Subjectivity: University and Degree Programs Essay examples

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“Who Will Hold Colleges Accountable”
Emily Waluck-Vera
December 13, 2012

In “Who Will Hold Colleges Accountable” by Kevin Carey, Carey argues that number of credit hours should not be the determining factor of whether a student gets a degree. He believes that fixing the problem would involve degree programs to be based on knowledge standards rather than number of credit hours. Carey is the director of the education policy program at the New America Foundation and his subjectivity stems from this occupation. It is his job as a director of an education policy program, to find and correct the negative qualities of colleges and this would cause him to have strong opinions on how colleges should be run. It is often easier to see the negative qualities in colleges than the good qualities, and it shows in this article how little good he is seeing in credit hour based degree programs. In this article his subjectivity shines through when he discusses his negative opinions on how colleges base their degree programs.
Carey uses words and phrases throughout the article that indicated his subjective viewpoints such as “the lack of meaningful academic standards” and “drags down the entire system”(Carey, 2012 ). These phrases demonstrate his negative views on the college degree programs arguing that “grade inflation is rampant” and students are spending more time socializing than actually learning (Carey, 2012). Words like “lack of” and “drag down” indicate empty or weak contributions in regards to credit hours. He argues that they don’t reflect a students’ knowledge but rather the time spent in class. He supports his argument with a study done by what he refers to as a “landmark book” “Academically Adrift,” which suggests that although he has dedicated time into the research he is only representing one side of the argument. Carey could have submitted studies that showed credit hour based degrees to be useful and then attempt to disprove them with facts, but instead he provides one sided research as the only support that he has only further proving his bias. He continues with his subjective opinions by discrediting online classes, saying “the notion of recording academic progress by counting the number of hours students spend sitting in a classroom is nonsensical when there is no actual classroom” (Carey, 2012). In this statement he is reinforcing his subjectivity by stating that credit hours couldn’t technically apply when a student is not attending class.
When talking about how to replace the degree system, Carey uses words such as “promising solution” and “common standards” which indicate his positive views of change. Because his job demands him to find and fix problems in the system, he provides ideas on how college faculty could eliminate credit hours and create degree plans that increase student knowledge.

Carey, K. (2012, December 10). Who Will Hold Colleges Accountable? - The New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2012, from

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