Scott’s recent post (at LGM) on college debt, which links to a depressing New York Times story, focuses primarily on politics. The narrative has gotten pretty familiar. State education cutbacks force tuitions up. Students take out greater debt to pay for a post-secondary degree. Republicans plead budgetary pressure, but do so while gleefully reducing the tax burden on wealthy Americans. It is certainly blood-boiling stuff.
Many of us, quite rightly, bemoan the shift away from citizenship preparation (i.e., a liberal-arts education) and toward college as vocational training. We don’t think our primary job is to give our students “marketable skills.” But how can we best help our students under these circumstances?
I don’t have any answers, but I worry that my profession is letting our students down.