The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting opinion piece by Seth Godin called "The Coming Meltdown in Higher Education (as Seen by a Marketer)" [subscription required]. Godin suggests alternatives to the four-year college, such as "gap years, research internships, and entrepreneurial or social ventures after high school," and believes that "There are tons of ways to get a cheap liberal education, one that exposes you to the world, permits you to have significant interactions with people who matter, and teaches you to make a difference (see DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, by Anya Kamenetz)" without going to a mainstream college. Godin argues that from a marketer's point of view, the typical American college is headed for obscurity for these reasons:
- Most undergraduate college and university programs are organized to give an average education to average students. [See "Seven Imaginary Curricula"]
- College has gotten expensive far faster than wages have gone up.
- The definition of "best" [college] is under siege.
- The correlation between a typical college degree and success is suspect.
- Accreditation isn't the solution, it's the problem.