Higher Education Assignment #3: “Saying Why It Matters”

Write a letter to the Queens College Provost, Dr. James Stellar, informed by the readings in this unit (“Education in America: The Next Generation”) and structured as a well-organized argument. Your letter will respond to the following prompt: What has learning about a for-profit educational model highlighted about your educational experience at Queens College? You may discuss aspects of your experience at a public university that might not be possible in a for-profit system, and/or you may discuss potential resemblances between the two. Taking into account the way the atmosphere of American higher education has been impacted by corporate models and for-profit institutions over the last few decades, conclude by recommending a 5-10 year plan to the Provost that would support what you believe to be the most unique and effective aspects of the learning environment at Queens College.

Audience: A provost, who is the chief academic officer at a college, is responsible for all academic programs. This person handles academic budget concerns, deciding how money should be allocated when hiring new faculty; the provost also signs off on any changes to a college’s curriculum, research interests, admissions and enrollment policies, and its uses of instructional technology. Additionally, the provost advises the president on matters related to overall planning and allocation of a college’s resources.

Advice: You also need to define how you’re using the terms “for-profit” or “corporate model” as this might be understood differently by different audiences. Which aspects of this model might Queens College adopt and which should it change or avoid completely? This letter will require you to incorporate ALL the writing moves you have learned from reading TSIS Chapters 1-10.

Format: 5-6 pages, plus Works Cited section


Type: Write an essay in a specified genre (e.g., a letter) where evidence is used to convey a new insight to a reader

Rationale: The purpose of this assignment is for students to practice writing in a different genre, and to invest in them a strong motive by providing a specific, named audience (the college provost) to address. The letter parameters require that they reflect on their recent course readings in order to explain and inform, articulate an argument that is both close to them personally and to the larger cohort of their generational peers, and clearly formulated set of possible solutions. This assignment moves them beyond the summary or analysis of evidence in order to explain and articulate the positions of others by using evidence to stake a claim that contextualizes their own positions within an important national conversation.

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