Tuesday, October 5, 2010

For Profit Colleges

Today's Journal Sentinel reports that the Art Institute, located in the Third Ward, is now beginning classes, providing another option for students who want a career in art or design. Interesting...

This is part of a general trend nationwide, to create colleges that cater to adults looking to improve their careers or reinvent their careers. University of Phoenix or Ottawa University are two excellent examples. It's a good idea: There are literally tons of adults who work from 9 to 5 who would like nothing more than to take their lives in a different direction. But who on earth can make the sacrifice to quit their job in order to go back to school? The for-profit college trend provides these people an option they wouldn't otherwise have, sometimes helping to re-forge happier lives, and other times landing well-intentioned people into heavy loads of debt. (And if you thought the credit card companies were bad, check out the hardball tactics of the financiers behind for-profit colleges!)

The answer to my earlier question on who can afford to make the sacrifice to go back to school is this: People like me, that's who! Yes, only individuals like myself can afford the seeming-luxury of quitting one's job and going back to school during the day. And that's only because I have no wife, no kids, and never advanced high enough in my career to think that dropping accounting as a profession was all that big a sacrifice. Yet even I feel it: The crushing blow of going from $40K per year down to $25K, the grinding course workload that leaves no options for a beer on the weekends, the insane prices one must shell out for parking unless you're willing to throw away an additional 45 minutes for a round-trip on a bus. It's insane. I don't blame people for wanting to go to night school for adults instead.

Yet, until recently, the only options for night school have been business majors. Sure, if you want to be an accountant, an actuary, or get your MBA, there are lots of options for you. Hell, you can't go out your front door without tripping on one. But what's out there for anything else? Well, it seems that now, one has the option for art. Yes, you can become a designer, or a draftsman, or perhaps even a cartoonist, if you're willing to go to school at night.

So my question is this: How goddamned long do we have to wait before we get a serious option for science majors? Sure, if you want the bare-bones basics for nursing school, that's available, but if you want a serious biology or physics degree, you're shit out of luck! But apparently, we value art above science, even though a lack of knowledge about art won't destroy us, and a lack of knowledge about science will.

Yes, I'm lashing out because I so wish I could go back to making $40K per year while continuing with school. Wouldn't anybody? But my point is still a valid one: Isn't there just as much money, if not more, in a night-school for the sciences as there is for a night-school for art?

Shit, I hope so.


1 comment:

Annie said...

Ottawa University is not a for-profit school. It was established in 1865 and has a traditional brick and mortar school in Ottawa Kansas. Can you please change that?