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The need for a college education is even more important now than it was before, but I think that the increased costs are a very severe obstacle to access. It is an American dream, and I think that one of our challenges is to find a way to make that available.
I have observed private and proprietary colleges, like the University of Phoenix, and the market they serve. And I found it intriguing the way in which they are trying to deliver the product, with more accountability, for a price.
Let's take flight simulation as an example. If you're trying to train a pilot, you can simulate almost the whole course. You don't have to get in an airplane until late in the process.
We can do better in higher education. And it is more than just technology. It's also an attitude on the part of faculty. We need to think through how we can produce a better quality product at less cost.
You can take a school like the University of Colorado, with a selective admission standard. It has a better caliber student going in, so you ought to have a better caliber coming out.
This nation has been drifting back in comparison with the rest of the world for the last 20 years in education.
I think the big force is going to be consumer buying power.
With lab courses, we may be able to simulate a lot of that and reduce costs.
You know, IBM was almost knocked out of the box by other types of computer software and manufacturing.
Enrollment in Colorado is expected to expand about 25 percent in seven years. It's very difficult to find those additional funds. Therefore, I think you're probably going to have increased pressure on tuition.
One of the things that we're all struggling with is how to judge the quality of the value-added experience of an educational course or year. I don't think it's impossible to do that, but it's difficult.
Interactive computers and software will, I think, provide a less costly method of doing some kinds of inquiry, in knowledge acquisition and even reasoning and interaction.
Productivity is going to be a critical issue. And it's not just about getting more time for professors in the classroom. It involves reexamining the learning experience and restructuring faculty and the use of faculty time.
But in the free market system, you're forced to change.
I'm not just a politician, I'm a guy who has a real deep, substantive, commitment to education.
But you take a four-year state college, with a broader range of admission, and what happens during those four years may be an even greater value-added educational experience. I don't know.
I do think there is something to be said for those who have significant experience at state level and have run campaigns or have been deeply involved in grass roots political campaigns and who have actual hands-on experience.
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