I am sensing a disturbing trend emerging from recent discussions: a movement to measure an institution's success and relative affordability by its four-year rather than the traditional six-year graduation rate.
Graduation rates, post-graduation employment rates, and loan repayment rates are crucial metrics for all schools, and we should make this data widely available. Beyond this, however, one size does not fit all.
Like many generations of immigrants before them, Latinos are making their mark on our social and economic landscape. The recent presidential election is a clear case in point. For Latinos, the next big frontier is the college campus.
What if the "official" graduation rate doesn't give the full picture of how many students graduate? As things now stand, the current rate calculation doesn't include students who transfer into a college and graduate.
The "typical" college student has changed. Nearly three out of four college students today aren't enrolled in a full-time, four-year degree program. They're balancing jobs, family and other priorities as they work to complete college.
The national goal must be to make the U.S. the number-one country in producing college graduates. And we must also ensure that low-income students of color are graduating at the same rates as wealthier students. Achieving that would be a proud legacy for Obama's second term.
Systematic pursuit of children's wellbeing and happiness in secure environments takes precedence over measured academic achievements in Finnish schools, according to Pasi Sahlberg, author of the award-winning book, Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?
As students receive their much awaited college admission notices, it's a great time to remind everyone in higher education that there's a huge overemphasis on acceptance, often at the expense of completion.
Though I make these observations, do not see me as an apologist and excuse-maker for higher education. There is much to be done to improve student success as it takes its place along with access as a national priority.
Many colleges and universities mount similar programs. But, what if all 4,000 of the nation's institutions of higher education were to create three or four similar programs? I think the results would be remarkable.