Much of what was traditionally the domain of 2 year colleges in Utah is now
being done by Area Technical Centers. These facilities do an excellent job of
preparing young people with specific skills to enter the workplace as effective,
contributing members of our society.
Utah also has a very unique demographic wherein we have the highest percentage
of people with a two-year degree. Offering four-year degrees in no way
prohibits the acquisition of a two-year degree. Several of the colleges such as
Weber and Dixie are still required by law to fulfill the role of community
college by being open-enrollment, offer associates degrees and professional
certifications, etc. But with so many people in the population more willing to
forego further education rather than move, if there's not any four-year
option they will simply leave school. They enter the workforce with an AA or
AS, rather than transferring to get a BA or doing a professional certification.
It's quite a bit easier for CSCC, because if a student finishes the AA,
there's no reason to move if they'd like to transfer to a four-year
institution such as the U or UVU. While everyone is jumping on the train to
find the hidden agendas of those four-year institutions, maybe question what
motives the president of CSCC might have in making her statements.
Two year schools are much lighter on their feet in responding to changing
economic conditions. Another thing to consider, the teaching degree for two
year schools is the masters, and in some departments gifted people without
degrees can teach. This means much lower costs. Why not? The PhD does not
automatically make one a good teacher. As an aside the PhD glut was foisted on
higher ed by the Carnegie endowments. Before that the standard teaching degree
was the masters, and remained such much longer in Britain. For the first half
of the 20th century British masters profs could run circles around the typical
American PhD. Utah is suffering from 4-year academic creep, and 4-year academic
Let's think out loud what more state colleges might mean: Might more
programs mean more university administrators (didn't the presidents just
get raises?? Might that cost burden mean less funding for the two established
state universities, UoU and USU? Might lack of funding slow the academic
ranking climb of UoU and USU? Aren't top research universities (AAU
members) more economically valuable than regional state schools?