The High Price of Failure

A recent report estimates that California’s public colleges and universities pay more than our counterparts in other states to educate students who drop out. 

Depending on how you do the math, the CSU Graduation Initiative could be saving the state up to $14 million for its eight percentage point uptick in the grad rate.  To me, this means anything we spend on the effort up to the full $14 mil is good, because we didn’t get into this to save money.  We did it to better deliver on our mission of providing upward mobility and a robust workforce.

$14 million could buy a lot of high-impact practices:  learning communities, collaboration on research, a fund to promote study abroad.  We can do this if we connect enough dots, and refuse to accept failure.


One thought on “The High Price of Failure

  1. You’re right on the, well, money, Ken. If HIPs increase retention and shorten time to degree, they save money–or at least stop us from wasting money. It seems only right that the money we would have wasted (the 14 mil) instead gets spent (all 14 mil) on the things that will stop us from wasting money. I mean, the money is gone either way. We will waste less and less money as we get better and better, and graduate more students. As I’ve heard you say countless times, this isn’t rocket science…

    Just think: What if a fraction of the waste was invested in learning designers (I think that’s what they’re called in Washington, right, Jayme?) We could call them learning engineers. They could build HIPs frames and plans and projects sort of like Japanese lesson study groups…

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