It's all going: the large lecture hall inside that large ivy-covered building, the masses of undergraduates sitting bored trying to figure out what the person lecturing will test them on, and we the adjunct professors who often teach courses in the humanities. The reason is that online education has come of age.
Once mostly the cost-efficient tactic of for-profit education, online education has become mainstream, reports Gregory Fernstein on TECH CRUNCH. It's a must because it's cheap and research shows that it is a more effective learning tool than instructor-taught courses.
There was a time when, for money, enhancement of our own credentials, or fun, we writers could put together a course, pitch it to the university, and then teach it until interest waned. Fernstein tells us that's over. A few ivy league institutions will be in charge of creating the online content. That eliminates the need for so many educational professionals. Therefore, graduate programs in the humanities will be deep-sixed since they primarily create future professors.
As an institution in society, the role of the university will have to be reconfigured. Perhaps all those building can be converted to affordable housing facilities for the increasing number of Americans who have been paying more than half of their income just to keep a roof over their heads.
My alma mater Seton Hill, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where I majored in English, is perfect as a retirement village. It's way up on a hill and the cost of living is relatively low in western Pennsylvania. The complex even has its own cemetery so we won't have far to go for our final resting place. As a marketing communications pro, I might suggest to the current president of Seton Hill Joanne Boyle to create brochures for condos and time shares.