Flexibility in American Higher Education
“Yes, an elite education at stratospheric prices will smooth the way into law or medical school and supply a network of useful future contacts… There is little flexibility in American higher education to allow for alternative career tracks.” This statement given by Camille Paglia in her August 2010 article “Revalorizing the Trades” in the Chronicle of Higher Education could not be more incorrect. There is an immense amount of flexibility in American higher education. One does not have to limit oneself to law or medical school to gain future contacts or simply to receive an education from an accredited university and have a successful career.
If one is looking for a university to supply a network of useful future contacts that certainly does not limit ones available choices to law or medical school. There are wonderful opportunities to surround oneself and become acquainted with future contacts at local universities in the form of Honors Colleges. As stated by the National Collegiate Honors Council one of the basic characteristics of an Honors Program or Honors College is to “emphasizes active learning and participatory education by offering opportunities for students to participate in regional and national conferences, Honors Semesters, international programs, community service, internships, undergraduate research, and other types of experiential education.” Honors Colleges open the doors to so many opportunities to excel in one’s future career.
There are many colleges and universities to choose from. There are a total of 58 colleges and universities in the state of Arkansas alone. Going beyond Arkansas one would discover hundreds of universities in America that offer a wide range of degree plans.
The career tracks accessible through America’s higher education are nearly endless. Degree plans offered range from Physics to Early Childhood Education. Southern Arkansas University offers a total of 81 bachelor’s degree plans and eighteen at the master’s level. Southern Arkansas University has four academic colleges; these are the College of Business, College of Education, College of Liberal and Performing Arts and the College of Science and Technology. All offer bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees. Elsewhere in the United States universities and colleges offer hundreds of degree plans. These degree plans make accessible the many career tracks found in America and beyond.
Because of the great flexibility in American higher education colleges and universities are able to hire experts in the field to instruct students. If there was “A radical stripping down of course offerings, with all teachers responsible of a core curriculum” that would immensely lessen the flexibility of higher education, as most current experts would not be capable of teaching those core classes. Therefore Paglia’s suggestion would limit the pool of instructors a college or university could hire.
There is a vast amount of flexibility in American higher education. One does not have to limit oneself to law or medical school to gain future contacts. Honors Colleges and Honors Programs offer notable gateways to future contacts. There are hundreds of colleges and universities in America that offer many degree plans that lead to numerous career tracks.