Thursday, February 9, 2012

Snyder and Republicans Micro-Managing Students' Degree Choices

Rick Snyder thinks he knows what your college major should be. He's so sure of that, that he's going to tie state aid to your university to how many Michigan students major in the areas he deems important.

That's one thing that's obvious from the 2012-2013 budget Snyder is unveiling Thursday (Feb. 9, 2012). According to the Detroit Free Press article in advance of the speech,, Snyder's proposed 3 percent increase in higher education funding will be tied to: "growth in the number of undergraduate degree completions, the number of undergraduate completions in critical skills areas, the number of undergraduate Pell Grant recipients, and compliance with tuition restraint."

It's the "number of undergraduate completions in critical skills areas" that is particularly offensive. Who will determine what a "critical skills area" is? And how are universities supposed to react if students decide they aren't much interested in Snyder's favorite "critical skills areas"? Not everyone is cut out to be an accountant or engineer or nurse, or whatever the favored occupations that Snyder will select, but students may find themselves pushed in those directions.

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