The 'Professionalized' Solution to the 'College Bubble'.


Sociology and Criminal Justice

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It has been argued that higher education is about to encounter a 'bubble' comparable to the one the housing market did. Critics charge either that current college resources cannot meet the potential demand or that the demand is likely to decline such as to produce excess supply. Among the problems cited are spiraling high costs, shrinking enrollments, low graduation rates, declines in humanities majors, extended periods of matriculation, inferior quality, and a lack of social justice. By the same token, there is a lack of agreement about how colleges should be reformed. Some commentators insist that higher education must be more efficient. Meanwhile others focus on academic relevance. For still others the crucial goal is fairness, which generally comes down to social mobility, affordability, and affirmative action. The question then becomes: How are we to decide what should be done, which, in turn, depends on how we conceptualize the mission of higher education. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]