College (Un)Bound

The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students

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Pub Date 28 Apr 2015 | Archive Date 31 May 2015

Description

What is the value of a college degree?

The four-year college experience is as American as apple pie. So is the belief that higher education offers a ticket to a better life. But with student-loan debt surpassing the $1 trillion mark and unemployment of college graduates at historic highs, people are beginning to question that value.

In College (Un)bound, Jeffrey J. Selingo, editor at large of the Chronicle of Higher Education, argues that America’s higher education system is broken. The great credentials race has turned universities into big businesses and fostered an environment where middle-tier colleges can command elite university-level tuitions while concealing staggeringly low graduation rates and churning out students with few of the skills needed for a rapidly evolving job market.

Selingo not only turns a critical eye on the current state of higher education but also predicts how technology will transform it for the better. Free massive online open courses (MOOCs) and hybrid classes, adaptive learning software, and the unbundling of traditional degree credits will increase access to high-quality education regardless of budget or location and tailor lesson plans to individual needs. One thing is certain: the class of 2020 will have a radically different college experience than their parents had.

Incisive, urgent, and controversial, College (Un)bound is a must-have for prospective students, parents, and anyone concerned with the future of American higher education.

What is the value of a college degree?

The four-year college experience is as American as apple pie. So is the belief that higher education offers a ticket to a better life. But with student-loan debt...


A Note From the Publisher

Jeffrey J. Selingo is a leading authority on higher education worldwide and editor at large for the Chronicle of Higher Education. He frequently speaks before national higher education groups and appears regularly on regional and national radio and television programs on NPR, PBS, ABC, MSNBC, and CBS. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post.

Jeffrey J. Selingo is a leading authority on higher education worldwide and editor at large for the Chronicle of Higher Education. He frequently speaks before national higher education groups and...


Advance Praise

"Selingo envisions a fundamental shift in how degrees are awarded — not on the basis of credit hours completed but on competency demonstrated. The colleges that survive will be those, in Selingo’s words, that ‘prove their worth.’” —The New York Times Book Review

"A compelling look at higher education. Selingo is critical, but he’s also encouraging. With so much time and money at stake, the issues he raises and the possibilities he explores are well worth your time." —The Washington Post

"For a book about complicated policy and economic trends, this one is very well told. Selingo moves seamlessly from legal and regulatory decisions to the real experiences of students." —The Washington Monthly

"Part cultural critique, part trend-spotting, and part advice for students and parents navigating a flawed system. [College (Un)bound] delivers a powerful message to colleges themselves: the system is broken, and both their success as institutions and the future success of our workforce depends on their willingness to incorporate unbundled, lower-cost systems that allow students to customize their education." Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Parents should put College (Un)bound at the top of their lists…[it is an] indispensable guidebook to a rocky and shifting terrain." —The Plain Dealer

"A mixture of alarm and hope, wisdom and portending." —Kirkus Reviews

"Selingo envisions a fundamental shift in how degrees are awarded — not on the basis of credit hours completed but on competency demonstrated. The colleges that survive will be those, in Selingo’s...


Marketing Plan

"This eye-opening book tells an important and overlooked story about how higher education in America has lost its way. This is a must-read for both policymakers and anyone struggling with the decision of choosing a college." —Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone

"For parents and their children looking for quality education, this book provides invaluable assistance by taking a clear-eyed view on what matters: excellence in teaching, a first-rate learning environment, and a commitment to preparing students for the job market." —Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group

"Once in a generation, a book forces us to reconsider the fundamentals of higher education—and College (Un)bound is that book for the Wireless Generation." —David L. Marcus, author of Acceptance

"[An] eye-opening look at the state of higher education…College (Un)bound is a must-read for everyone interested in higher education and how technology will revolutionize it in the coming years." —Sebastian Thrun, founder of Udacity

"Jeff Selingo is one of the most respected observers of American higher education. In College (Un)bound, he shares his in-depth observations of colleges and the environment in which we function. Not all will agree with his observations, conclusions, predictions and recommendations, but all will gain from this thoughtful, well-written, provocative volume. I highly recommend it." —David J. Skorton, President of Cornell University

"You can wade through the shelf full of books on the changes coming to American colleges and universities–or you can read this one." —Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University and former Governor of Indiana

"America's higher ed system is at a crossroads today…Selingo introduces us to the students, teachers, and entrepreneurs who are rethinking our iconic vision of what college will mean for students in the next decade." —Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class

"Among the many books examining current changes in and challenges to higher education, College (Un)bound is both the most comprehensive and the most provocative." —Rebecca Chopp, President of Swarthmore College

"Jeffrey Selingo combines solid data with compelling anecdotes to produce a richly textured account of the transformations taking place in American higher education today. By illustrating larger trends with stories about their impact on individual students and families, his book offers precisely the kind of student-centered approach that he is advocating." —Alison Byerly, president-elect, Lafayette College

“[College (Un)bound] is a book that should be read by the parents of high school seniors, high school guidance counselors, university trustees, faculty and administrators; and most important—by potential college students themselves.” —Steve Trachtenberg, former president, George Washington University

"This eye-opening book tells an important and overlooked story about how higher education in America has lost its way. This is a must-read for both policymakers and anyone struggling with the...


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