Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We Honor Our Vets...By Sending Them to Community College

In honor of Veterans' Day, read Wick Sloane's excellent column in Inside Higher Ed. This chart comes from the column.

The Devil's Workshop
Highly Selective
Veterans Day Survey

Institution Current Undergraduate Veteran Enrollment
Yale 0
Princeton 0
Williams 0
Harvard 4
Dartmouth 16
Stanford 30
Bunker Hill
Community College
285

(c)Inside Higher Ed


Kind of embarrassing for my alma mater, which campus is dominated by a big, imposing, marble rotunda with the names of what must be a few hundred fallen heroes from the Revolutionary War on down, not to mention a statue of Nathan Hale outside Connecticut Hall ("I regret that I have but one life to give...")

Two unappealing options. Do our warriors no longer represent the best of what this nation has to offer? Or is it our elite universities that have slipped from the pedestal?

9 comments:

Ted_Major said...

Aren't the data incomplete? How would the picture be different if you looked also at the number of recent alumni who are vets? Wouldn't we expect the top students to be officers rather than enlisted personnel, and therefore likely to go to college before enlisting? You might even see a reverse trend, with elite universities having a larger number of alumni enlist, as opposed to a large number of veterans enroll.

MrsCasanova said...

At least they are trying to help in some way.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, never mind that unlike you and your friends, the vets aren't stupid enough to think that going to some Ivy League school isn't nearly as important as learning to do something you enjoy and that you can make a living doing. It cracks me up to see the morons in the dying old media look to you and people like you as if you are voices of our generation. Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

When I left the Army I went to a community collage for their diesel and heavy equipment mechanic program. I've always been a hands on kinda guy and when I'm fixing a broken machine I'm almost always happy. Now that I'm 14 years into my career and have moved up the skill latter a bit I'm now earning 33 bucks an hour. There are a lot of people with expensive degrees that would envy that wage. As a bonus the work day just shoots by because I almost always enjoy what I'm doing. So you can keep your high stress insecure careers that require these degrees. I like where I am.
I also used to brag that even if we had a second great depression, I'd still be working. It looks like I'm going to be able to test that theory out now. So far so good.

Don Thieme said...

Unfortunately, recent politics here in the United States have made it smart to "pick your war" rather than trust your government to send you where you are needed. I would think that some of the best and brightest are coming back from combat, however. Leading universities would be wise to offer them scholarships.

Distance Learning said...

Well,

can't say much about anyone because don't have information to share with you all.

:)

Thnx

Anonymous said...

Nice chart of figures to make whatever point it is that you're trying to make. As we all know, you can twist numbers to say whatever you like.

Now, you've provided the numbers and the point is clear. However, how many veterans applied to the Ivy League schools in the first place? Don't you think that might be an interesting figure to also provide to put some context around what you're attempting to show?

Maybe, it's a case that the veterans lean towards the community college because it leads to a degree faster and they can get out and work faster? And yes, it is much more affordable. Wouldn't that also make the point of your new book - about how the origins of "college" and "university" have their roots in "community"? DOH! Got you there.

I'd also make the argument, that most all of the veterans had no intent of ever going to the Ivy League school in the first place. How many do you think had their hearts set on Harvard or Yale, but said "No, I'm going to put my life and my family's on hold, and enlist"? Or "I'd planned to go to the Ivy League school but couldn't afford it, and I was going to serve for a few years to save money and then go"? Slim to none.

Those veterans have families to support. The majority don't have the time, the money, or wherewithal to take on four years of the rigors demanded by the schools you list. That's just the fact. It has nothing to do with the schools discriminating against them or that their service to our country is not being considered.

But then, had you looked at things objectively, and not always through the glasses of a journalist who needs to get a story, that wouldn't be as interesting - would it?

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ultimas de anita said...

This appears to be quite a controversial entry. Interesting data though, and thought provoking.