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Monday, December 20, 2004

The future of mid-tier universities?

At Arkansas State University they are training line-men for the local utility company. Why? Because it is cheaper than the utility training the person - public universities are pretty heavily subsidized by the state and federal governments.
Classes began this fall for Odom and 11 other students, covering everything from pole climbing and driving a bucket truck to handling wires and transformers. Students attend for two semesters, and can use the credit toward an associate degree.

Young trainees like Odom are becoming increasingly valuable in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and other states as utilities face a wave of retirements of linemen and power-plant workers in the next four to five years. To train replacements faster and cheaper than traditional in-house apprenticeship programs, many utilities are turning to colleges and universities for help.

Is this what we as a society want mid-tier universities to be doing? Isn't this something that DeVry institute is more suited to doing? ASU is a Division I-A football school and it is giving credits that will go towards an Associate's Degree?

Story here

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