Movie review Declining by degrees HE at

Topics: Higher education, University, Education Pages: 5 (1174 words) Published: November 10, 2014
 John Merrow produced the documentary in 2005 doing a thorough research on campuses for 2 years with the purpose to raise public awareness of what is happening in American higher education, where it is heading, to inform the public that the higher education deviation from its original direction and the existing issues to students, parents, professors, higher education administrators and general public. The documentary reveals the challenges higher education is going through directly from freshmen & senior students, full & part time professors, university presidents and higher education administrators that are putting American higher education at risk. This paper will discuss the warning signs of issues existent in American higher education system including students’ attitudes towards their learning, commercialization of higher education & college athletics, professors’ enthusiasm & attitude toward their work, quality of teaching and employment policy in higher education. One of the serious issues in higher education & is students’ aspirations. Most students are coming to college underprepared with little interest in studying. Student Matt Morris at Western Kentucky University admits he is not well prepared. Keith Caywood says he was prepared for college but “I got swallowed up”. William Pritchard of Amherst College confirms that “students are not as good as they used to be”. If students at a selective school are not very good, then what about a less selective school students? Some students with no financial issues have no interest in learning and are not taking responsibility in their studies. Robin Bhall, a student at University of Arizona affirms that he does not study & prepare for. Not all students are aimless. Student Ceylon Hollis at Western Kentucky University strives to get education while working full-time understanding her responsibility. Prof. Paulette Kurzer at University of Arizona reiterates that “only 4/5 students out of 200 do the reading, they have no interest, no curiosity in studying and are not demanding” to prove the situation. Another critical issue is university/college teaching staff enthusiasm, attitude in their work and the employment policy. The documentary displays interesting representations of university professors to contrast. Paulette Kurzer, a political science professor at University of Arizona, definitely dissatisfied with her students & her salary feeling undervalued show no interest in her work. On the other hand, representing enthusiastic ones, Tom Fleming likes teaching and keeps his students involved and encourage himself to learn to teach. Colleges are putting their reputation or future at risk by preferring part-time professors or graduate assistants to save but not giving emphasize on quality. The documentary reveals that nationally half of the all college faculties are part-time professors (John Merrow, producer. 2005; Declining by Degrees). Underpaid part-time professors & inexperienced GAs cannot excel in teaching due to over workload and undervaluation. On top of that, as Professor Brian Strow admits that they don’t prioritize their teaching but rather concentrate on research to get tenure track & increase income and publishing articles to consolidate their position. These phenomena demonstrate that colleges value financial issues more than quality. The documentary shows how higher education was in the past and how it is getting market-driven and commercialized. Kay McClenny, University of Texas at Austin, contrasts higher education’s past and present. She states that “a few years ago, high school graduates were able to go to work, earn and sustain a family but today college education is absolute necessity for everyone but college education is getting more expensive”. An official from University of Kentucky also notes that “we are moving toward the system where college education is for ones who can pay for their education”. However, the situation was not...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Movie Review
  • Movie Review Essay
  • Essay about Movie Review
  • Movie Review Essay
  • Movie Review Essay
  • Essay about Movie Review
  • movie review Essay
  • Movie Review Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free