Colllege vs Not College is the wrong question

An epiphany hit me when reading National Review Online “Credibility WIthout a Degree”, which is that the “too many people go to College” debate is the wrong one. In that debate linked, Charles Murray and Peter Theil makes accurate criticisms of the College system and the false credential value that is  the BA degree …. but the other side was equally convincing in noting how individuals and society both benefit from more education. The epiphany led to this comment:

There is another approach to this dilemma, which is to drastically lower the cost of higher education by combining online education based learning with 3rd party credentialing. Motivated students will be able to learn from various sources and get the certifications they need for employment. We will move in this direction as students and employers start to realize that more precise credentialing than “BA” is not only less expensive, but also gives a better accounting for what the employee really brings. It’s not that students shouldn’t go to College, it’s that students in the 21st century shouldnt go to 20th century-and-before based higher education. There’s a new model, that’s better, cheaper, and more attuned to 21st job market.

There you have it. It’s not that ‘too many kids are getting educated’ On the contrary, I wish more were while they are in school!  It’s that too many students are trapped in an educational model that costs too much and does too little, and students need an educational model and system that costs less, facilitates more effective learning, and is more attuned to the real 21st century needs.

I am working on a startup called VeritasU that aims to provide the learning platform for students in credit-by-exam situations. We are starting with AP and CLEP, because over a million students a year are able to use AP and CLEP to earn College credit and or college prerequisite standing. As we move forward, we will build out our efficient and scalable collaborative online learning platform with shared and open educational content; this provides a cost-efficient yet highly effective learning system that will make for a better educational model.

It’s where (higher) education needs to go if we want to liberate students from an overpriced out-of-date and inflexible education model.

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