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Letter: Educational quality

The decision by the head of Grand Canyon University to withdraw from the Northfield project was said to be based on the cost involved in getting the campus ready for students.

I suspect that there were addition factors such as the competition for students in our area. The state schools offer much and at a much lower tuition. Massachusetts has plans under way to promote our publicly supported schools for example.

Anyone who has been involved in the Accreditation process knows that it involves a lot of work and takes time to receive accreditation.

On a different note, there has been a lot of comment (criticism) of the quality of education offered by for-profit schools. Much is justified but as I looked at the list appended to the congressional report, I noticed several that do offer quality programs. They do then, however, tend to be technical programs.

Having worked briefly for a small private university in Pennsylvania, I can attest that not all offer a quality education.

At that institution the motto was “retention.” Got to keep the tuition coming. In some cases, the ability to pay the tuition was the main criteria for admission to the school. One of the courses offered at that institution was “ballroom dancing.” I was invited to teach a seminar and in that role I was assigned a student aide. I also received the grade reports of the students in the class. One of the students was flunking ballroom dancing. I asked my student aid how you flunk that course. She replied, “You don’t show up for classes.”

It has been pretty much documented that since Vietnam the quality of higher education has slipped, but ballroom dancing?

DICK STARKEY

Greenfield

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