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View Diary: College Tuition Crisis Continues; Debt Crushing Graduates (168 comments)

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  •  Grad School (none)
    I think you're right in regards to graduate school, where students work closely with professors on research and quality staff and good projects is the most important aspect in education.

    However undergraduate is really a different beast. Your paying to go to the school where all this great research is going on, but are only tangentally involved. When I was in college, there were lots of research projects going on, but maybe 1 in 500 undergrads was meaningfully involved in it.

    The nobel laureates doing the important work are (with some exceptions) usually mediocre at teaching the basics of their field-- they are bored with the basics and want to get on to the interesting bits and often lack the patience for undergrad stuff. Often they don't want to teach at  all but to concentrate on their research and lesser teachers or even Teaching Assistants (grad students) end up teaching most of their classes anyway.

    •  good point (none)
      that is a good point, but i have a couple thoughts in response...

      aren't you more likely to attract excellent grad students to the schools with excellent faculty?

      and a growing number of undergrad institutions offer meaningful U(ndergraduate) R(esearch) O(pportunity) P(rogram)s.

      as for good teachers? some of my most interesting time in the classroom has been with people like dr. judah folkman or dr. bob langer ... and frankly, i'm post fucking dumb those fields. how much more benefit did real undergrad scientists and engineers get from the same experience.

      but i do take your point on the (over?) reliance on grad students who, all too often, have no adequate teaching preparation and experience and no motivation or time to teach...

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