Thursday, March 26, 2015

Unaccredited, For Profit…And Very Legitimate

By Professor Doom

     So a new type of school has popped up to fill the enormous demand for people with computer skills, a demand that is completely unmet by the many bogus “computer science” programs in our schools of higher education.

      Let’s go over some of Hack Reactor’s policies, which are fairly comparable to other such schools:

     First, not everyone with a pulse gets in. A student has to demonstrate that he’s interested in learning, and has already learned the basics, to the satisfaction of Hack Reactor, before they accept the student. Open admissions--in exchange for sweet, sweet, student loan checks!--has done much to destroy higher education. Like old school accreditation, Hack Reactor has real admission requirements. If higher education would tell students up front “hey, you need to have an interest in learning to come here”, our institutions could do more than just jerk students around for years until the loan money runs out, and we’d do better than the 10% or so graduation rates that are so common to our state/non-profit/for-profit schools.

     Second, the curriculum is legitimate. There’s none of this idiocy where students are only expected to spend maybe 2 hours a week sitting in a classroom, with no studying or anything like that after they leave the classroom. In the legitimate, unaccredited school, students spend 8 hours or more a day (wow, that’s almost like real work) actually DOING and LEARNING relevant things. This concept is completely alien to higher education, which has been taken over by a broken student as customer paradigm that doesn’t dare ask students to study, that actually adjusts its programs to facilitate student partying, and that punishes faculty who actually try to push students ahead to become something better. 

     These “real job” schools don’t need student/customers, since they only accept students that legitimately come to learn. They also don’t waste time on history, or philosophy, or the like. Nothing wrong with such subjects, mind you…but this is about job skills. There’s just no reason, if the student is there strictly to learn job skills, to teach anything besides job skills.

Admin: “We’re going to address the budget shortfall from hiring the new Associate Student Resources Dean by increasing the cost of a parking tag by $5. We sell about 20, 000 tags a year, and that should cover most of it…”

--Quality education is just never on the table, admin thinks only of growth. If the student base doesn’t grow, the school won’t have enough money to pay the new deanling’s guaranteed pay raises (faculty get no such guarantee). If the student base shrinks, well, then, guess they’ll have to let go of faculty, because you obviously need less faculty if you have less students. Meanwhile, coding schools have no bloated, overpaid caste of administrators to support…

     The third highlight is cost: between $5,000 and $20,000, for a 12 week program. Yes, that’s steep, but still far below a university education, which runs around $100,000 for four years (and with that much time involved, lost wages is a very legitimate part of the cost, tacking on another $50,000 at least…then add 50% more since 6 years is the average amount of time to get a degree). Rather than waste 4 years of students’ lives learning endless worthless material, these guys focus on job skills, and make the students actually work for those skills. 

     Since they’re not accredited, coding schools have to actually get the money legitimately, without the student loan scam. Unlike “accredited” schools, Hack Reactor has the balls integrity to finance tuition themselves, getting their tuition money back within six months of graduation (heh, compare that to the nightmare of endless student loans that drag on for a lifetime—more people have student loans outstanding than there are college students right now!). 

     Restricted admissions, students perform legitimate coursework, decent cost, no overpaid Poo-Bahs. All of these things are the exact opposite of higher education today’s model of “open admissions, bogus coursework, high price”. Educationists have warped higher education to the monstrosity it is today; by their theories, going back to these abandoned ideas would be a disaster.

     So how do these unaccredited schools perform? Amazingly well! These schools are ridiculously successful; job placement rates can break 90%, and starting graduate salaries can break $80,000 on average. As mentioned before, they do well enough to give guarantees:

--why would anyone go to university to learn computer programming job skills with this kind of deal on the table? 20% of the cost, 15% of the time, and a freakin’ job…or your money back. You think they’ll go ‘open admission’ anytime soon? You wanna bet their graduates are respected in the industry? What do you reckon the odds are they have effective teachers, and not a lot of crappy exorbitantly paid deanlings running Institutes of Sexually Sustainable Partying and other bizarre fiefdoms?

    You really think the grossly overpaid Poo Bahs that control higher education are paying any attention to these types of schools? You think they’ll copy the obvious, successful ideas of “restrict admission, make students work, and make the work relevant” to their job training degree programs? You think they’ll stop taking all those sweet Federal student loan money checks? Of course not, every single one of those ideas would cut into receiving government money that doesn’t care in the least about quality.

     Higher education insists the only way to keep afloat is to have courses with hundreds, even a thousand students for each course. What do the unaccredited schools manage?

--I doubt there’s a university anywhere with a 1:4 ratio, not with schools adding more administrators than students or faculty.

      No, Poo Bahs won’t turn down Federal checks under any circumstance, and the money comes so easily that there’s just no need to be legitimate, or to care in any way about education. Meanwhile, private enterprise can and will do what the broken higher education system cannot do, even with hundreds of billions of dollars handed to the latter.

      Oh, one more kick in the jimmies: you’d think these high tech computer “schools” would do it all online right? They’re run by computer guys with the skills to create online sites, so they totally could do it if they thought it was effective. Most of them don’t do anything online. Only one of the top schools has online training—but it’s 1 on 1 with a personal mentor, instead of the idiotic “multiple choice test you take at home, and we beg you not to use your smartphone to get the answers” nonsense that accredited schools use. 

     Even the computer guys know online coursework is bogus, and that the fastest way to learn advanced skills is to have another human being show you how. You think these guys waste a lot of time with Powerpoints and fill-in-the-bubble foolishness? They’ve got a guarantee of a job to keep, after all, and so they know that such “education” methods just create bogus graduates that nobody will hire. 

     Hmm, it really becomes more and more obvious what a scam higher education is today the more and more you look at legitimate schools.

     These for-profit schools are engaging in policies that are the exact opposite of our state, “non profit” schools, are incredibly effective, and their graduates are desired in the modern workforce, to the point that they can guarantee their graduates actually know something worthwhile in the marketplace of jobs.

     The unaccredited schools, not so coincidentally, are engaging in the policies of accreditation of a century ago, back when an accredited school was a good school. Back then, accreditation meant small classes and “respectable entrance requirements”, and graduates from accredited schools were respected. Accreditation of today requires nothing relating to education…and we have graduates from accredited schools standing in the streets with signs, because nobody wants them, and these graduates have no hope of paying back their student loans.

      Today, standard higher education moves more and more material online, has less and less instructors available to help students, tuition goes ever and ever higher…and moves further and further away from any relevance or desirability at all.

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