College should be for academically interested adults. It shouldn't be a rubber stamp that's required to hold a white-collar job. I think the culprits here are the colleges themselves. They're selling a bad product to people who don't need it at a very high price.
Colleges should be much smaller, shouldn't have sports, legacy admissions should be removed, diversity initiatives should be removed, and industry should open up to people without degrees.
If a government agency, then ... professors employed by government agencies.
It wouldn’t be much different except the government would be involved in a different capacity than they already are.
second, there are currently hundreds if not thousands of independent history departments in the US. to reduce this to one government agency would be quite a large change. or are you suggesting that we create hundreds of government history certification agencies?
I totally agree. But tell that to the universities.
>or are you suggesting that we create hundreds of government history certification agencies?
I’m suggesting that this is what we already have, because universities are tax-exempt, so on a fundamental level all professors already do work for the government. We could just keep all the history professors employed, but in the service of a more meritocratic rubber-stamp than the current rubber-stamp game which is based on prestige and SAT scores and various other bullshit factors.
I can be a certified building envelope inspector if I pass a test that shows I know how to perform an industry standard inspection using the standard tools. I'm not sure there's any meaningful way I could be certified as a software engineer (answering obscure c++ questions? being able to use git?). there's definitely no way I could be meaningfully certified as a historian. I'm sure no matter what I do, it would be controversial whether I was even studying history!
instead of making the study of history less of a special club, maybe we should ask whether it's appropriate for the government to support this endeavor at all?
I agree that we are using this word differently, because to me a degree is a certificate.
>there’s definitely no way I could be meaningfully certified as a historian
I agree: because of the nature of history, no meaningful certifications of this knowledge can occur. My point is that PEOPLE STILL ATTEMPT, every single day, to award meaningful certifications in this area, and since people are already attempting, it makes sense to just aid their efforts rather than throw out their efforts entirely on ideological grounds, no matter how correct those ideological grounds may be.
I agree that history is not a field that can have a meaningful certification in an abstract sense. My point is that these certifications STILL HAPPEN in a very real and practical sense; so why not optimize the process that already exists rather than wishfully hoping we could shut down the process entirely on ideological grounds.
Don't think the colleges are the culprits. Their goal is to increase matriculation, get more students, more research grant money, etc. They are just trying to do more of what they have already done.
Arguably, the real culprits are the businesses that require college degrees, i.e., that require said "rubber stamp". A person who spends 1 year taking a $15k set of trade-courses will likely accept less pay than someone who spent 4 years and $150k. However, most businesses will choose the 4 year college grad every time.
Other countries (at least Europe and Latin America) basically don´t have athletic scolarships and any athletic program is a strictly extracurricular activity.
But, like any system designed for growth that persists for generations, it isn't designed well for leveling off, much less shrinking even a small amount. It's not clear how well many universities can even function without a lot of graduate students to teach many of the classes, but without more and more college professor positions for those graduate students to take once they get their doctorate, the current number of graduate students seems unsupportable.