[KLUG Advocacy] Re: [KLUG Members] Dropping CIS enrollments

Adam Tauno Williams adam at morrison-ind.com
Tue Aug 24 08:02:32 EDT 2004

> >> >People went into CIS for the money?!
> >> Once upon a time, indeed! I can't remember who was President when this
> >> was understood, but it happoened... honest!
> >Wow!  I'll tka eyour word for it.
> I looked it up.. the Presidents involved were Nixon, Ford, and Carter.

Oh, those guys.  I only remember Carter for interrupting TV shows.
> >> I've heard about that on the radio -
> >> The radio?!? What's that? :)
> >Just an antique technology I have a fondness for.
> My kids called it "TV without the pictures". They also called a Selectric 
> typewriter "A printer without the computer".

I had an 1812 Underwood!  There was no confusing it with a "printer".

> >Maybe we should just move to a total-cert word and forget about degrees.  
> >Offer something like a "basic literacy" cert, a "corporate ettiquette"
> cert,
> >or even a "Can follow instructions" cert. Then just pick applicants with
> the
> >right combo.
> The problem with this system is that it's too modular, and it does not have a
> core.

True, but at least they'd mean SOMETHING concrete,  a college degree tells me
next to nothing.

> The main difference between "trade schools" and "certifications" and a 
> conventional higher education is that the latter is intended and expected
> to provide a broad grounding in subjects that are not nessesarily related
> to the skills required to earn a living, or assure a potential employer that
> an applicant is qualified to provide a given function to the organization.

Yes, I understand and agree.  But this is 'in theory',  in practice this rarely
happens; and a degree is no where near proof "that an applicant is qualified to
provide a given function to the organization."

> The educated person of a century ago was schooled in history, at least one 
> foriegn language, classical mathematics and logic, lierature, and writing.
> The notion that one persued a higher education merely for gain would strike 
> most educated peoiple in 1904 as quite crass. Education was a pre-requisite 
> for good citizenship and participation in public affairs.

Ok,  but this concept or principle is DEAD.  Mentioning "citizenship" gets you
at best rolling of they eyes, and at worst labeled as a wonky "liberal"
(whatever that means).

> Thr current system of education is largely a product of the GI bill and the 
> post-WW-II era of mass education as the armies returned to civilian life. It
> became clear, by the late 50's that people who didn't get a good education 
> were going to fall behind. Now what we're seeing (say, in the last 10-15
> years, perhaps more) is that it is possible to get a higher education AND
> fall behind anyway, since a large mass of people has that level of education
> (or so they beleive).

Yep.  Only all my experience is in the last 

> To answer this demand, Colleges and universities scaled up, and in doing so 
> became less exclusive, and more like job training centers. Some programs 
> established good professional development standards, as has been related
> about 
> CPA's. Others (like many hard sciences) retrenched a bit, and the bar was 
> raised for real contributors, to the Masters and Doctoral level (physics is 
> a good example of this: try getting a good research position with less than a
> Masters from a top school!). At the same time, schools of higher education 
> diversified as new fields opened up in many areas in response to an explosion
> of subjects, under many influences, everything from the Cold War to the Ci
> Rights movement, globalization, and ethnic awareness.

Thats why I mentioned the CPA.  It imposes some external barrier, seperate from
the college, overseen by a third-party.  So if the college failed, the CPA test
filters that.

> Certification directs modular, specific training in a particular set of
> skills, 
> a working knowledge of how to use them, and when. While that's useful, it's 
> not the same as a higher education, and it's simplistic to think that one can
> or "should" replace the other. In practice, the two can complement each
> other. Perhaps the next generation or so we'll see that.

I hope so.

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