Where Completion Goes Awry: The Metrics for Success Mask Mounting Problems with Quality
By Carol Geary Schneider
While the United States is still among the top five most educated nations internationally, it has slipped to fifteenth in terms of the rate of college completion for Americans aged twenty-four to thirty-five. This unhappy development so at odds with our history of international leadership both in college-going and in world-class postsecondary institutions has rightly been taken as a wake-up call. With vigorous leadership from policy centers and major philanthropies, educators now are intensely focused on reversing this downward trend. Completion and productivity initiatives are cascading, and new performance incentives for improved degree production are being unveiled in one state system after another.
Our nation s future does indeed depend on developing all Americans talents to the fullest extent possible, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) has been strongly committed to that goal since we first launched our Greater Expectations initiative (the forerunner of our current Liberal Education and America s Promise, or LEAP, endeavors) over a decade ago. In the opening pages of the 2002 Greater Expectations report, we noted the evidence that college has become a revolving door for entirely too many students, at high cost to their hopes for the future and to society s need for a well-educated citizenry. In that spirit, we have welcomed the intensified focus on student success and completion, which AACU s board of directors embraced in an official statement released in 2010.
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Read the entire article: http://www.aacu.org/liberaleducation