Higher Education

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Re: Higher Education

Postby Schmeelkie » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:45 pm

the great boon of my education at a small liberal arts college was that I was encouraged to take classes outside of the discipline - in fact you were required to take at least one course from four major areas (something like humanities, science, art, and phys ed?). I relished the opportunity and really ended up pretty much taking the minimum within my major and taking a lot of stuff outside the major. Helped that if it wasn't in your major you could take maybe 4-6 courses total over your 4 years basically pass/fail. You would say that if you got a B+ or above, you'd get the grade, but if you didn't, and still passed, it would just come up as pass and not affect your GPA. Great system - allowed me to take a film course, 3 English courses, 2 history, ballet and a bunch of other stuff. A system like this encourages you to take classes outside your 'comfort zone' without risk to your GPA, thus overall encouraging a broader education. There were folks who complained, but we didn't have too many fixed requirements like some schools, so it wasn't too onerous if you were really focused.
Of course, I'm a big picture kind of person, so this approach really appealed to me in the first place when applying to schools...so I self-selected...
Hyper-focused education, like you mentioned Haggis, is for grad school as far as I'm concerned. Or trade schools/ community college job-based programs.
"Up plus down equals flat" Pumpkin, 3 yrs, 10 mo, July '07
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:10 am

Grossmont found me frustrating. After a period of time, some counselor counted up classes and credits and classified things according to department and major and did some arcane voodoo calculations of some sort: this resulted in the dispatch of a squad of law enforcement majors to fetch my protesting self into the admin center. Why have I not applied for graduation? What, do I have to? Is it a rule? Well...*scratch, scratch* Why are you taking courses, if not to graduate? For the sheer joy of learning, of course. (Made my escape while they were still in nonverbal shock)

They eventually added up all the courses and made spiderweb charts to turn the unrelated things into multiple minors of some sort, invented a weird umbrella-shaped multiple-minor major named General, or maybe he's a General named Major Minor, or some other equally bizarre and twisty nomenclature they set up. They documented the poor thing, origami'd the whole setup into a tinsel Telstar model, whacked me on the head and awarded it before I came to my senses. And there I was: gradumated! Good thing Grossmont can only award Assassinate's degrees: I can still get random classes on the cheap, anyway. Hooray!
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Shapley » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:20 am

Part of the narrowness of that education begins in grade school and high school. Colleges are, in my view, necessarily narrow. A college student should not have gotten out of high school without knowing where Pearl Harbour is located. Geography has become less about they physical and political boundaries of the Earth, and more an avenue for teaching about all of the ecological damage we're supposedly doing to it.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Schmeelkie » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:17 am

7-year old Pumpkin has a pretty good grasp on geography starting with his interest in snakes. One book had little maps showing where each type is found. We have a world map on the wall in the playroom and refer to it often. Doesn't hurt that his cousins have lived in Argentina, Brazil, Kenya and now Paupa New Guinea, and he's wanted to know where those places are. We tell 4-yr old Bella that her cousins live 'on the other side of the world' and how they're going to bed when she's getting up. Good start for her understanding of physics and geography. Also, Pumpkin is into the Magic Treehouse books - which take kids all over the world to both real and mythical locations, and he'll try to find the real places on the map.
Just wish this kind of learning were par for the course for most kids. Overheard adult in bookstore (probably through something like Big Brother program) trying to convice kid about 8-9 years old to try reading a book - talked about his interests and how books stay with you forever, etc. Pumpkin's reaction was classic - 'a kid older than me that doesn't read? that's crazy!'
"Up plus down equals flat" Pumpkin, 3 yrs, 10 mo, July '07
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:56 pm

Schmeelkie wrote:7-year old Pumpkin has a pretty good grasp on geography starting with his interest in snakes. One book had little maps showing where each type is found.'



Well then, here's a snake/geography lesson combined! Although the lesson to be taken away here is to avoid this like a bad habit!!!!! :rofl:


Snake Island


Off the shore of Brazil, almost due south of the heart of São Paulo, is a Ilha de Queimada Grande. The island is untouched by human developers, and for very good reason. Researchers estimate that on the island live between one and five snakes per square meter.

That figure might not be so terrible if the snakes were, say, 2 inches long and nonvenomous. The snakes on Queimada Grande, however, are a unique species of pit viper, the golden lancehead. The lancehead genus of snakes is responsible for 90% of Brazilian snakebite-related fatalities. The golden lanceheads that occupy Snake Island grow to well over half a meter long, and they possess a powerful fast-acting poison that melts the flesh around their bites. Golden lanceheads are so dangerous that, with the exception of some scientific outfits, the Brazilian Navy has expressly forbidden anyone from landing on the island.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:52 pm

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Higher Education

Postby piqaboo » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:43 pm

Even back in the dawn of time, when I went to college, it was clear to me that some degrees could no longer be accomplished in 4 years unless one skipped a 'minor'.

The year before I started, biochemistry and immunology were combined in one course. The year I started, they split into two.
Just after I graduated, immunology and immunochemistry had expanded into two sessions instead of one.

I took the 'smart people' organic chemistry set, at 2 semesters. Bad choice. The 'regular' one, 3 semesters, had time to talk about the cool fun stuff that makes it memorable, like transition chemicals, colors, etc.

Over the course of less than 10 years, the subject knowledge in the field increased to the point that a student either had to take a narrower and narrower view, or an extra year. The extra year is really helpful knowledge out in the real world.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Shapley » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:28 pm

Methinks that the grade schools and high schools could do a better job of educating our youth and preparing them for college, so that less remediation would be needed for students entering there.

It might also be that our students could then leave high school with enough skill to make a living, and fewer would feel the need to attend college or trade school.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:30 am

The ever-increasing cost of education is not sustainable.

Higher education in America, historically the envy of the world, is rapidly growing out of reach. For the past quarter-century, the cost of higher education has grown 440%, according to the National Center for Public Policy and Education, nearly four times the rate of inflation and double the rate of health care cost increases. The cost increases have occurred at both public and private colleges.

Like many situations too good to be true–like the dot-com boom, the Enron bubble, the housing boom or the health care cost explosion–the ever-increasing cost of university education is not sustainable.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Higher Education

Postby piqaboo » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:12 pm

I'm kinda counting on that. I watched an online discussion of paying for kid's college, last year.
For some folks, the 'where' is so important, they were going into grand debt to make sure their kid had the chance to make the right connections.
Wow. That totally would have been wasted money, spent on me. I wondered if they took into account the type of kid they have.

Anyway, after that I was thinking "poor altoid. at those prices, its jr college, scholarships, & state uni for you".
I cant save for retirement and college both, and i'd rather not saddle her w the cost of parent care, so she's stuck w the cost of her education instead.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby BigJon » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:06 am

piqaboo wrote: so she's stuck w the cost of her education instead.

Our kids too. My oldest son wants to go to Lehigh U., currently $44,000 per year.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby DavidS » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:17 am

Hmm...
Here when babies are born parents/grandparents can open up higher education savings accounts for them; in both my children's cases the amounts saved up covered college fees up to first degree level, and for my daughter there was a bit left over to contribute towards the cost of her master's degree studies.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby piqaboo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:10 pm

Here too. We can save in one place or the other, and retirement wins.
Grandparents arent in the contributing money to the college fund mode.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby DavidS » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:37 pm

piqaboo wrote:Here too. We can save in one place or the other, and retirement wins.
Grandparents arent in the contributing money to the college fund mode.

Luckily for my family & myself, we weren't in a position of having to choose one to the exclusion of the other - both our children's education and provision for ourselves after retirement to avoid being a burden on our children and society have always been high on our priorities list as investments for the future.
Though I believe it is in the long-term interests of the state to make higher education available to as many as possible, including those who don't have the wherewithal to cover the cost.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby piqaboo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:35 pm

See, there's the advantage to starting young, instead of living like a grasshopper, then having kid later in life.
We'll do what we can to help, but unlike many of our friends, we're not offering a free ride to any uni she can get into.
She goes to the UC system, probably gets a free ride from mom and dad. Wants to go to 'little ol' ivy covered U"? Gonna need scholarships, that girl.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby dai bread » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:28 pm

Tell me about the UC system, Piq. UCLA is well-known here, and as far as I'm aware has a good reputation. Are there other colleges that don't?
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:42 am

dai bread wrote:Tell me about the UC system, Piq. UCLA is well-known here, and as far as I'm aware has a good reputation. Are there other colleges that don't?

California has parallel and intertwined state University, College, and Community College systems: tuition for state residents is reasonable for the state colleges but higher for the University system. Various campuses have varying reputations, and specialise in different fields of study. F'r instance, Humboldt seems to specialize in cannabis propagation and distribution as well as veterinary science: it may be the surrounding forest cover that makes that a convenient sideline?

Unless the law has changed, it was a full free ride if the student was the dependant of a veteran with a service-incurred disability. This was useful when my sister attended Revelle.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:56 pm

California has parallel and intertwined state University, College, and Community College systems: tuition for state residents is reasonable for the state colleges but higher for the University system. Various campuses have varying reputations, and specialise in different fields of study. F'r instance, Humboldt seems to specialize in cannabis propagation and distribution as well as veterinary science: it may be the surrounding forest cover that makes that a convenient sideline?

Unless the law has changed, it was a full free ride if the student was the dependant of a veteran with a service-incurred disability. This was useful when my sister attended Revelle.


We went through this about tuition before:

Military.com reported that due to the fact California state operated colleges and universities do not charge tuition to undergraduates, the tuition benefits from the Post 9/11 GI Bill for a prospective military student in California is zero.


Even if you want to argue that certain fees are tantamount to tuition, they are more than reasonable, they are the lowest in the nation.

My oldest son entered Humboldt as a computer science major, but now he is a grad student studying theater. What happened?
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Re: Higher Education

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:23 pm

Here from the LA Times, June 14 2010:
The state's renowned master plan for higher education, which in 1960 established separate roles for the University of California, California State University and the community colleges, also declared that the public institutions "shall be tuition free to all residents."



From the major features of the California Master Plan for Higher education, located here:

3. Reaffirmation of California's long-time commitment to the principle of tuition-free education to residents of the state. However, the 1960 Master Plan did establish the principle that students should pay fees for auxiliary costs like dormitories and recreational facilities.


As I understand it, residency is living there a minimum one year and one day, to be documented by some bills or receipts.
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Re: Higher Education

Postby jamiebk » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:47 pm

Unfortunately, the system as we know it is crumbling under its own weight. Costs are just sky-rocketing and the state has no money
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