It's Moral Dilemma Time, kids! All right, so the answer is already decided (us teachers gotta eat, you know), but I've been thinking a lot lately on corporate colleges and their impact on the higher education landscape. This is mainly because I've been hired by one, so I feel the need to at least cogitate on the matter.
On the plus
side, they can seem to have some innovative structures (one month-one
class systems; social support systems like child care connections;
flexible class delivery modes). On the negative side (and it's a big
negative side), they rely heavily on part-time adjuncts and may not have
any tenure. Where I'm working currently has about half of the pay of a
typical class that I teach, and is hourly not salary (and only pays for
contact hours, not prep or grading time). Frankly, what bugs me even
more than the pay is the bureaucracy. There are a million and a half
"Thou shalts" and "Thou shalt nots." Oddly, with all the rigamarole,
there's no time-sheet.
All of the metrics for this
private, for-profit school are horrendous as is typical for PFPS,
whether you look at graduation rate, retention rate, employment after
graduation, etc. The classes are a joke. The instructors are a mixed
bag, but without any time to plan or grade lessons, even the best
instructor is going to face challenges. The resources offered are there
to help keep students coming back, not moving forward; help with
getting financial aid and government assistance, not help with actually
getting an education.
It's despicable, the way these
companies profit off of failing students. It's worse than I had ever
thought these places could possibly be. But you know what? I have a
family to take care of, so I'm doing it. Now if you don't mind, I need
to go bleach my eyeballs and scrub half of my skin off for taking part
in this fleecing.
Thank goodness for neo-liberal education de-formers, at all levels of education.