Commonplace Book #70

Part of the problem is that there are too many students, a fair number of whom simply don’t belong in college.  The new culture of education in the United States is that everyone should, and must, go to college.  This cultural change is important to the death of expertise, because as programs proliferate to meet demand, schools become diploma mills whose actual degrees are indicative less of education than of training, two distinctly different concepts that are increasingly conflated in the public mind.  In the worse cases, degrees affirm neither education nor training, but attendance.  At the barest minimum, they certify only the timely payment of tuition.

Tom Nichols, The Death of Expertise, 74.