Arkansas public colleges and universities, all 33 of them, saw a decrease in enrollment in 2013. That’s because two-year colleges had a six percent enrollment decline. Additionally, the state’s private colleges and universities enrollment dropped this year.
The drop in enrollment may reflect an improving state economy as well as an ADHE commitment to improving college graduation rates.
Two-year-colleges often get spikes in enrollment during economic periods rife with big industrial layoffs. Many students trade lives of carpentry or blue collar skills for a degree in computers. They idealistically seek jobs in their field upon graduation.
Pragmatically, a computer science technical degree in Arkansas would be of equal use and worth in a supervisory or managerial position in company anybody and anything. A computer science graduate stuck in the idea that he is a science man and there for of no use to a company that needs a manager to sell pet food and hay for instance is probably unemployed.
Bottom line, only stubborn people become disillusioned with the value of a college degree simply because they do not find jobs in their fields. Those who need a degree for economic advancement take pride in the degree. They don big boy boots and look for work that agrees with their professional ethos, even when it’s not necessarily their major.
Baptist Health and Jefferson School of Nursing reported an average increase of 16.6 percent in student enrollment. The increase supports research that finds technical degree holders earn higher salaries than the bachelor degree. On another note, graduation rates at Baptist and Jefferson would indicate more about the institutions academic rigor and resolve to graduate its students.
In Arkansas the problem of retention and graduation has long been the bigger burden and shame of two-year-colleges.
This year’s state decline in enrollment should signal total legislative and academic commitment to higher education degrees.
This translates to academics bending over ass backwards to seek and retain students who demonstrate clear potential to graduate. Thus improve statistics.
The two percent decline in enrollment—as well as decreased funding that may accommodate it—is well worth it. College should remain an institution for those with a cerebral appreciation for the arts, regardless of the career field that graduate chooses after graduation.
To appreciate metaphors that make lives comedic, tragic and sexy, students have to study those metaphors.
A prevailing belief that not everyone who enrolls in college is ready to study abstractions and ideas is quite valid because more often than not, the real world, the right here and now, suppresses human desire to instinctually and effectively waken a dream.