What would it take for an upscale proprietary college/university to succeed?
Community College Dean looks at Britain’s newest proprietary college, which has, he believes a flawed business model.
Then he offers an alternative model:
An upscale proprietary could work, I suspect, if it combined very selective admissions with low class sizes, an extremely narrow set of curricular choices, hotel-style student housing, and a clear identity. The â€œhear occasional lectures by famous peopleâ€ hook wonâ€™t cut it, since anyone who wants to can go online and subscribe to TED talks for free. The structure would have to be intensely student-centered, with the hook being something like â€œproject-based from day one.â€ The value proposition, aside from the self-fulfilling value of exclusivity, would be that if offers what the online world canâ€™t. Iâ€™m envisioning something close to â€œspend four years in close quarters with smart people doing self-directed projects.â€
Is this what a good SLAC should be aiming for? I wonder.
It’s something for me to consider as I move back into the tenure track at a small liberal arts college.