This review of the Higher Education offers a platform for discussing different social and legal issues that affect the higher education sector. In this paper, we review the impact that policies and laws have on Higher education. In the first part of the article, we discuss institutional policies, federal policy, and law, or state laws that affect higher education in New Hampshire State. We show how higher education policies and regulations affect higher education funding, entry, and quality of graduates.
On the national platform, and especially the 21st century, two issues have affected the policy choices: academic performance and school choice. That has seen parents enroll their children in colleges and universities that are deemed to be high performers. These fronted the US government to set policies that would ensure that the standard of education is equal in all schools and among all students. First, the No Child Left Behind Act passed in 2001 institutes education reforms that would ensure high education standards and the establishment of measurable goals for colleges, universities and other schools to give students standardized learning and testing according to the discipline and industry of study (Dee & Jacob, 2011).
Second, there is also the Race to the Top Policy. The signing of the policy by President Barack Obama and announced Secretary of Education Arne on June 24, 2009, after being passed both in the Senate and House of representatives. The competitive grant fund that was created by the U.S Department of education was established to promote innovation in state and local colleges and universities. Through it, cutting-edge innovations and discoveries have been funded (McGuinn, 2012).
On the legal front in New Hampshire, several education bills are before Senate and House of Representatives. First, according to the Legiscan, we have the NH HB609 bill; Establishing a student career and collective investment program. This bill seeks to establish a student career and investment program that makes appropriate the career choices that student makes according to their talents and abilities. So far the law is at the Finance Executive Sessions at the Legislative Office Building waiting for voting. This bill seeks to encourage institutions to foster a situation where students can start getting on work experience while still in high school. For those aspiring to be lawyers, moot courts should be set up in school to help students experience real courtroom practices. For those wanting to be doctors, they should be attached to hospitals to start experiencing real healthcare environment
Second, there is the NH HB1439 that outlines the requirements for private schools that contract with district schools. The bill now going through the Education Executive Session in the Senate and House of Representatives, sets the responsibility threshold for private schools that are contracted by government schools in areas where there are no or fewer government schools. It states that the former has absolute responsibility and is questionable in case of anything. The bill is about the security of students in primary, high school and universities during school hours. Any loss of life by a student or loss of property by student or accident while in school should be under the responsibility of the host higher education institution.
Third, we have the Robotics education development program bill dubbed NH SB437. This bill seeks to support the development of robotic programs in Universities and colleges. With the world turning more and more technological the bill got the undivided support of the Senate and House of Representatives and had been signed by the Governor (Tyner, 2014). Informing the law is the fact that in a few years to come almost everything will be done using technology. Robots will do most of the work. However, to create useful robots, there is a need to invest in robotics education to develop a knowledge base and technical minds to build and control robots.
The Higher education sector of the American education system starts from High School to college, to University as the highest level of education in one's schooling life. There is Junior High school starting from Grade 6,7 to 8 and Senior High school that starts from Grade 9 to Grade 12 depending on state and district regulations. After High school, one chooses to go to College or University depending on the grade.
In college, students take between 1 to 2 years depending on the course of study. In University, there are degree, masters and doctorate programs whose seniority advances as stated respectively. The time taken from earning a bachelor degree to attaining a doctorate research is approximately 7.5 years.
The beauty of the US Higher education is that it prepares students for practical on field assignments that give workplace experience. At the Junior high school level, students start to take their lines of professionalism according to their talents and abilities. When students join the Senior high school, they specialize their studies to subjects that are more specific on their future carries. When students join Colleges and universities, they gain practical skills that are in line with their line of study. These can be law, Botany, zoology, Engineering, sociology and medicine among others (Zuber-Skerritt, 2013).
Another thing is that a student does not have to continue with studies immediately after attaining a bachelors degree, one can start careers and later undertake the part-time graduate program, or quit working and re-enter university. This makes education a flexible affair that can be sought at any age and by all.
The US Higher Education system is unarguably one of the arrangements with the highest school dropouts in the world. Compulsory schooling ends when one reaches age 16 in 30 US states, New Hampshire included. In nine states, compulsory education ends at age 17 and in 11 state Districts, the state of Columbia included, the compulsory schooling ends at age 18. Students drop out of school after attaining this ages regardless of whether they have finished school or not, irrespective of whether they have certificates or not. The United States School dropout rate standards at 11 percent of high school students of age 16 and this is too high for the leading world economy. I propose that the compulsory school leaving age be raised to age 21 to help reduce the high school dropout rate.
Secondly, I would propose the lowering of entry grades to high school, colleges and universities for students coming from minority groups. In New Hampshire, students from poor black, Hispanic backgrounds and persons living with disability should have lower entry marks to universities. Despite studying the same material with rich kids and white counterparts, the environments of study are not the same. Some do not even have school fees, some leaves below a dollar a day while some don't also have accommodation hence live on the streets. Compared to students from financially stable backgrounds, those students from minority backgrounds grapple with far too many challenges that affect their concentration in school. Treating them on equal ground is a disadvantage to minority students and an advantage for students from wealthy or economically stable families. The minority group students should also be considered more when the New Hampshire state government gives education grants, funding and bursaries to help fund their education.
Dee, T. S., & Jacob, B. (2011). The impact of the No Child Left Behind on student achievement. Journal of Policy Analysis and management, 30(3), 418-446.
McGuinn, P. (2012). Stimulating reform: Race to the Top, competitive grants and the Obama education agenda. Educational Policy, 26(1), 136-159.
Tyner, K. (2014). Literacy in a digital world: Teaching and learning in the age of information. Routledge.
Zuber-Skerritt, O. (2013). Professional development in higher education: A theoretical framework for action research. Routledge.
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