Monday, September 28, 2015

Homeless in College and expensive with Professors paid so little

This is a good question more noted that I have seen in Oklahoma.
About affording the cost of college. I knew a guy in the 90's that found a way
to go to college, without quitting to go back to work to buy food etc.

He worked saved money for a few years and saved up enough money for books etc.
Then he moved into a homeless center, quit his job, got out of the apartment,
no bills etc and went to the college all day long taking classes, learning, then he
would go back to the homeless center to sleep. And do it again the next day.
He had all the free time with no worries about paying bills he had none,
just focused on learning!

It blew our minds in college in the 90's it was the Holy Grail he figured it out!
How to go to college without quitting! WOW! I'm talking about Oklahoma here!

The question is you need to ask was why have to do that? And we are talking the 90's,
when looking to the now it's a crazy of a mess! Give there is just noway to save enough
money from your job to go to a college but still with grants I am surprised there are not
many out there becoming homeless to kill their bills to go to college!

There are people still doing it but not by the masses!

~~~~~Homeless college student ditches housing to afford tuition
Jake Stevens isn’t a typical college student. When the 19-year-old mechanical 
engineering major isn’t in class or working a full-time job at an automotive company, 
he spends most of his time worrying about where he’ll sleep next.

“It’s kind of stressful,” says Stevens, who grew up in Tampa Bay, Fla. 
“If I’m working really late at school, I’ll just take a nap in one of the computer labs 
or something. If I can get out early enough, I’ll go to a friend’s house.” 

Even after he maxes out his federal student loan allotment, Pell grant, scholarships
and the college fund his mother painstakingly built from the time he was in diapers, 
Stevens is still thousands of dollars short of meeting tuition requirements at his 
private Flint, Mich., engineering school. 

His school of choice, Kettering University, is known for its unique curriculum, 
in which students alternate between two three-month terms in class and two three
month terms working full-time jobs in the field of their choice.
Stevens earns $16 an hour (double the national minimum wage) and gets free housing
from his employer while working. After each three-month stint on the job, he should be
more than capable of affording an apartment back on campus.
Instead, he has to save 90% of his pay to cover the next term’s tuition. 

“I didn’t want to give up my dreams just because I couldn’t afford tuition,” 
he says. So he decided to cut the only expense he could housing.

But these days you also need to ask:

~~~~~Why Is College So Expensive if Professors Are Paid So Little?
As the fall semester begins on the small-town campus of St Michael's College in
Vermont, Sharyn Layfield is entering the autumn of her educational career with the
freshman writing seminar, The Examined Life. Lately, though, she's been examining
her own career with both mild pride and disappointment.
With a degree in creative writing, she's been working short-term teaching jobs since her
30s, often skirting poverty, never achieving the job security traditionally associated with
academia. Now in her 60s, approaching retirement age modestly in a
compact mobile home, she's helping build one of Vermont's few adjunct unions to help
colleagues gain the respect on the job she has long been denied.

As an organizer with a newly formed SEIU local, she acknowledges she's
"too old to benefit from the improvements for many more years," but she's organizing
because "others have lived as I have - hand-to-mouth and I want that to change for them
Our goal is to be respected, included, and paid for the work we do; it's that simple."

With student debt and tuitions both ballooning across the country, a college degree
is in many ways more expensive - or overvalued - today than ever.
So why is the cost of academic labor - the kind Layfield struggles to provide every day
treated as dirt cheap?

According to a study by the Campaign for the Future of Education (CFHE),
overreliance on precariously employed faculty is devaluing higher education for teachers
and students alike.

Faculty activists acknowledge the consumer concerns about higher education's value
today, including poor completion rates, but link these to a cycle of underinvestment
on the teaching side: The "churning of the faculty workforce. low salaries and
over-reliance on part-time appointments" erode the quality and attentiveness
of instruction, with long-term impacts on public institutions that have historically
served the most challenged populations - the poor, people of color and first-generation
college students. And as disinvestment and declining academic outcomes deepen,
the overall institutional integrity of higher education systems erodes.

One example is the California State University system: Between 2004 and 2013,
the number of faculty teaching full-time or the equivalent ticked up 8 percent, but the
population of full-time-equivalent students simultaneously jumped by 20 percent.
SEIU's adjunct-organizing project estimates that as of 2013, "22 percent of part-time
faculty live below the poverty line," significantly higher than the overall
poverty rate nationwide.

But the hyperinflated price tag of college has funneled toward another aspect of the
higher education system: driving funds into administrative offices a pattern
"reflected in increases in the numbers of administrative positions, increases in those
salaries, and increases in the percentage of college budgets going to these functions."

Twenty-five years ago, a student at a public college or non-research university campus
would see twice as many faculty as administrators on average; now the ratio is
roughly equal. Just 20 percent of the teaching workforce in 2013 were permanent or
tenure track. About half worked part-time or as adjuncts, often stitching together
temporary gigs at different institutions.

An adjunct juggling four courses at three campuses, earning about $2700 each course
per semester, might have to sacrifice softer forms of pedagogical labor,
like after-class conferences working through a math problem or counseling
struggling students. While those little time investments may seem like budgetary
fat to a cost-trimming administrator, they could make all the difference to the
overstressed adult learner, who needs a few extra tutorials to convince her not to
drop out this semester.

Layfield's colleague Katie Powell, who teaches two intensive English courses at
St. Michael's, says via e-mail, "We don't have the same rights to voice our opinion on
matters that affect the schools we work at or the students we teach, even though many
adjunct faculty have invested many years at their institution.
The fact that adjunct faculty salaries fall below the poverty level is a disgrace in
higher education and devalues the degrees that we hold."

Some administrators are touting technological "innovations," like distance learning and
online lectures, to supplement or replace brick-and-mortar classrooms.
But digital teaching is no substitute for human connections, warns education scholar
and CFHE campaigner Gary Rhoades. Rhoades points to research showing that
underserved students, including low-income and first-generation students, tend to
be poorly served by digital instruction, compared to more interactive coursework
with a dedicated, real-life teacher.

Technology can enhance instructional quality, he says, but only when employed "to
enhance education, not to turn it into just the passive delivery of information."
Comparing the push for technology on campus to the global manufacturing system,
he adds, "it's very much part of this just-in-time delivery model which seeks essentially
to de-skill faculty.… But that's not what students need, and it's not what this society,
and especially a democratic society, needs."

Jennifer Eagan, president of the California Faculty Association and CFHE supporter,
says via e-mail that these shortsighted hiring practices don't simply shunt contingent
faculty into poorly compensated "disposable" positions.
Adjunctification of the academic workforce hurts full-time professors as well, by
diminishing faculty's democratic control over curriculum, institutional policies
and program planning:

The attack…also takes the form of the erosion of shared faculty governance.
Higher workloads and the deprofessionalization of the University.
These trends affect tenure-line faculty and contingent faculty alike,
and they are where they have common cause.
Though campus labor campaigns often focus on specific labor sectors, such as graduate
assistants or adjuncts, Eagan sees prospects for cross-faculty organizing:
"We would all like it to be different. I think once we see that we share a similar struggle,
the solidarity can build."

Even on St. Michael's cozy campus, Layfield's professorial life feels increasingly
industrialized: Despite continual financial and schedule strains, she often gives her
personal time to ensure students get the help they need, though for adjuncts,
such supplementary work in many cases goes unpaid.

"I do it because that's how I teach," she says. "So whether or not they're paying me
anymore, I'm still going to do that…. But I would think some adjuncts who have to
go to three places in a day, can't give students the time they'd like."

As Layfield nears retirement age, she knows she won't have much more time to give her
students. But she hopes organizing with her union for a fair contract can ensure future
generations of faculty will face a richer career horizon. It's her way of capstoning an
examined teaching life: leaving a promising legacy on the campus that has, despite
an imperfect relationship, grown on her.

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