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Free «Accountability in Higher Education» Essay Sample

Hersh, Merrow and Wolfe (2006) argue that, higher educations are an essential issue in any social and economic development efforts of any given nation, and the basic issues of higher education are accessible and cost which are unavoidably areas that always impact public policy. Failure to tackle these matters in an inclusive manner is to shortchange the students, educators, and policymakers. There is a need to focus attention on the fundamental causes of higher education decline and other wide ranging issues. Therefore, there should be more accountability in higher education. It is clear that due to the lack of accountability, poor policy decisions have been made, curriculum structures that do not take into account the values of the American society has increased. With greater accountability, economic and cultural forces like materialism, the information explosion, job specialization and the almost-universal approval of marketplace ideals that contribute to the decline of higher education shall be tackled.

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As it is seen in the video, Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk, it is evident that the majority of students graduating from high school prefer to seek for higher education. In the United States of America, it is obvious that if an individual seeks to secure an average life it is vital for them to get a high level education. The process of getting knowledge is a crucial; key to the success of the young people in the society since it is only through college education can an individual get a well paying job. When an individual decides to attend a college they have focused on attaining future success, a transition which will enable growth.

In addition, individuals find college appealing since it is a form of attaining independence after moving out from home. Other students seek the American dream, and, for this sole region, they apply for a chance in the university. The video indicates that individuals benefit from college since there is a high possibility of learning about controversial things in the society. Individuals learn about other people’s culture, background, and general knowledge which are gathered through the four years of college (Altbach, Berdahl and Gumport, 2005). 

A majority of college students report to college on the first day with their parents others come alone excited about life in college ahead. A college degree is a necessity for scholars who have completed high school education. It is an assurance of a job that can sustain an individual's life in the developed country and other countries in the world. The video further indicates that nearly half of the scholars who join in the colleges drop out due to certain issues. The key issues depicted in the video include alcohol. This is when students hold parties and drink throughout the week. Drinking makes the students exhausted and tired throughout the day, because of lack of enough sleep. Some undergraduate scholars do not attend college because they are not capable of to attending their mandatory class hours. Some of them sleep throughout the lectures since they are tired from the previous night activities or not getting attention from the lecturers in class. It is evident that some classes are large; making other students lack concentration, since, they are aware the lecturer is not concentrating on them. The methods of teaching also vary this makes the students concentrate on classes they only enjoy. The teaching methods depicted in these movies include the use of text books, projectors and lecturing.

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In the article, at the New York Times editorial Proof of Learning it is clearly highlighted that America has the best universities or rather the best higher education systems in the whole world and when a parent enrolls her child in one of the universities they are certain that the student will achieve significant benefits. The business community has disputed this notion since when hiring most college students large number lacks knowledge on the basic fundamental skills in writing, analytical thinking and problem solving (Burke, 2005). 

This is the minimum qualification of an individual to the global economy at the moment. Recent findings, highlighted in this article, indicate that the National assessment of Adult Literacy reveled there is a gradual decline in the literacy levels among the most educated people in the society. Statistics indicate that less than a third of the graduate students have depicted a decline of nearly 40%. This is a comparison to the past ten years where a majority of the number graduates was depicted as being proficient. This was in relation to literacy which is the capability of an individual to read and understand long passages presented to them. A majority of students scored a percentage of below basic which is an indication that the majority of the graduates are unable to perform the effortless tasks in the company (Burke, 2005). 

According to the recent findings the chairman of a commission working with the Bush administration responded to the claims. He suggests that the graduates should be given standardized tests, which will facilitate the evaluation and analysis of the efficiency resulting from learning outcomes of the college students. Reading this article it is essential that the majority of individuals do not support this move, for example, the higher education community. This body protests that these standardized tests will ruin the excellent education system. This topic has a controversial argument since the majority of business people complains about the quality of education given to graduates from both elite and public universities.

 
 
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The fact is that accountability of colleges is necessary. Since, it assists the university in affirming the business world that the students are learning the fundamental skills a graduate should possess. It is evident that the majority of the states, approximately 40 have implemented accountability of systems aimed at proving that the students get the fundamentals of a college education and that they are learning. It is obvious that it is fundamental for colleges and universities to seek acceptable methods. That will assist in measuring their students’ progress so as to evaluate the benefits of education provided.

In relation to accountability, various aspects are put in place in higher education to determine the essence of accountability reporting. There are distinct differences in terms of perception, meaning, and components of accountability as it relates to the mission, goals, and expectations of higher education held by various stakeholders. The need for greater financial transparency by the higher education institutions relate to curriculum, admission policies, student achievement, research, and other matters related to education. Higher education is the engine of empowerment as well as economic development hence the essence of accountability. Over the past years, universities have been imagined to be places where there is a commitment to truth. More so, people have the notion of that universities nurture inquiry, standards of conduct marked by integrity, and quality teaching and learning take place. However, the recent examinations to the institutions give a negative feedback on the expectations (Conley, 2003).

Higher education faces high degrees of dissatisfaction and a question of public trust. With distrust comes suspicion from all quarters pertinent to higher education. Accountability in higher education seeks to bring order in the education sector. Accountability is necessary as higher education institutions have substantial impacts on the social, cultural, and economic development of the United States. In the event, of declining public trust between the public and higher education then the traditional role and function of higher education takes on a whole new orientation. Recent findings on accountability admit the need for the policy maker and educational leaders to agree on the urgency of dealing with the accountability issue and the public’s interest in the performance of higher education institutions.

To curb on the vices taking place in universities and colleges, all stakeholders have to converge their ideas and opinions. Some of the practices being encouraged in colleges and universities reduce the high quality and relevance of higher education. Therefore, instituting a responsive and transparent system for all stakeholders highly relies on the vision, ability to change, and commitment to move forward expeditiously by all quarters.

   

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