Thursday, June 30, 2016

Making the best of Clinton's new higher-ed plan from Frankie.

So Clinton just released what sounds like a truly horrible set of proposals for higher ed: 

  • Opening up federal financial aid to "alternative providers"
  • Providing (unspecified) incentives for actual colleges and universities to accept credits from those "alternative providers"
  • Automatically awarding green cards to international students who graduate with advanced STEM degrees
Now, we Miserians are a can-do, optimistic bunch. Surely we can think of ways to make this nasty little potion of perverse incentives more palatable. For ourselves, anyway, if not for higher ed.

Here's my plan, should this come to pass: 

Aunty Frankie's Surf-n-STEM Academy.

As a Disruptopreneur Alternative Provider, I don't need to bother with unfashionable, buzzkill-y things like ABET accreditation, dorms, classrooms, faculty, or learning objectives. 

No GRE? No problem! My advanced STEM degrees will be available to anyone who has the foresight and out-of-the-box thinking required to pony up a hundred and fifty grand. (Sure, it's about twice the industry average, but can your snakehead get you a guaranteed green card? Didn't think so!) Because my Surf-n-STEM Academy will have a MOOC option, there's no uncomfortable transoceanic travel required, Residency requirements and ID verification are so last-century.

And best of all, it'll qualify for federal financial aid!

Anyone interested in investing? 


(P.S. I did consider one other disruptovative option, setting up a mostly-online school with a 68:1 adjunct-to-full-timer ratio, but that just seemed too evil.)


  1. I'll invest if you let me run my own MOOC (massively over-priced, onanistic contrafibularity).

    No chance of a Surf-n-STEM Academy where I am, but we have a nice Bed & Brexit option (perhaps in lieu of a dorm?)

  2. Oh, dear. And I'm with her (in a general sense; it sounds like this part of the platform needs a lot of work).

    The first proposal sounds like an invitation to a whole new generation of higher-ed scams (just when we'd weeded out a few of the ones that follow a "traditional" model).

    And it seems to me that a comprehensive immigration-reform package could address the last (okay, it sounds like that's what she's proposing. So okay there.)

    How about just increasing the value of the Pell Grant, especially for students attending plain old, boring but mostly very functional, publicly-funded community colleges and, for the last two years, regional colleges and universities?

    But perhaps we need to revive the idea of a CM-staffed college. Prior visions have involved a cluster of vans down by the river, but it seems to me that Frankie's location offers some more attractive options.

  3. I googled it, but I still have no idea what an "alternative education provider" is. Does it mean MOOCs? For-profit online diploma mills? Community colleges? I'm stumped.

  4. I think they mean coding bootcamps and the like. Because that would never go the way of things like For Profit college nursing and medical assisting degrees


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