by David Safier
Higher education is not my specialty, so I offer this for discussion without taking much of a position one way or the other. Should we turn some of Arizona's two year community colleges into four year, Bachelors Degree granting institutions? It's happening elsewhere.
On the plus side, a four year college education would be less expensive and closer to home. On the minus side, educational quality could suffer.
When I was teaching, some of my high school college prep students who graduated, then returned to visit a few years later, had attended both a local community college and University of Oregon (I taught in the Portland area). Some began at CC, then moved to UO, and some went the other direction. I asked, did you get a better education in one school rather than the other? The answer was always the same: It depended on the instructor, not the school.
I hear lots of talented people with PhD's are having trouble finding teaching jobs. If community colleges expanded, they might find a ready pool of qualified applicants who are perfectly willing to teach more courses with less research expected of them than at a place like UO.