The Way We Rank Colleges is Wrong

November 10, 2017 15:00 |

Our economic reality is different than at any time in history. This is impacting colleges and universities and how we rank them.

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Karl McDonnell and Tim Taylor wrote an incredible article about how the economic reality of 2017 is different than at any time and this should impact how we review and rank colleges. They argue that “we cannot continue applying an antiquated educational model – college rankings included – to a new economic reality”. They also point out that 6.1 million jobs are “going unfilled due to the lack of qualified workers”.

There is obviously a gap between what is being taught from Kindergarten - 12th grade/college and joining the workforce. Many companies are concerned with their future applicants not having the skills they need. Companies are paying unqualified post-graduates to train full-time when they could have been training them part-time all through college.

The way we rank colleges based on acceptance rates, SAT/ACT scores and counselor surveys, instead of on graduation rates, degree completion and job placement and advancement, is unfathomable. While I was researching my options in high school, I would have loved if there was a website that reviewed how much assistance students received in locating internships and apprenticeships, the network quality of key members of the teaching staff and how much assistance was offered to seniors looking for positions in their field and even post-graduates.

Like Karl and Tim said, “Today’s gap between supply and demand of well-trained workers is unsustainable for employers, workers and our nation… We need a fundamental overhaul of America’s education-to- workforce pipeline, and educators and employers must take the lead by working together to rebuild it.

We can look forward to the union between companies and college institutions to create opportunities for future students to apprentice or train in several positions while in school. This will arm them with the skills necessary to succeed in a career today.