V. The Right To Freedom From Tuition Extortion & Misappropriation
Higher education institutions must be held accountable for how students’ hard-earned internship tuition dollars are allocated. In contrast to an academic course, students are not paying for full-time faculty, curriculum administration and overhead for classroom facilities.
Given that the average career center staff per student ratio is 1:1800 and the average budget per student is $10.5315, it is very evident that academic institutions are pocketing those tuition dollars and lining their coffers instead of providing sorely needed ‘customer’ services.
Though no two schools do much of anything the same way, in some cases, a modest portion of this revenue does compensate faculty/internship advisors, but surely to a lesser degree than for a full-time class.
V. We call on higher-education institutions to ‘right-purpose’ internship credit tuition by:
a) Reallocating at least half of this revenue to fund – among several purposes – a network of Employment Readiness and Placement Centers16 to operate as an extension of existing Career Centers as a universal, cohesive “plug and play” solution.
b) Use a select portion of this “tuition rebate” to sponsor disadvantaged students to intern. Rely on the current financial aid qualification system to award funding.
c) Institute a system for transparent accountability with an emphasis on tangible metrics-driven outcomes including – but not limited to – student participation and feedback; integrating work experience with classroom learning; employer program development and quality standardization (“seeding”); and individual supervisor and mentor training practices.