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Author Topic: Professors Seek to Reframe Salary Debate  (Read 15552 times)
spinnaker
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« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2012, 8:16:46 PM »


On top of that, accrediting bodies have imposed a blizzard of new regulations and guidelines that are both difficult and expensive to implement - e.g. we are now required by our accrediting body to physically interview all prospective students. Got any idea how much time that takes for several hundred applicants a year?

So yes, higher education has gotten a lot more expensive, but it seems a lot of the discussion where people are anxious to assign blame to somebody other than themselves is only part of the story.  This job is way different than it used to be and since (as far as I can tell) education is not scalable, unlike most other industries we've not been very good at becoming more efficient.  So all we are is more expensive.

No doubt there are others who can support or refute these points using data instead of personal experience, but as an empirical argument I think this makes sense.


Has someone assumed that all applicants even want an in person interview? Sounds like the accrediting organization may have its own issues with bloated staff.

Hate to say it, but maybe it would be better in some ways if there were fewer colleges. Then maybe each one would be working less hard to advertise.

I mean you no disrespect spinnaker, but it does not seem as if you have much experience with or understanding of professional accrediting bodies - I refer to those that accredit degrees and programs in fields that typically lead to licensure or a credential, not the big Dept of Ed sanctioned ones like the North Central Association etc.

Applicants were not consulted - does any industry ask what applicants want?

As to bloated staff - the original motion to make interviews required was made by a lay member of an external accrediting body.  Nobody at any college I am aware of was pushing for this.  Somehow, said external member had the juice to get this idiotic idea turned into what is functionally the law.  Any bloat in the accrediting body has nothing to do with it.  Faculty are are stuck with doing these interviews and now I spend multiple half days each semester talking to prospective students who are terrified of saying something wrong and not being admitted.  

The Accreditation folk only make the rules and sit in judgment of our worth.  None of this has anything to do with the number of colleges and the need to advertise.  FWIW - my program has no need to advertise.  We turn students down regularly.  

My original point is that activities like this are just one of a myriad of things faculty do that do not get included when politicians believe they are figuring out how hard we work.  If your point is that we chose to do this in order to bloat staff levels or workloads, then I am afraid you are mistaken.  

Right, it's been imposed on you.

If transferring from one college to another when both are accredited by the same people doesn't guarantee that your credits transfer, then accreditation may be more advertising than what it purports to be.
As s_a points out, you are confusing institutional accreditation with professional accreditation, but the answer to your question is that institutional accreditation sets minimum standards, while an institution might have higher aspirations for their students.

For example, WASC accredits Caltech, the CSU campuses, and something called Vanguard University; do you think 1st-semester freshman physics is the same in all three of these? - DvF

No, but if you transfer only a portion of the credits because you know that you have higher than average aspirations for your students, that would be a little different from not having faith in the accrediting body.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2012, 8:21:16 PM by spinnaker » Logged

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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2012, 9:01:02 PM »

No, but if you transfer only a portion of the credits because you know that you have higher than average aspirations for your students, that would be a little different from not having faith in the accrediting body.
Practically speaking, partial transfer is tough to do.  If student A covered your 3-hour course material in a 5-hour course, and student B only covered 60% of it in a 3-hour course, how do you handle it?  If you're doing it case-by-case, for every class, for every transfer student, then it can be an administrative nightmare. - DvF
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proftowanda
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« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2012, 9:14:24 PM »

And if your requirement is for an upper-level course in Basketweaving, and a transfer comes in with a lower-level course in Basketweaving, the student probably will transfer the credits -- but will not meet the requirement.

Also keep in mind that many times, the transfer is switching programs, professional schools, etc., with state- or profession-mandated requirements.  A student may have 100 credits toward a liberal arts degree but comes back to be a teacher.  Even if all of those 100 credits transfer -- and I often have seen at least 90 such credits do so -- the student still may have 60 to 90 credits (depending upon which lib arts courses) ahead of prereqs to and then courses in Education, as mandated by the state for the teaching degree (and the license). 

Same for switching to architecture, arts, business (if for the CPA), nursing, and many more -- as well as switching majors even within liberal arts.  I've dealt with a lot of students who complain that their credits didn't transfer, but they did.  They just transferred as electives, not as meeting requirements.  I'e also dealt with a lot of students who are shown how they can graduate faster by sticking with their original program or major, but they don't want that career anymore -- and they still complain about credits not transferring, when they did. 

It's their decision, and it's probably a good one to not continue to graduation for a career that they don't want, but they also have to grow up and face that actions, even good ones, have consequences.
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tenured_feminist
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« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2012, 7:47:52 AM »

Oh my goodness, Towanda, I would rather pound dull nails into my arm with a hammer than have that conversation again.

It was such a beautiful surprise when my bubbly, darling, slightly loopy honors student discovered he was two classes short in his minor (transferred lower division to fill out enough credits, but needs two upper-level courses). He just grinned goofily and said he could do a LOT! more work on his thesis AND take that other new class I'm teaching. It almost never goes down like that.
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