Friday, April 27, 2007

Academic credentials

OK, so I'm utterly fascinated by the story of the Dean of Admissions at MIT who never got a college degree, lied about it, wrote a book about how important integrity is in the admissions process, was found out (how, exactly?), and has, understandably, resigned. And, yes, she couldn't have done anything else, and it's a classic tragedy where the seeds of her undoing were there from her own actions. Many other things, too. The thing that's fascinating to me right now, though, is I haven't yet heard anyone talk about how a person can do a terrific job without a college degree. At MIT, no less.

I remember a friend of mine in college talking about getting a PhD--not because she was driven to learn about her subject to that depth, but because she thought she couldn't get a job without one. Personally, it seems to me that it's harder to get a job WITH a PhD, but the fear was real. Lord knows I'm not knocking advanced degrees; I'm just saying that the fear, which is part of what this dean was fighting against, is crippling.

Strange, too, because I'd never heard of this "guru" of calming down admissions frenzy until her resignation, but I'm glad to hear someone was saying, "You don't have to be perfect to go to college."

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