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Why Public Higher Education Should Be Kept Alive

Karen S. Haynes, Ph.D. is the president of California State University San Marcos (CMUSM), and she has a few things that she wanted to let us know about the value that should be given to public higher education. Not only is the value of degrees being questioned, but negative stereotypes that are associated with a public state school.

Haynes wrote an article for the Huffington Post spotlighting her argument for why her school and her students within it are becoming just as educated and just as deserving of attention and funding. Though her examples may be a bit specific to CSUSM, she makes some great points that are fighting for all public higher education as well.

Oftentimes, public higher education schools are the only four-year institutions in place to serve a large region of students. It is still possible to have smaller class sizes and build relationships between professors and students. Students have opportunities to become very involved in community service, new clubs, and giving back to the community around them. For example, Haynes mentions that almost 85% of her students at CSUSM remain in the area after they graduate, pouring their new collegiate education into improving the community surrounding the school. Haynes also mentions that serving the community around CSUSM has always been a big mission of theirs.

CSUSM has provide many benefits for their students and their community, as well as services provided veterans and minorities. With the advancements made at this school of public higher education and the services and education provided at other public education universities, there needs to be more funding given. The economic conditions and public investment is shrinking for public higher education, but there are so many ways that these schools are working to help their students achieve more without the help of the state’s money. 

There is too much diversity and opportunity in America’s higher education to kill it with lack of funding. It has played a critical role in providing more affordable and useful education to young adults, so that they may receive a college degree that can, in turn, benefit their community. In truth, public higher education is serving as a great equalizer of education—and we need that to stay in place.


Based on the article, "Public Higher Education--the Great Equalizer." 


--Jessalyn Kieta

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