It doesn’t seem possible, but it has been fifty years since I started college. Some things haven’t changed. Both were times of political tumult. Students of today behave much as we did. The way we learned is the same. The textbooks may now be electronic but students still sit in classrooms listening to professor’s lecture.
We have seen incredible changes over the last half century. Science and technology have had a tremendous impact. Forget smart phones, we didn’t even have portable calculators. Nobody back then could have foreseen the progress women and minorities have made.
The current generation faces a much more difficult time than we did. The cost of education has grown rapidly. Many leave school with a mountain of debt. Back then, having a degree almost certainly meant you could find a job. I knew someone with a degree in medieval literature who worked as a computer programmer. Now, many degrees have little or no economic value.
Giving everyone a free education is not the answer. What is the point in spending untold billions so that people can get worthless degrees? Instead, colleges need to find ways to provide cost effective, meaningful education. Unfortunately, most want to keep doing things the way they always have.
Kodak fought digital cameras and ultimately lost their film business. Netflix embraced the future and went from mailing DVDs to streaming. Most schools are more like Kodak than Netflix.