Shorter Programs are No Bologna

A student once asked me why he should attend our 3-week program, when he could attend a similar program for four weeks. My answer was to the point: if a school forces you to attend longer than necessary to learn the skills necessary for employment, then they are not serving their student population. On the other hand, I replied, if the goal is to become a professional student then a long program may be the route to take.

Shorter programs are no longer restricted to career education. In 2003 NAHETS shorted their training programs from 4, 8, and 12 weeks to 3, 6, and 9 weeks. Now we are seeing public universities are following suit. The entire European Union (EU) has signed a pact entitled the “Bologna Declaration” that strives to have all universities and colleges revamp to allow for a 3 year Bachelor’s program. 45 countries have now signed on the Bologna Declaration. European nations are attacking the U.S.’ four-year Bachelors programs much the same way the “for profits” have attacked in recent years. University of Phoenix, now the nation’s largest provider of adult private education, pushed the envelope in 1976 with a tailored program for the “lifelong learner”.

Who would have thought? Education now has a clock? The impact private, for-profit education has had over the last decade on public education delivery methods is quite expansive. Universities, entire countries, are realizing that education has a return on investment (ROI) element, and that element is directly related to the main purpose of education. Education is not a pursuit of knowledge for the sake of one’s own personal gain. Education’s main purpose is to enable individuals to advance self and society through knowledge gained in formal and informal settings. Never has there been an educated person who did not impact society in some manner.

Finally, the public education community is understanding what education is all about. As a result, they are becoming more like their counterparts in the “for profits” and career college arenas.

Matt Klabacka
President, NAHETS

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