Under pressure to award more degrees, colleges may lower standards to pump up graduation numbers, warns Watson Scott Swail of Educational Policy Institute on College Puzzle.
Some propose giving a bachelor’s degree to students with 120 credits, even if the student hasn’t completed a course of study. Such graduates won’t strengthen the workforce, Swail writes.
Others want high school students to earn college credits to speed their way to an associate degree. Unlike Advanced Placement, dual-enrollment classes recruit average and below-average students. Can these students really handle college-level courses? Swail suspects the classes will have to be watered down. That will produce more semi-educated people with degrees.
AP is backed by national exams. Dual-enrollment courses — sometimes taught by high school teachers — don’t have a way to show that students are performing at the college level. I predict that will be a growing concern.