Dicta

The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

NAS Embraces Classical Alternative to the PSAT

NAS

Classic Learning Initiatives has developed a new alternative to the PSAT, rolling out the Classic Learning Test 9 (CLT 9) and Classic Learning Test 10 (CLT 10).

Dear Future Philosopher

Robert Koons

NAS member Robert Koons gives advice to those pursuing philosophy.

What to do With That Major?

Jason Fertig

How often do most students work within their "fields of study," and what sorts of jobs do most students end up having?

On the Problem of Student Mismatching

George Leef

Students are choosing universities for which they are underqualified, opting for "party schools" over more prestigious universities. The market of education allows for customers to pick and choose as they wish.

Better Matching of Students and Colleges?

George Leef

In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call, I write about a company, ConnectEdu, that is bringing the same sort of matching that’s used in online dating services to college applications. It seems promising to me and may diminish the prevalence of students enrolling at schools where they are poorly matched. Unfortunately, we still have an informational asymmetry. College officials know a lot about prospective students, but the students will don’t know much about the school. Will a more prestigious, highly-ranked institution mean a better education? Not necessarily. Finding out about the academic culture of colleges, which ranges from Animal House to scholarly monasticism, is crucial, but that takes a lot of digging.

Is Higher Ed on the Brink of Major Change?

George Leef

In the recent book by Clay Christensen and Henry Eyring, The Innovative University, the authors contend that many colleges and universities will be left in the dust unless they figure out how to adapt, much as companies have crumbled when innovative technologies hit their markets and they couldn't rapidly adjust to it.

College Debt and Colleges' Extravagance

Glenn Ricketts

Why is there such ballooning debt among so many new college graduates? 

Video: Andrew Ferguson on the College Admissions Circus

"The entire edifice of higher education now has a huge propaganda machine at its heart, relentlessly pounding home the idea that everybody should go to college." - Andrew Ferguson, father of a college student

Another Non-Problem That Bothers Egalitarians

George Leef

Today's Inside Higher Ed has a story about a new study on students from low-income families and their college choices. 

Admissions Insanity

John C. Chalberg

Historian John C. Chalberg reviews Andrew Ferguson's Crazy U, and concludes that the title has some merit.

Is There a College My Son or Daughter Can Trust?

John Leo

Peter Wood answers a parent's question, "If the quality of college education is declining as rapidly as many people say, where do you think my daughter or son should go to school?"

Before You Choose That Credential...

Jason Fertig

Jason Fertig modifies tips from the Wall Street Journal for parents of college-bound children.

Alternatives to College?

George Leef

James Altucher suggests eight.

Readers Answer "Why Did You Choose Your College?"

Ashley Thorne

Last week we started a new "Question of the Week" series. Our first question was Why did you choose the college you attended/attend? Readers answered via email, Twitter, and website comments: John D. Beatty: I chose American Military University because of its accessibility, cost and flexibility. Cashew14: I chose The King’s College because I got a good scholarship & really liked the college's vision & the people I met. Also fell in love w/ NYC. Josephmcbee: I was told by my employer that I needed a degree or I would lose my job. I chose a program I could complete part time in two years or less. DLeiv: because it was challenging academically, in line w my aspirations & in NYC, where I could really apply what I was to be taught. K. Tyson: It was close. Roger W. Barnett: NROTC scholarship at Ivy League school (Brown).  (In the era "BC" --Before the Craziness) Juliemrobison: I picked Hillsdale because they accept no federal funds, the American Studies program, small, and they teach how to think, not what This week's question is How Many Colleges Should Students Apply To?

Question of the Week: How Many Colleges Should You Apply To?

Ashley Thorne

To answer, leave a comment on this article, email us, or respond via Facebook or Twitter (no more than 140 characters).

Question of the Week: Why Did You Choose Your College?

Ashley Thorne

We're starting a new "Question of the Week" series. We'll have a new higher-education-related question every week. To answer, leave a comment on this article, email us, or respond via Facebook or Twitter (no more than 140 characters).

How Colleges Have Given Up on Educating Your Child...No Comment

Ashley Thorne

A new book is a useful "roadmap for parents on how to steer clear of the worst of [college campuses]."

What Makes College Worth the Cost?

Ashley Thorne

Expected future earnings? A rigorous and complete education?

Boutique Colleges Can Thrive

George Leef

My Pope Center colleague Jay Schalin writes here about the difficulties that very small colleges face, but also their prospects for success at filling a niche in the vast educational marketplace.

Higher Education And The Great Chain of Being

Mitchell Langbert

In the twentieth century, psychologists who studied  human resource management  realized that employment tests were the best way to select  job applicants.  Tests need to be verified or "validated," though. Much of the personnel psychology literature is devoted to the study of whether one test or another is valid for various purposes.  One finding  is that IQ tests work.  They explain a fourth of the variance in job performance. Despite the efficacy of employment testing it seems likely that the chief method of allocating human resources in the United States is the college or university attended. Graduates of prestigious institutions obtain jobs in high-end Wall Street, advertising and consulting firms.  Other college graduates get good jobs in corporations and government. Non-graduates often do not. Baccalaureate institution attended is accepted by all as a human resource allocation method.  But it lacks validation. Having recently been exposed to medieval history I learned a concept prevalent in the medieval world that seems to explain the fixation on college rankings--"the great chain of being". In medieval times, it was believed that the social hierarchy reflected the celestial hierarchy. The king was like God, the nobles like angels, etc. The interest in ranking colleges and universities and using them to allocate human resources is atavistic.   The twentieth century rejected the nineteenth century's individualism in favor of medieval institutions.  The idea that higher education is first and foremost a liberal and learning experience seems to have been sacrificed in the interest of the great chain of being.