Thank you, Rob! I too believe the effects of this idea, or however it could take shape, can have a deeper reach than just financially. I believe one of the issues here in this Higher-Ed challenge is that the college paradigm is structured as a business, whether nonprofit or for-profit entities. This is something I feel intuitively, but have no evidence to back the psychological effects that college-as-a-business-structure have on student's collective psyche. I think engendering a more community feel around college, one that involves stakeholders from the business, governmental and social sectors, could shift the way we see college education as a part of the community at large.
Hi Dan. I very much agree that the potential to provide students with professional experience while simultaneously reducing or eliminating the cost of their educations would make for a more valuable proposition, though I worry about the degree of training/coaching/mentoring necessary, and if the organization would have to expand rather than contract its capacity for this. The reason I chose low-skill jobs was so that students could jump right in with minimal training/protocol. Perhaps as students go from freshman, to sophomores to juniors to seniors, each grade level can be accompanied by a different skill set. This also accounts for the fact that NYU doesn't need 25,000 undergraduates maintaining its campus. What I've also experienced at NYU is that incoming freshman think they're on top of the world now that they're in higher-ed. I don't want to kill their dreams- of course- but maybe having these more humbling positions early on when professional job experience isn't as necessary of a marketable skill could help keep incoming students grounded and approach the remained of their higher education from a different perspective. I think that ultimately, any college will not need all four of its undergraduate classes serving one type of need (i.e. maintenance, administrative, etc.) Any thoughts?