Colleges are upending majors

EA1E7765-836C-455D-A70B-D68F552A1E8EPrinceton commencement, 1909. Photo: Paul Thompson/FPG/Getty Images

In 1869, at Harvard, Charles Eliot invented the college major as we know it — each student would be channeled into a specialized area of study, and move on to a stable, lifelong job.

The big picture: A century and a half later, American colleges pump out some 4.5 million new bachelor’s degrees every year, but the context — the present and future of work — has changed entirely.

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A Chinese university suspended a student’s enrollment because of his dad’s bad social credit score

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A Chinese student had his enrollment at a university suspended because of his father’s bad social credit score. The father, surnamed Rao, had failed to repay a $29,900 loan and was added to a debtor blacklist that prevented a university from accepting his son. State media reported that the incident also caused Rao’s social credit score to drop.

China is expected to roll out a national social credit system in 2020, but it remains to be seen if citizens will actually be given a “trustworthiness” score or if they’ll just be subjected to more blacklists.

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Record Numbers of College Students Are Seeking Treatment for Depression and Anxiety — But Schools Can’t Keep Up

 

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Not long after Nelly Spigner arrived at the University of Richmond in 2014 as a Division I soccer player and aspiring surgeon, college began to feel like a pressure cooker. Overwhelmed by her busy soccer schedule and heavy course load, she found herself fixating on how each grade would bring her closer to medical school. “I was running myself so thin trying to be the best college student,” she says. “It almost seems like they’re setting you up to fail because of the sheer amount of work and amount of classes you have to take at the same time, and how you’re also expected to do so much.”

 

At first, Spigner hesitated to seek help at the university’s counseling center, which was conspicuously located in the psychology building, separate from the health center. “No one wanted to be seen going up to that office,” she says. But she began to experience intense mood swings. At times, she found herself crying uncontrollably, unable to leave her room, only to feel normal again in 30 minutes. She started skipping classes and meals, avoiding friends and professors, and holing up in her dorm. In the spring of her freshman year, she saw a psychiatrist on campus, who diagnosed her with bipolar disorder, and her symptoms worsened. The soccer team wouldn’t allow her to play after she missed too many practices, so she left the team. In October of her sophomore year, she withdrew from school on medical leave, feeling defeated. “When you’re going through that and you’re looking around on campus, it doesn’t seem like anyone else is going through what you’re going through,” she says. “It was probably the loneliest experience.”

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Top 10 colleges in the U.S. with the biggest application drops

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This fall, more than 20 million students are expected to return to college, a 24 percent increase from 2000. Still, the enrollment surge doesn’t mean that all colleges have gotten more popular. Some expensive private colleges have experienced significant drops in the number of high school seniors applying, according to a recent report. Elite Boston College has suffered the biggest plunge.

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Will Coworking Replace Colleges?

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Futurist Tom Frey:  When I first brought up the idea of coworking taking over colleges, it seemed like an absurd notion. But there is a secret reason that very few people are grasping.

At first glance, the highly structured ivory towers of academia seem to be on the opposite end of the spectrum from the unstructured anything-goes world of coworking. But the more I thought about it, it seems inevitable that the two are on a collision course.

In fact, it’s already happening, but not in the ways you may imagine.

NOTE:  Anyone interested in learning to code, DaVinci Coders offers multiple courses designed to get you into the rapidly growing technology industry.  For more info please visit davincicoders.com.

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With many college graduates unemployed or underemployed, is college worth it?

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Many college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, leading some to speculate whether college is worth it, in our post-2008/2009 slow growth recovery.  Is some of the planning for college just plain wrong?  How does the future look for millions of unprepared, untrained, or misdirected job seekers?   Continue reading… “With many college graduates unemployed or underemployed, is college worth it?”

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Why college tuition really costs so much

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It used to be that baby boomers paid for college with the money they made from their summer jobs, but then, over the course of the next few decades, public funding for higher education was slashed.  Forcing the millennial generation to take on crushing educational debt loads, because these radical cuts forced universities to raise tuition year after year.   Continue reading… “Why college tuition really costs so much”

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More important, degrees or skills?

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Degrees don’t matter anymore, skills do

By Miles Kimball, Professor, University of Michigan

If I were to make a nomination for the most destructive belief in our culture, it would be the belief that some people are born smart and others are born dumb. This belief is not only badly off target as a shorthand description of reality, it is the source of many social pathologies and lost opportunities. Continue reading… “More important, degrees or skills?”

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