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No, Yale is Not the Answer to Economic Mobility | Confessions of a Community College Dean – Inside Higher Ed

 

When The Girl was looking at colleges, I took her on a walking tour of Princeton.  It’s a lovely campus, and it’s only about 45 minutes from where we live.  It’s on a train line that makes it ea…….

 

When The Girl was looking at colleges, I took her on a walking tour of Princeton.  It’s a lovely campus, and it’s only about 45 minutes from where we live.  It’s on a train line that makes it easy to get to New York City or Philadelphia without a car, and it’s academically worthy of her.  (TG is blisteringly smart, with the credentials to prove it.)  She enjoyed the tour well enough, but let me know she had no intention of applying.  It was too close to home, and there was no way she’d get in anyway.  Statistically, she was probably correct.  She left the state to find her academic home.

 

I mention that to give some context to my response to Ryan Craig’s piece in IHE last week advocating that Yale open a campus in Houston.  Craig’s argument is that Houston is a large and fast-growing city (true), it has a smaller higher education footprint than one would expect for a city of its size (I don’t know, but I’m willing to accept this for the sake of argument), and that only a big name university like Yale could make enough of a splash to change the conversation.

 

Oddly, Houston Community College goes entirely unmentioned in the piece.  According to the College Scorecard, Houston CC has roughly 48,000 students.  Yale has 4,700 undergrads, or slightly less than one-tenth of what HCC has.  As a public institution, HCC is accountable to the voters of Houston; as a private institution, Yale is accountable only to its Trustees.  A Texan version of The Girl would have little to no chance of being admitted to Yale, but would have no problem being admitted to HCC.  

 

Craig’s piece takes an existing “conversation” around higher education as a given, and in so doing, reinforces it.  If only the top 20 or so universities matter, as he assures us they do, then the only hope for higher education is that they start sprouting branch campuses.  After all, if they can do it in Qatar, they can do it in Texas.

 

To which I …….

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/no-yale-not-answer-economic-mobility

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