For 13 years, Indiana’s head of higher education has sought to allay incessant skepticism about whether college is worth it.
As she approaches retirement, Commissioner Theresa Lubbers returned the matter to colleges on Tuesday in her latest address on higher education at the State House.
Colleges need to prove their worth, Lubbers said – to cut costs, be more flexible for non-traditional students, show how important a degree or certificate is in the workforce.
At a time when the future of higher education is uncertain, she said, the surviving colleges “will resist the temptation of gradual change, but rather accept the reality that students – young and old – will expect radically different learning systems and ways to show their competence.”
The level of college attendance among Indiana high school graduates dropped to 59 percent from 65 percent five years ago. The number of students and students of color is especially decreasing.