Raising the Bar Beyond Completion

I think completion is very rapidly becoming the higher education community’s Potemkin Village. I mean, it doesn’t have much meaning. Completion for what? … There’s a tendency for any industry to believe that whatever it produces has value, irrespective of its purpose, and that’s just not true. That is, if you make cars, you think cars are valuable. You don’t understand why you make 300 cars and they don’t sell; as far as you’re concerned, you made 300 more cars and that was your goal. The point is, if those cars have no use or value, then you don’t really have a standard. What you’re doing is you’re feathering your own nest. So I think completion is something of a false god, to be honest with you. It’s something that comes naturally to educators, that is, “What is it that you need to do when you go to school? You need to go to school until we say that you’re done.” We need to decide what this is for.

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