A couple of much-needed clarifications:
There are fewer full time faculty now at most institutions than there were 10 years ago. Institutions trying to stretch dollars rely more and more heavily on adjunct faculty who simply don't have the same level of experience or program continuity to offer the same quality of education.
That’s only partially true, Rox. Indeed, more and more institutions rely on adjunct faculty today compared with a decade ago; however, because many of those adjuncts hold full-time positions within their fields, they’re typically more
experienced and knowledgeable — particularly about current practices — than some full-time faculty. “Contingent” faculty members (adjuncts) might not have the research experience of those who went straight from graduate school to full-time teaching (perhaps without spending a day of their life actually working in the field), but most provide very high-quality instruction.
BTW, ITT Tech and their ilk might operate that way, but I'm talking about fully accredited institutions.
I wouldn't know about ITT or University of Phoenix, or for-profit instititutions. But I imagine you're right.
“For profit” doesn’t necessarily mean “unaccredited.” The for-profit University of Phoenix, the largest private university in the United States with 438,000 students (who, incidentally, collectively receive a billion dollars in federal student aid annually), is a full-fledged, accredited university
Ironically, in an earlier remark, TheBigA said, “...the education business is a business. Just like broadcasting.” That’s very true. And just like the sea change experienced by “old media” (including radio, TV and print) in recent years, higher education also faces major change and formidable challenges.
I work for a highly regarded, traditional, private non-profit institution (recognized this week as “A Great College to Work For
”—so I hope it sticks around for a while); however, I can appreciate the niche filled by the for-profits, many of which offer greater access, demand-driven courses and programs (ideally affording graduates solid employment opportunities) and, frequently, convenient online classes.
It’s all part of higher ed’s need to adapt — which includes changing attitudes. Sounds kind of like radio, doesn’t it?