It’s high time.
As the Daily Mail’s Dave Boucher reported, only 55.5 percent of the people who enter college nationally graduate within six years. At public colleges and universities in this state, only 43.8 percent of those who enroll come out six years later with a degree .
The statistics for four-year diplomas are worse.
At Shepherd University, 80 percent of students do not graduate in four years, which is fairly typical for the state’s public institutions of higher learning.
Much money is changing hands for very slow gain.
So young people are taking a closer look at which degrees will equip them to make enough to repay student loans. And colleges, competing for students’ dollars, are seeking ways to save their customers money.
The state Higher Education Policy Commission encourages schools to streamline academic programs so students can earn degrees with 120 credit hours.
Shepherd made changes last fall. As a result, 62 seniors were able to forgo a semester’s cost.
“With students being able to get out in a timely fashion, they won’t have to borrow as much money,” said Shepherd official Kimberly Scranage.
Kathy Butler, vice chancellor of academic affairs for the commission, noted that students haven’t always made wise choices about classes.
“What they did is they took underwater basket weaving,” she said. “They’ll fill (their schedules) with things that really don’t help them get their degree.”
That’s an expensive waste of time.
Students, schools and taxpayers are reviewing what is valuable and what is not. Market forces are at work, and they can’t work fast enough.
©2012 the Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, W.Va.)
Visit the Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, W.Va.) at www.dailymail.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services