and an old-fashioned comfort zone.
American higher education needs attention and change.