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Coplin authors paper on cutting college costs for Lumina Foundation education summit
Bill Coplin, professor of public policy in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and The College of Arts and Sciences, and author of “10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College” (Ten Speed, 2003), has written one of eight articles to be presented at the Lumina Foundation for Education’s “College Costs: Making Opportunity Affordable Invitational Summit,” Nov. 2 in Washington, D.C.
Coplin’s paper, “Seven steps: Ways to reduce instructional costs and improve undergraduate and graduate education,” was submitted following the Lumina Foundation’s Call for Solutions in 2004, in which experts were asked to highlight creative ideas and suggest alternatives for cutting college costs and expanding access to higher education. The Lumnina Foundation received 25 responses from across the country and, through a National Editorial Advisory Panel of distinguished leaders and researchers, narrowed the submissions for publication down to eight.
Coplin’s paper, along with the seven other proposals and a summary of several other cost-saving ideas Lumina has collected, have been assembled into a 115-page document titled “Course Corrections,” which the Lumina Foundation has made available on its college-costs Web site athttp://www.collegecosts.info.
At the Nov. 2 summit, these eight papers will be discussed as part of a daylong examination by higher education researchers and policy makers on how to help more students complete degrees and how to increase access to postsecondary education by making the costs of college more affordable for students and families. “College Costs: Making Opportunity Affordable” is an initiative created by the Lumina Foundation to spotlight and foster solutions to the alarming rise in the cost of college and to create dialogue among decision-makers in higher education, state government, federal government, secondary schools, the private sector, and families and students on possible solutions to the many problems that contribute to rising costs.
In Coplin’s proposal, he discusses seven practices that could provide undergraduate and graduate students with high-quality education more efficiently: outsource selected courses and programs; expand opportunities for experiential learning credit in traditional four-year programs; give credit for programs offered by student services; unbundle university education by providing more credential options than the traditional bachelor’s and master’s degrees; adapt existing concurrent enrollment programs with high schools so that students can graduate in fewer than four years; use undergraduate teaching assistants for lower-division courses; and adopt an apprenticeship model for all doctoral programs. His essay briefly describes each proposed practice and includes concrete examples as well as the associated costs and questions of quality and the impact on faculty.
Coplin has been the director of and a professor in the Public Affairs Program since 1976. He has published extensively in the fields of international relations, public policy, political risk analysis, social science education and citizenship, and he has won numerous teaching awards. Coplin earned his bachelor’s degree in social science from Johns Hopkins University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in international relations from American University. He is a frequent contributor to USA Today on high school and college education.