Series: Costs Down, Quality Up
Historically, initiatives to improve quality have also meant added cost—smaller class sizes, more faculty who conduct research, etc.—but this is no longer a sustainable model for all institutions. What are the innovations that can actually drive the cost to educate a student lower while driving critical outcomes like student success and completion higher? This series offers provocative questions that challenge the cost-quality paradigm and the old ways of managing institutional strategy and growth.
Also in this series:
Why Good is Still the Enemy of Great for Most Colleges and Universities
by Robert C. Dickeson, President Emeritus, University of Northern Colorado
After a visit to a university campus, I received the following inquiry from one of its academic leaders:
Bob, when you visited, you mentioned that we have too many GE course options. We are taking a look at this. What are the advantages of decreasing the number of options? Is this a resource question? What if the course is part of a major? Is there a problem including it as a GE distribution as well?
This inquiry deserves a serious response and, as it also affects academic sensibilities on other college and university campuses, I thought I’d write a fuller response. In this article, I will speak briefly to:
- Why general education is critical
- Why general education has gone astray
- Why this is an issue of resources, not just quality
- Specific, practical suggestions for reviewing the general education curriculum