The American Higher Education System

2035 Words May 4th, 2016 9 Pages
The American higher education system has not be stagnant, over the years it has changed and adjusted to each new circumstance it has encountered (Altbach, Gumport, & Berdahl, 2011, p. 16). The recent downfall of the status of the American economy has not only affected businesses and consumers; it has also affected institutions of higher education. The American higher education system is facing budget shortfalls, decreasing student retention, low graduation rates, and increasing institutional competition.
The resulting financial strains, manifesting in academic years 2009 and 2010, in both public and private institutions of higher education are forcing deep budget cuts, including the deferral of planned capital projects and maintenance, positions being left vacant, and the nonrenewal of junior and adjunct faculty; and even extending, in many institutions, to layoffs, mandatory furloughs, salary reductions, and cuts of entire programs (Altbach et al., 2011, p. 318).
The decreased state funding and budget cuts come at a difficult time, as higher education institutions are expected to make improvements in student success. Higher education is experiencing more complex and challenging issues than ever before. The current economic slowdown, increased unemployment rates and rising costs of tuition have sent many students to local community colleges to begin working on their education. “The economic downturn and accompanying job loss, coupled with the relatively low cost of…
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