Friday, May 24, 2013

College (Un)bound by Jeffery J. Selingo

I'm not sure that I should be reading this book, seeing as I'm trying to adapt to university and need encouragement not a questioning of whether I should even be here, but I read it. And I can sum up the book by quoting the author (this quote comes towards the end of the book):

"I believe additional education after high school is absolutely critical. I still consider a two- or four-year college campus one of the best places to obtain that education. The problem is that a significant number of students today are poorly matched with the college they eventually attend. We lack high-quality educational substitutes for those who are ill-suited to traditional colleges and universities at eighteen. It seems we wend some kids off to college because there is no where else to put them. The campus is a convenient, albeit expensive, warehouse."
So basically, university is good. Except for some people who aren't suited. And the present system sucks. But other than that, it's all good!

Ok, so I'm making it sound a lot more cynical than it is. The author really does believe in the university of tomorrow. The university of tomorrow is online (at least partly) and is extremely personalised. It's also cheaper (I can't argue with that!).

The book is divided into three parts: "How We Got Here" (why it is the way it is), "The Disruption" (forces working to change college) and "The Future" (The Future is Good - apparently). The last fifty or so pages are a list (with descriptions) of "collages of the future" and a checklist that is supposed to help you decide which college/university to go to. Being in a university (and happy in it!), I skipped this last part.

By the way, is there a difference because college and university? I know there is one in England, but how about America? This book is America-centric so I'm not sure if "College" is the accepted term.

And yes, this is, to me, the book's weakness. It's very America-centric. If you're not interested in American Higher Education, you don't need to bother reading this.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

P.S If you're curious about my university, I wrote a blog post about it here

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