The excerpt below offers a glimpse of "program accountability" in action. The call for action, however, is coming from the Tennessee Governor, not from the state's public colleges and universities. Businesses and policy makers are asking nonprofit colleges and universities to step forward and help meet economic development and market needs for degree and certificate programs in the most flexible, cost-effective, and learning-effective model possible. Tennessee may be forcing the issue in the example cited below. Wouldn't it be better for higher education to be more proactive by embracing program accountability as an obligation, at least for public institutions?
Tenn. Gov. Pushes for 'Wal-Mart Degrees.' Tenn. Governor Wants Community Colleges to Offer 'Wal-Mart Degrees' in Retail Management
Erik Schelzig, AP Business Writer, August 6, 2006
Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen wants the state to do a better job at preparing students for careers at Wal-Mart. But he's not talking about stocking shelves or checking out customers at the retail giant. Instead, Bredesen wants to tailor community college programs to offer courses on retail management. Bredesen, a Democrat, pitched his proposal on how to address a management shortage at big-box retail stores on a recent trip to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. While no formal arrangement has been struck, Bredesen and Wal-Mart officials agreed to work on developing a curriculum. Bredesen told The Associated Press he would consider an arrangement where community colleges teach Wal-Mart-specific skills, if the company would agree to guarantee jobs for graduates with good grades. Wal-Mart spokesman Dennis Alpert said Bredesen's proposal came after hearing from company officials talk about a shortage of managers. The program would be a first for the world's largest retailer. Read more ....