The value of the DQP for the public
Although the public values higher education, too few people understand how it is organized, how it operates, and what it accomplishes. Higher education is in part responsible for this problem because colleges and universities have never expressed a clear consensus as to what degrees should mean in terms of actual student learning.
The DQP offers an important step toward such a consensus by proposing in direct, simple language what a degree recipient should know and be able to do, regardless of the field of study. When such a consensus can be expressed broadly for the great majority of colleges and universities, the public will be able to make better-informed decisions about higher education. In short, the DQP can provide practical help in answering any number of important, real-world questions. For example:
- To which colleges and universities should a prospective student apply?
- Will this program help a student obtain the learning and skills needed to succeed in this chosen field?
- Does a community college bond issue deserve support?
- Should media reports on higher education be taken at face value?
- What, after all, do academic degrees mean?