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The U.S. Congress is looking into the question of how credit hours are measured for online higher education. With more and more students funding their higher education through federal financial aid, members of Congress apparently suspect that standards may be slipping.

As with most topics in Washington, party politics has reared its head, with Democrats defending traditional notions of credit hours based on "seat time," while Republicans argue for increased flexibility, which might help the for-profit "proprietary" colleges like the University of Phoenix.

But over at Inside Higher Ed, my favorite blogger "Dean Dad" is balking. The crisis in higher education, he says, is not competition with for-profit schools. The crisis is that higher education, as it exists today, is not sustainable. And awarding credit hours for seat time, rather than for learning, is actually making higher education's future even less sustainable.

As we continue to discuss the future of theological education, this is an important consideration. What's most important -- learning or "doing time"? Because whatever we measure is surely an important indicator of what we consider important.

Read the entire blog post by "Dean Dad" here.


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