As a couple of my older kids are now of college age, and this is making me confront the issues with college ... particularly with regard to computer science (which is the field I am in) ... namely ...
1) danger to faith & morals
2) college is a scam ... 3/4 of your coursework is not in your major, a way to make money and employ otherwise unemployable liberal arts professors
3) college computer science degrees are garbage (not enough hands on, too much theory, languages that are no longer widely used, etc.) ... so that graduates are not competent to actually program in the real world for years
Some alternatives are being self-taught or taking online classes ... BUT
1) these rarely have enough of the rigor required to become proficient and
2) it's hard to get a job this way
3) don't allow meaningful interaction with teachers
4) there's no way to establish proficiency (like you would be getting a degree)
So the thought has occurred to me to create a non-traditional non-accredited Institute of Technology, which would offer a thorough, rigorous, hands-on computer science curriculum focused entirely on one development platform (Microsoft .NET / C#) ... which is what I know and is one of the most popular out there.
This Institute would offer a Bachelor of Science. I've interviewed for many jobs and NOT ONCE has an employer asked me if my "Bachelor" was from an "accredited" institution. If they WERE to ask, one would provide a link that would detail the benefits and rigors of the program and the qualifications of the student.
It would be a total of 3 (approximately 4-credit-hour) terms per year for TWO YEARS. So Winter/Spring 4 credit hours, Spring-Summer, 4 credit hours, Fall-Winter 4 credit hours. Over 2 years it would be the equivalent of 24 credit hours. And some final project (which colleges call "seminar" classes) completed over the last 6 months would round it out to 30 credit hours.
1) classes would be conducted entirely online to reduce costs
2) first class would always be free ... it's not right taking money from someone who decides that they either don't have the aptitude for computer science or else decide they don't like it
3) if someone doesn't pass a class, they can repeat it for free
4) class sizes would be limited to no more than 20, so it could be a legitimate interactive educational experience, rather than just streaming content. EXCEPT that the first free intro class would not have the same limit, since there might be many wanting to do it (given that it's for free and just introductory and 50% or more of the students may not go on any further or might not take it seriously or just stop showing up out of laziness, etc.). Perhaps I should make it a $100 refundable deposit ... refundable if you complete the class, to prevent 50 people from casually signing up and then being too lazy to show up, taking away seats from others who might have seriously wanted to do it).
5) for members of Traditional Catholic families, I would offer an honor-system total tuition deferment. IF, after completing the degree, you get a job in the field making at least $30K per year, you would promise to pay back the tuition $100 per month so long as you're employed in the field. I anticipate that it would cost $3600 per year, a total of $7,200 for the degree. So it would take about 72 months (6 years) to pay it back at $100. No interest/usury. Again, based on the honor system. If you were laid off or in financial difficulties and couldn't pay, that would be between the student and God. I would do this for everyone, but I wouldn't necessarily trust people off the street to keep their word in an honor system, but would generally consider Traditional Catholics reliable. One problem I might have to address with this paradigm is the potential for students to go, say, halfway through and then just disappear ... potentially taking seats away from others and ruining the ability to maintain viable class sizes)
Would there be any interest here? I began developing a highly-effective curriculum for my oldest son, but he decided that he really didn't like it. And that's the kindof thing that the free first class allows for ... determining whether it's even for you at all.
If there's enough interested (feel free to PM me offline) ... I would work to start this up ASAP.