On the Offensive
In most industries, when businesses start to decline the companies experiencing the drop make changes to improve their bottom lines. They change their prices, improve their quality or start providing better service.
This is not the case in the multibillion-dollar higher education industry. The colleges and universities that control the industry are seeing demand for their products decline, and rather than making an effort to compete they are resorting to backroom tactics to try and run their perceived competitors out of business.
Yes, I'm referring to education as an industry. How else do you explain the ever-spiraling costs of tuition and salaries of "upper management?"
In this case, the victims of this academic dirty dealing are the life-experience universities, which grant degrees based on learning that comes from real-world work, rather than a course catalog.
Using a vast array of media contacts and high-powered public relations firms and mouthpieces, the higher-education establishment has gone on the offensive against life-experience schools, seeking to discredit them and convince the public at large that their degrees aren't worth the paper they're printed on.
Their all-too-willing cohorts in this dark enterprise are various accreditation boards, which have set themselves up as arbiters of what does and does not constitute a quality degree. Seeing their establishment threatened, they have either refused to accredit life-experience universities or laid out requirements for the accreditation that would destroy the essence of what they are trying to achieve: educational equality for those who chose to make their way in the world outside the higher-learning establishment.
The facts are simple: nontraditional school enrollment is skyrocketing, whereas traditional universities find themselves fighting tooth and nail for an ever-dwindling pool of applicants. The big boys are scared, and rather than make changes to try and compete they are using all the clout they can muster to drive the competition off the board. Like a chess Grandmaster beaten by a novice who throws a tantrum and sweeps the pieces from the board, they are attempting to win the game by rendering it null and void.
Institutions like Almeda University are offering to award you a degree based on your years of hard work and life experience. If you have succeeded in your chosen field without a traditional university's degree, why should you not be entitled to signify that success with a perfectly valid life-experience degree?
The world today is evolving beyond traditional ways of doing things. In every facet of life, we are seeing an acceleration of learning, success and self-improvement that outstrips the very idea of a four-year college degree. Young adults two years out of high school are becoming millionaires using the strength of their intellect and determination, rather than riding on a piece of pretty paper bestowed upon them for four years of rote work.
Traditional universities can't deal with that, and so they are simply pretending it's not happening. Fingers in their ears and eyes shut tight, they stagger into the new millennium.
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