Tag Archives: traditional students

Score: College Hoops 2010points Education 0


http://www.binarybasketball.com/image/basketball-hoop-wallpaperAs the Final Four is set and the championship is near, CBS Sports with its big ratings are smiling. All the endorsements, commercials, and sponsors surrounding the game; yet it doesn’t compare to the BIGGEST ELEPHANT in the room: Why aren’t college ballplayers, who are the featured stars, being paid directly for their performance?

Let’s be real: College Hoops is big business!  The university is paid, the coaches are paid, the audience and alumni continue to buy tickets—So where is the college athlete in the equation.

Speaking of equations.  The college sports system is still based on a bartering system, where the athlete plays a sport and in turn receive a top-notch education (through a fully paid scholarship during attendance)

The trouble is: Many college athletes from the most popular, successful, and winning universities are not staying long to receive a degree.  Due to the exposure of tv contracts and 24-hour sports coverages, their celebrity and notoriety propel them into professional dollars and salaries after a year. 

So what is the real value of a college education?  What’s the point of maintaining an obviously out-dated bartering exchange, where an education is as disposable as a pair of Converse.

Also, Big Major college coaches are being paid more than nobel prize-winning professors at the same university. This must send out some alarm about collegiate priorities, the value of education and the revenue of sports.  Even in the professional game, the players are less-skilled and developed to truly show a higher level expected from being paid multi-millions.

My final comment is that education has value that should not be traded at a cost.  Sure, college for the rest of the student body may help to secure better jobs, but the college athlete requires a new framework.

My suggestion: College athletes should be  formally paid (as employment) while playing sports. If education is really valued, then the athlete can return to school (tuition free) for a lifetime. In theory, the great college player can leave early to pursue a professional career, but the academic doors remain open even after their years of scholarship eligibility.  Taken a step further, if the player declines to return, there should be a voucher given to be used by a family member, son or daughter, of the player to attend that same college (pending some academic standards) at least the first year.

This way, sports, education, and money can stay in their respective places without hypocritical overlap.  So we can go back to enjoying the games and cherishing the value of a college  education.

Who are these ‘American People?’


USA_Flag_MapWatching the political drama-series (which make for great TV) I hear a common theme about the ‘American people.’ This everyday reference comes from every politician, pundit, protester, pontiff, philosopher or professor all staking claim to know, who are in fact, the “American people.” Somehow the American people always agree with their view. The American people simultaneously are both in favor and opposition, wealthy and middle class, intelligent and confused, surely confident and scared completely out of their minds.

They even have polls for the American people.  They give them approval ratings, opinions, phone calls, ‘tweets’, reporter interviews—all so we can get-to-know them.

I wonder if I am an American people.  I must not be, since I’ve never been asked a question or taken a poll. I vote always by myself, yet later the results say that the “American people has spoken.”

I worry that only the majority of people are viewed as the American people.   We seem to ignore that American people are made up of individuals with a hosts of nuanced opinions, likes, dislikes, and ideas that are not always measurable.  Our languages are diverse. Instead, we are given the universal American people dialect: Votes. 

But how can I get a message out about this kind of misrespresentation of Americans?  If I start a group, we will become a movement, then a party, later another ‘American people.’  So, I guess I’m left to this: Writing a blog as a whisper among screams; a unpolled opinion; and unrated interview.  I think I like it better:  Then one day someone will read this and come up with their own opinion—realizing ‘they’ are a person too.

Job or Journey: Making the Choice of Learning


 In our current times of higher unemployment, we are faced to make decisions about the future. Almost five years ago, over 25% of adults participated in formal work-related courses*.  This is the highest concentration as opposed to participating in personal interest or college courses. *National Center of Education Statistics 04-05 http://nces.ed.gov

Workers People

2010 © Iryna Kurhan. Image from BigStockPhoto.com

What’s interesting about this now is would the current data reflect a decline in adults participating in work related courses?  Or will there be an increase in college courses or personal interest, since those unemployed may have more time to pursue other needs.

Regardless of the statistics, there is a viable opportunity for corporations, and any other learning organizations or institutions.  In my view, the adult may no longer have a choice between learning for work, school, or personal interest, but are forced to combine all three. Producers of courses may want to revise their curriculum that is more comprehensive to current employees or students that address the whole person. 

This is also an opportunity for the learners themselves.  Instead of learning for a job, which is insecure in our times, start learning how to create a vocation based on a sober assessment of skills, talents, and passion, instead of a list of competencies or even prior experience. 

In our darkest cloud, there is still hope for sunshine; and even if it rains, it washes us for a clearer view ahead.  Today, we will all be faced with making choices in learning, what will be yours?

“COST-FREE” Courses!


Dollar Sign

Copyright © 2007 Microsoft Corporation

I read something interesting from a book Elements of Learning* where the authors suggest an idea for traditional college students.  In essence, they should absorb the risk of selecting some courses, based on their curiosity, as an experiment to discover their preferences. Such an experiment would be the last time to make these ‘cost-free’ errors

 This is a common yet shortsighted suggestion, especially when the cost of college courses steadily increases. We know for sure that there is no such thing as a cost-free, college course—someone has to pay for it.  To be fair, I believe the authors are referring to the chance for personal growth and awareness for students to discover their interests; thus taking different courses from the norm would encourage them to step-out their comfort zone.

 But, for any student (traditional or non-traditional) in selecting courses, can we really say that the errors and choices related to them are ever ‘cost-free?’   Cost comes in many forms: It can be the expense of not only money, but also time and even convenience.  In the case of non-traditional students, who balance work, family, along with schooling, they actually pay the cost of all three expenses and more. 

 In addition, what is often overlooked beyond costs are the actual benefits in taken the courses in the first place.  I ask you: What is there to gain from taking courses?  And, are you always clear about what these gains are?

 Let’s say the gain or benefit is personal growth: Do students really have to pay-per-credit hour to have growth?  If the benefit is finding a job: Could the time be better spent doing jobs, internships, and apprenticeships that tie to the actual experience that many employers require? 

 These kinds of questions provide no answer, yet may I offer one “free” suggestion: Before we eagerly take a course, we could grow from knowing the costs—and the benefits.  Even if a course is free, we might find out there is nothing to gain, and we just can’t afford it.

*Reference:  Banner & Cannon , The Elements of Learning (1999, p.154)