Author Archives: sairaakhtar

Reading Questions-April 24th

  1. If the advocates of liberal education are saying that it is the “best” and that all students should obtain it, why are so many students opting to go to schools that don’t offer a liberal arts education like vocational schools? Is it for financial reasons? Does this mean that liberal education is only for the elite?
  2. Just like most institutions are doing mission creep and trying to become like Harvard, are most colleges trying to become liberal arts oriented?
  3. Is the economic recession a potential cause of 38% of parents claiming that the goal of college is to get a good job? Is it the immigrant mindset?
  4. Is the reason that most graduate and professional school require students to have a Bachelor’s before applying is that they value the benefits of a liberal arts education?
  5. If most employers mostly care about communication and problem solving skills which a liberal arts education is known to provide, shouldn’t colleges be doing more to make sure that parents understand the long term benefits of a liberal arts education?
  6. More and more research is showing that a college education is needed to succeed in the future. What are colleges and the government doing to make sure that college is affordable and students are getting the quality education?
  7. In the article that critiques liberal arts education, it is stated that students can learn some of the things that a liberal arts education teaches by themselves. The question is, are students motivated enough to do so, especially with so many distractions, like T.V. and the internet,  around them?
  8. How is technology contributing to the way students learn? Will listening to online lectures be the main way students learn rather than attending lectures in the future?
  9. If a liberal arts education is needed for students living in a democracy, is it not needed for non-democratic states?
  10.  Isn’t the increase in interest in making sure that an education leads to a job natural in a capitalist society like America?

Reading Questions- April 17th

  1. Isn’t it more important to admit students that have been financially disadvantaged rather than students from minority backgrounds? Is it still true in today’s world that for students from certain ethnic groups are automatically disadvantaged?
  2. The articles about the Fisher case constantly talk about the courts declaring that “student body diversity is a compelling state interest.” Why?
  3. How big of a role do you think that government should play in deciding the admission policies of private and public colleges? Are they supposed to be autonomous?
  4.  Should the residents of a state be allowed to vote on changing the admission process of a university like in Proposition 2? Again, what gives the people of the state enough power and knowledge to make a well informed decision?
  5. As minority students admitted to colleges tend to be less prepared than their white classmates, shouldn’t more focus be put on their secondary education so that they don’t fall behind in college? Also, does this mean affirmative action is backfiring?
  6. How much is a student’s race a factor in the admission decision of New York schools like NYU, CUNY, and Columbia?
  7. Is affirmative action right because it gives a chance to minorities or because it increases the diversity of schools?
  8. What does the decline in students declaring liberal arts major say about the new generation of college students?
  9. Is it true that college degrees are not worth as much because of the downgrading of students?Has it become too easy to get in to college, in particular for minority students?

Reading Questions- April 10th

  1. Wouldn’t having education through the internet take away from the whole “college experience.” Don’t colleges improve the students’ work ethic, establish an atmosphere of learning and promote the establishment of friendship and give opportunity to network. All of these things aren’t provided in an online class.
  2. Since technology will ensure that education will become more accessible in the future and the number of college graduates will rise, wouldn’t having too many people with a college education make it more competitive to get a job. Will having a bachelor’s be like have a high school diploma? If yes, will master degrees become the bar that people looking to get a good education need to obtain? Does this mean that more and more people will be in school till their thirties? What will this do to their lifestyle?
  3. Do American colleges want a more educated international population? Wouldn’t these international students be competing with American students for jobs?
  4. Does having some professors travel the world to teach take away from the integrity of the teacher-student relationship because eventually all the professors will only care about which college can pay them more?
  5. Wouldn’t having more and more schools teach the hard courses and expecting that students learn the introduction course material themselves hinder the students that are struggling?
  6. Cheating is a huge problem when it comes to MOOC. How can we limit cheating? The quality of tests given online can also be a problem as they tend to be multiple choice and for courses like organic chemistry and physics, how can a professor ensure that the students have learned the material?
  7. Wouldn’t having a camera watch you while you take the exam hinder you and pressure you while taking an exam?
  8. Doesn’t having too many students enrolled in the course, online or in-person, increase the competiveness and decrease the value of a degree because so many people have it?
  9. How can you ensure that students in a course online are getting the same level of difficulty material as the students that are in the classroom?
  10. Isn’t part of the reasons that some colleges are so intent on introducing MOOC’s is because the more students they have, the more money they will have? Doesn’t having this kind of mindset make colleges seem more and more like business rather than a place to gain knowledge?














Reading Questions for April 3rd


  1. Wouldn’t the decline in net revenue and the hunt for possible donors distract colleges from their goal which is to provide a good education to their students?
  2. Do students that choose not to attend college because they think it won’t lead them to a career see a college education as more than just a pit stop in their road to their future career?
  3. Is a college’s ROI having a negative impact in terms of how many students apply to the college?
  4. Shouldn’t having a college education be more important for the government in the long run than Medicaid and prisons?
  5. It seems as the quality of education is declining especially because classes are getting bigger and are being taught by graduates. This might make it more appealing for students to not to go to college. But what about our future generations. Will not having a college degree become common in the future? What does this mean for us in terms of competing with other nations in various sectors including technology and finance?
  6. Is having too many research institutions necessarily bad? Aren’t they why America is at the top of the game when it comes to research?
  7. It might be true that the ivy league schools are charging more for prestige but do employers know that? A student that graduated from Harvard has a higher chance of getting the same job than a student from a public school because they are deemed to be “smarter.”
  8. Should the government allocate a fund for paying for public colleges that isn’t effected by the downturns in the world economy?
  9. Will we see in a growth of non-liberal arts colleges as more and more people want to get the most out of a college education in terms of getting a job?
  10. Will a degree from a MOOC be valued as much a degree from a four year college in the near future? Are people that have a degree from a MOOC getting the jobs they want?
  11.  Schools like Beaver college prove that they were never following their mission statement and that higher education is just another business. Do you agree?
  12. If students are deciding where to go to school by what kind of facilities are offered in the dorms and the lounges, aren’t they being distracted from the real purpose of why they should be going to college? This will inevitable have a negative impact on our future generations as students will come out from colleges that didn’t match with their needs.

Interview Questions-Saira Akhtar

1. Do you think that your institution’s current goals match with its mission statement? What are some of your plans in the near future to achieve these goals?

2. How important is it to you to make college affordable for undergraduates? Is there a way to balance the rise in tuition while still having enough resources to run the college?

3. How important is it to your institution to stay in touch with your local community and government?

4. How important is it to your institution to hire faculty that have a teaching background and not just a research background?

5. How are professors granted tenure at your institution?