The Obama Administration’s Education Policy Plan Will Bring Big Changes to Higher Education
Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the United States has seen changes in regards to the accessibility and affordability of higher education. For example, during his 2012 State of the Union Address, he promised that his administration would follow up with a policy plan to help change the way financial aid was awarded and also the accreditation system (Lewin, New York Times, 2013). According to a New York Times article written by Tamar Lewin in August 2013, President Obama is encouraging universities to experiment with ways to reduce costs and to be welcome to work on changes of the accreditation system, such as the significance of the credit hours earn vs. what students have actually learned during their college careers.
As a recent college graduate, who has experienced the rising costs of education and accreditation standards of the pre-Obama era, I welcome the president and his administration’s efforts to reform the current costs of education and methods used to measure student progress while in university. The reason why I welcome these efforts by President Obama’s administration is that lower costs in tuition, courses and other attendance fees will make it more affordable for students to receive a college education. Furthermore, changing the accreditation process will enable students to gain more recognition for the actual knowledge accumulated and mastered, rather than the hours of class time they spent per class, per semester. This will offer students also a strong chance to obtain career training degree online or on campus to prepare them for a job after graduation.
Here’s a list of some of the changes we will see as the Obama Education Policy Plan reaches its goals by 2015:
-the emergence of competency-based degrees, where students are measured credit wise according to what they know at not how many hours they participated in class
-more opportunities to take online courses and to obtain a degree online
-Three year degree and more pervasive dual enrollment programs for high school students in order to jump-start their college education
-Regulatory waivers to colleges and/or universities that offer innovative ways to reduce costs that promote high-quality standards towards award students a higher education diploma, aka Race to the Top Competition
-Major changes to financial aid disbursement, such as longer extension period awards for the Pell Grant, and the pay-as-you-earn student program for federal loan borrowers.
-Change the way colleges are rated by 2015, which will be based on tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of lower-income students in attendance.
As one can see by the information presented in this article and also Tamar Lewin’s article for the New York Times, higher education will change significantly, especially for lower-income students looking for university degrees online or on campus. For more information and/or you wish to read Tamar Levin’s article yourself please go to the following link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/education/obamas-plan-aims-to-lower-cost-of-college.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
There’s also a very interesting video of President Obama speaking about his plan during his recent tour of universities. This one in particular was filmed at the University of Buffalo and can be viewed at this link.