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ERIC Number: EJ1070637
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0748-8475
Toward More Productive Higher Education Systems
Fischbach, Ronald
Thought & Action, p81-90 Fall 2005
America's tax-supported colleges and universities are currently enmeshed in a crisis. Legislatures are demanding more productivity--as measured by accelerated graduation rates--while students, for a whole host of reasons, are not progressing through their course work as quickly as they once did. Completing a degree in four years is now rare, and if taxpayer backing for today's institutions of higher learning continues to be tied to the same standard of productivity, publicly supported higher education is doomed. America's colleges and universities are facing three daunting challenges: (1) maintaining a maximized and ethnically diverse student enrollment while not exceeding resources; (2) retaining students long enough for them to complete their degree programs; and (3) increasing graduation rates within four years. To make matters even more challenging, higher education institutions must accomplish these tasks while public resources are declining. Further complicating the picture is the prospect that the resolution of any one of these challenges may result in the exacerbation of one or more of the remaining challenges. The time for bold and new initiatives to bring about a meaningful change in higher education is now--before permanent and crippling consequences beset many of America's institutions of higher learning. This article discusses the following factors that affect higher education systems: changing college population with an increase in minority students and the financial implications associated with this change; increased time in degree completion; and increasing college tuition. Recommendations consist of bold policy initiatives, such as year-round academic programming on all campuses, and a focus on supporting student learning--not just faculty interests--with the aim of maximizing the educational value of existing resources, and funding models that acknowledge the fundamental value of higher education to the nation.
National Education Association. 1201 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-833-4000; Fax: 202-822-7974; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A