Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Students Confront Higher Ed Policy Advisors

Meanwhile, in Boston, my friends at the PIRGs showed up at a public meeting of the Commission on Higher Education and managed to get students' voices heard.:

To draw attention to rising student indebtedness, the United States Students Association and the Public Interest Research Groups held a lunchtime news conference across from the hotel where the hearing was held. Holding a sign that read "Student Debt Alert" and wearing buttons that read "Say It Loud: Grant Aid Now," students said that educational debt is forcing young people from low-income families to forgo college and is discouraging college graduates from entering public-sector jobs...."Students are entering the economy a slave to Sallie Mae," said Joshua Chaisson, a student at the University of Southern Maine.

The 19-member commission was created last fall and charged with developing a national strategy on higher-education. It is scheduled to present its recommendations to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings by August 1.


Anonymous said...

Hi Anya,

First, I am an assistant professor of engineering at a small four-year college in the NW. However, I am also working on a doctorate, so I am a student as well.

I watched your presentation on CSPAN this morning and was in agreement with everything I heard you say. Well done and thank you!

There are so many people capable of doing well in post-secondary education, but are unable to attend due to the cost of education.

Do you think it would be possible for a group of concerned educators to form an online college? A school that worked with students unable to attend traditional institutions? This school would focus on quality education while keeping costs down.

You see, I know there are others like me that are willing to sacrifice some income (I already am!) to reach young persons that deserve a shot. If the desire to learn, desire to teach, and technology are in place, it would seem this could be done. I know accreditation could be an issue, but if the school were good enough, industry would welcome the graduates and accreditation could become a non-issue.

Maybe this is a fantasy on my part, but I am tired of costs going up, federal/state support eroding, and capable young minds serving burgers.

Anya, I am a good teacher (not boasting here). In fact, I am passionate enough about education that I sacrifice income to stay in education. So, do you think I am just living in a fantasy world or can we really make a change here?

Thank you for your time.


Anonymous said...

Hello Anya,

This is Joshua Chaisson, the student you mention in this blog entry. I want to thank you for taking an active interest in issues that are transforming our neglected cohort. Your work is powerful and needed. If college students had more voices like yours in the media we may not find ourselves in the trouble we are obviously in. I will continue reading your blogs, articles, and books. I ask that you please continue to tell our story, continue to help positively shape our nations politics, continue to write for the future generation that will shape our nation.


Joshua Chaisson