Through 13 years on the job, Indiana’s higher education leader has sought to assuage the unrelenting skepticism of whether college is worth it.
As she approaches retirement, Commissioner Teresa Lubbers put the question back on colleges Tuesday in her final state of higher education address at the Statehouse.
It’s up to colleges to prove their value, Lubbers said — to bring costs down, to be more flexible for nontraditional students, to show how a degree or certificate matters in the workforce.
At a time when the future of higher education is uncertain, she said, the colleges that will survive “will resist the temptation for incremental change, but rather embrace the reality that students — young and older — will expect a dramatically different system of learning and ways of showing their competence.”
The college-going rate among Indiana’s high school graduates has fallen to 59 percent, down from 65 percent five years ago. Enrollment is particularly dropping among men and students of color.
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