Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quote for the Day

From Randall Collins, "Credential Inflation and the Future of Universities," in The Future of the City of Intellect: The Changing American University, ed. by Steven Brint (Stanford Univ. Press, 2002), pp. 24-25:
Higher-level occupations require increasingly higher and more specialized academic credentials. Lower degrees have not lost all value, but their value is increasingly within the education, as a way station toward acquiring yet higher levels of education. A high school degree has become little more than a ticket into a lottery where one can buy a chance at a college degree, and that in turn is becoming a ticket to a yet higher level lottery. Most degrees have little substantive value in themselves; they are bureaucratic markets channeling access to the point at which they are cashed in . . . .

Nevertheless, there is a vestige of nineteenth-century community control campaigns in the stay-in-school propaganda aimed at teenagers disillusioned with being at the tail end of the competition for credentials . . . Thirty years from now we may have "don't drop out of college" campaigns.



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