It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

An idea for free college educations for Americans

page: 2
7
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 08:28 PM
link   
a reply to: crazyewok

ah yes...the cry of the "better than you" degree holder.

What specifically are the "acceptable" degrees for you as you seem to be the decision maker?

Was my BA is psychology ok? Or only because it led to an MA and a license as a therapist?

What about my current MBA work? Is that ok? I realize it isn't medicine or law or dentistry but come on...

Sorry but this is BS to me. Hate to break it to you, a bachelor is a bachelor. It get irritating when people think their degree is "better"

I am not too concerned if I come off as snarky in this...really am not. If someone wants to get a BA in Liberal Studies, Gender, whatever, then why don't we drop all the "my degree is better" BS.


edit on 23-3-2015 by KyoZero because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 08:32 PM
link   
a reply to: Aazadan

Sorry OP....I didn't mean to side step....I get real uptight about that stuff

I love the idea. I salute how you went about it. An idea, a vision, then specifics. I love it. I wish the "machine" would let your idea pass. Please though, keep visions alive.



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 08:41 PM
link   
What is needed in our country is a process to effectively instill and cultivate the basic abilities to think critically, to read for content, to reason logically and to calculate effectively, and most importantly, to learn how to learn.

At the point we will have advanced a cadre of humans about 2000% from any graduating class in any institution anywhere in the world.

I can't imagine any other starting point for "education" regardless of what we do, how we do it, who pays for it, etc.

ADDED IN EDIT: By the way I love your plan outlined in the OP Aazadan. As opposed to so many, you are offering a real, implementable working suggestion with real benefits as opposed to just kvetching. And the reality of your plan is fairly easily achievable with what we have right now. If business leaders would get behind divesting Big Education, it'd happen in a year or two. Great OP!
edit on 20Mon, 23 Mar 2015 20:49:12 -050015p082015366 by Gryphon66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 12:53 AM
link   
a reply to: KyoZero

Thanks. I'm not quite so cynical to believe it wouldn't pass. It's more about getting the attention of those in power. You see, we have a major issue with technology in the US. Not a single member of Congress is familiar with it. Even the technology sub committees are pretty clueless. This is a government that spends a billion dollars to make a website that should have cost $250,000. So giving them a plan and asking them to go forward on it is difficult.

I've tried to think about who I should lobby to present my plan to. Congress seems inept, so that leaves the department of education. I need to look more into them, but considering they're the branch that pushes predatory student loans on broke students with no collateral and oppressive terms... I'm less enthusiastic they would want to give that up.


originally posted by: Gryphon66
What is needed in our country is a process to effectively instill and cultivate the basic abilities to think critically, to read for content, to reason logically and to calculate effectively, and most importantly, to learn how to learn.

ADDED IN EDIT: By the way I love your plan outlined in the OP Aazadan. As opposed to so many, you are offering a real, implementable working suggestion with real benefits as opposed to just kvetching. And the reality of your plan is fairly easily achievable with what we have right now. If business leaders would get behind divesting Big Education, it'd happen in a year or two. Great OP!


I don't know if I could come up with a program to teach critical thinking at all times but I've found that problem solving is strongly related to critical thinking. Growing up, one of the favorite tricks of my math teacher (I had the same one for 4 years of HS, she was absolutely amazing) was to give the class a large group problem that would require input from each person, and some management to put everything together. For example here's a common week 1 problem in discrete math, and it requires groups of about 8 to work on it together.

3) Hand shake problem: For a group of 5 or so students, what's the fastest way everyone can shake hands? Regarding this problem, we discussed:

Using a graph to find a solution
Using symmetry to find a solution
How to prove the solution found is the best possible solution e.g., for 8 people, there must be at least 7 handshake times. For 5 people, at least 4 - though it turns out you need at least 5 times people have to shake hands, since one person it always left out.

Using problems like this which have a large finite set of answers but no indications as to what is most efficient , there is room for critical thinking to enter and evaluate different answers.

I'll say I never learned how to learn until I got to college, and even then it took awhile. It wasn't until I started doing independent study on some very difficult classes that I taught myself how to learn what I needed.

Anyways, back on topic. Any time I have an idea on something I try to at least suggest a solution. If I can't offer something better than what's potentially in place right now, what reason do I have to complain?



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 03:15 AM
link   
a reply to: KyoZero
I kind of agree with you, it is pointless to argue over whose degree involved most work or has the greater utility.
That said there is too many students doing social science degrees and the majority will end up working outwith their field. Now this isn't automatically a bad thing as I believe there is a lot more value to a degree than just the subject you study.
However having BA holders with a first or upper second working in a fast food place or a call centre seems a waste. As a society we need more engineers and scientists and should be encouraging people to study these type of subjects (qualifications and ability allowing of course).



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 04:40 AM
link   
I like the way you think, Aazadan. Your idea has great vision, foresight and follow-through and I think it has great potential - it is evident that you have put some thought into how this could be implemented. It would be much preferable to the alternative, which would be to lose more and more people with viable intelligence, simply because they could not afford an education under the current model/economic system.

Do you know who this would be really good for? Those people who are on the border of considering higher education, fearing they might not cut it, and not wanting to risk the financial ruin in trying only to fail. They could invest the time and see if it is for them, and should they not succeed, the only thing they lose is time. They could then go on to choose a trade, or something more hands on, if that's where they find their talents may work better.

I also see this as a wonderful stepping stone for single Moms/Dads who would then be able to advance themselves. Just because someone may live at or near poverty level, does not mean their brain is at poverty level. Not to mention elevating the spirits of people in general, through pride in accomplishment - something that is much needed today.


Education ought to be accessible to all, and it can only benefit a country and its citizens in the long run.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 04:57 AM
link   
It would be even more idealistic if the courses were international and everyone around the world with an internet connection could log in. It is already even possible to have online proctored exams that require a webcam so the offsite examinator can see you're not cheating. Online universities are the future, there is no question about that.

Who knows maybe if the current robotization reaches a level where millions are out of work, drastic measures might be created like free education to re-educate the masses so people can do other jobs after they lost theirs to the robots.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 07:48 AM
link   
a reply to: Aazadan

If you helped steer our-crap ass leadership in such a direction I would hail you as a visionary and find some way to get you the Nobel prize or something.

I truly enjoyed that you put tons of thought into it and boy would I love to see it go through. Whether it passes tomorrow, next year, or not even in our lifetime, the people need individuals like yourself. I am battling my own little corner of the world but I have to admit sometimes that I need some concrete ideas...which you have

I love this thread



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 07:48 AM
link   
uhm...I swear I only hit submit once...Illuminati
edit on 24-3-2015 by KyoZero because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 02:04 PM
link   
a reply to: MoonBlossom

One of the great benefits of online classrooms is that you can attend from anywhere. Single parents, or even couples who have other obligations like kids can come home from work and attend a class rather than watch some TV. They can even take breaks to attend to their kids needs. I think this is much improved from the current system, and I can attest to this from experience. Growing up my mom couldn't afford a babysitter for me so I would have to goto class with her. To not disturb others I would have to sit in the back of the room quietly while everyone taught. I remember it was extremely boring, but fortunately I was an obedient enough child that my mom could do it.

For most families however, that's simply not practical and I think back to one of my final exams where a student brought his 3 year old in because he couldn't find a babysitter. The kid ran all around the room, banging on things, and being a general annoyance. At one point the kid even ran up and turned off my computer making me lose all the work I had been doing on part of the test. Small children and classrooms don't mix, but that doesn't mean the parents should be cut off from an education. Web based classrooms solve that need among many others.

Right now I attend a low cost 4 year school, it's the cheapest in the state and maybe the entire country, but it has some very good programs. I've been trying to convince a friend of mine to attend (we went to community college together) but he's just not willing to do it. Even a university as cheap as the one I attend costs $15,000/year between tuition and living expenses which means he's looking at a $60,000 investment for a 4 year program, maybe $45,000 with some transfer credits. I look at that and I think it's too bad, he's smart and good at his field (artwork) but he could really benefit from a few more years of instruction under people better than him. If there were a system where he could still attend school it would benefit him and many others.

I have seen more people than I can count attend college only to drop out halfway through, with part of an education, none of a degree, and all of the debt. That is something that really needs to be changed.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 02:48 PM
link   
a reply to: Aazadan

The secret to any real change, I think, is in the marketplace. Were employers to start looking at real qualifications and start knowledge/task testing their hires ... I think we'd see rapid change in how the "higher education" system works.

From about 30-40 years ago, when the "everyone has to go to college to get a good job" meme really started (even though we didn't know what memes were then, curiously) enrollment at these institutions has almost doubled (From 1980-2012 college enrollment increased from 26 to 41%) (Source - US News & World Report.

I'm here to state what we all know; you don't need college to be a qualified employee, even in a highly technical field.

You just need the general skills I noted above coupled with specific training in certain fields.

Law, medicine, engineering ... yes, these fields require additional training. But, really, do they require 20-24 YEARS of training? (Doctor 12 years k-12, 4 years of college, 4 years of med school and 4 years of residency?)

There has to be better ways.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 04:35 PM
link   
a reply to: Gryphon66
Surely however the only benefits to society of having a higher educated population aren't just to be measured in benefits to the employer or even to the individual. In general an educated people are more politically and socially aware, more tolerant and provide greater economic/social benefit to the whole of society



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 04:36 PM
link   
a reply to: Gryphon66

I don't disagree at all. Like you, I think it's mandatory and a necessity that doctors and such learn TONS. I'm also a huge fan of on the job training.

I am quite fascinated by just the general idea of this post so I am posing this to you (but of course anyone's answers are very welcome)

Some time ago (and I know this isn't new), a group of folks got together and ask this question and I would love to know your thoughts

Do you feel college students should have to take general education units or should they just take their core and disregard things like Philosophy 101 if their are pre-med or something like pre-engineering grad major?



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 11:22 PM
link   

originally posted by: ScepticScot
a reply to: Gryphon66
Surely however the only benefits to society of having a higher educated population aren't just to be measured in benefits to the employer or even to the individual. In general an educated people are more politically and socially aware, more tolerant and provide greater economic/social benefit to the whole of society



Would that we actually had a "higher educated population." Look at the society we are embedded in and see if what you're describing above is what you see around you.

We have people that have "gotten their paper." I would honestly doubt that we have as many individuals who have had their minds, literally "led out" of superstition and stagnant tradition by the educational process, than we did pre-1980.

We have legions of Scarecrows who have been told that their Degree magically means they now have a Brain.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 11:33 PM
link   
a reply to: KyoZero

I think we need to refocus away from what academe thinks that business needs, and let business tell the academy what it needs. By and large, in my opinion, we have taken exposure to the medieval seven liberal arts that was, once upon a time, supposed to bring individuals out of whatever the local belief structure had imposed on them ... into a wider world ... and have turned it into a torture process that so scorches the inquisitiveness of most young minds that they never want to ask questions again.

What I see, by and large in our system, are masses of young people being passed along through the equivalent of very expensive vocational programs ... because, well, every university wants to have a decent retention and graduation rate, don't you know. So they get their paper, and hopefully get a job, and spend 3-4 years actually learning what to do in the "real world" as opposed to the land of abstraction they had been presented with in college.

I'm in favor of continual education. I can't imagine not wanting to know everything we can about the world. However, when the rubber meets the road, we have to spend a significant portion of our lives in our careers, being productive if not in our own businesses, then for someone else.

To my mind, the needs of those businesses are what should dominate.

Of course, I want everyone to know who Shakespeare and Mozart and Cezanne and Plato and Cicero are ... but I also want people who can do their danged jobs. I want people who can put in an 8-10 hour day and remember what it's like to be tired from accomplishment and achievement.

We've got a lot of distance to make up and cover in this country if we ever want to be competitive in the world with anything but our nuclear stockpile.

If I didn't answer your question in there ... poke me again.
edit on 23Tue, 24 Mar 2015 23:36:17 -050015p112015366 by Gryphon66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 02:00 AM
link   
The universities can all go rot. As education moves online they will adapt or fail as education institutions.
The university can still exist as a place of research funded by .gov grants.
young people could still decide to live in the area.

These free online classes could be supplemented by a master test. A final test and written paper. If one passes that test they a degree is bestowed.

I've heard the theory that a uni degree really just shows a person can be a good drone. They can listen to boring lectures and do boring work, indicative of a good office drone.



posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 02:49 AM
link   
a reply to: Gryphon66
Can only speak from experience of the UK, but here I think there is a direct correlation between social progress and percentage of population with degree level education. Almost all degree courses require high levels of critical thinking skills and graduates tend to be more progressive and tolerant. It is very hard to go to a university for x number of years with all the interaction both academic and social and still come out the other end as racist/sexist/homophobic. If you can then you are probably from a social background that left little hope for change anyway.



posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 02:57 AM
link   
a reply to: jellyrev
Have you ever attended university at all? Not a single one of the courses I attended was ever designed to produce good office drones(with the possible exception of statistics). Also very little of what I studied could also be called boring (with the certain exception of statistics).
While there is a place for online learning there is a hell of a lot more to university than simply passing exams and I think society would suffer if online degrees became the norm.



posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 03:02 AM
link   
The obstacle would be the current base philosophy in American culture that holds all things as means for attaining money.
This includes knowledge.

You have people with knowledge, that only see that as something they trade for money.

People want to receive knowledge in order to use it in trade for money.

To use it for getting a job, which pays money.... the higher that knowledge is valued on the market, the more a person is called to that usage,
and the pleasure in expressing and giving it to others is pushed aside.
The pleasure in receiving that knowledge is pushed aside as irrelevant as well.

Such experiences are no longer valued because they do not include money transactions.

All forms of human relation have become commodities in this religion of the Sacred Dollar.



posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 03:11 AM
link   
a reply to: Bluesma
Other than to say I don't think this applies just to America I could not agree more with your post.
Education has a value all of its own, not just its economic value.



new topics

top topics



 
7
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join