There’s a certain genre of article on “Why Higher Ed Needs To Be Transformed” that features somebody, usually from an affluent background, explaining that college was too constraining, and they’d rather spend those 4 years on a mixture of travel, internships, one or two night classes, and supplemental learning from TED talks and whatnot.
Usually this person had the intellect, advantages, and social capital to get into an elite college, and then dropped out because their fancy liberal arts college was insufficiently conducive to their self-discovery and goals… some are apparently genuine go-getters who should be out there starting their careers. So, what do I think they should do? I think they should do what they’re doing. I’ve never claimed that this is necessary or beneficial for everyone.
Some people are inadequately prepared for college, and we make a mistake by watering down the BA…. Others are ready to go out and be professionals… born entrepreneurs (who can come from any social class) or privileged kids with the social capital to be doing prestigious internships at age 18. There’s no point in designing an education system around them, because they don’t need an education system, and any system that even came close to meeting their needs would probably fail to meet the needs of its other charges….
The fact that what we offer is not perfect for everyone is an insufficient argument for change.