Giving Compass' Take:
- Across the country the debate rages: What skills do students need to learn in college to go on to successful careers after school? In Wisconsin, core liberal arts subjects like English and history are being replaced in a push for workforce development.
- How can schools provide both essential skills like English and fill the need for job-specific skills like advanced manufacturing?
- Learn how vocational training and traditional courses can work together.
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The University of Wisconsin’s Stevens Point campus announced a plan to eliminate 13 humanities and social science majors, including English, history, political science, and foreign languages, while expanding programs such as marketing, graphic design and fire science. The proposed changes, which university officials say are needed to address budget shortfalls and declining enrollment, have been met with protest. But they echo changes announced last year at the university’s campus in Superior, which called for suspending nine majors and 15 minor programs.
Wisconsin is at the forefront of a nationwide effort to reshape higher education. Governors and legislators have grown tired of hearing about students who are saddled with debt, yet can’t find a job appropriate to their level of educational attainment. At the same time, employers tell them they can’t find workers with the training or education needed to fill jobs in fields such as advanced manufacturing. The vast majority of jobs created since the recession require some education or training beyond high school, but not necessarily a four-year degree.
Higher education is still seen as the surest path to opportunity, but many policymakers are seeking to make colleges and universities offer more programs designed to meet labor force needs and to provide more information upfront about the career outcomes of recent graduates.
Read the full article about higher education by Alan Greenblatt at Governing Magazine.