Informal Forum (10/22): Who Is College For?

October 7, 2010 – 10:10 AM

RUSSELL FORUM FOR CIVIC LIFE IN GEORGIA presents…

Friday Informal Community Forum

Topic: Who is College for?
Date: October 22, 2010
Time: 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Location: Russell Library Auditorium, West Entrance, Main Library, UGA campus

Free! Exercise for your Civic Muscle!
Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia (www.libs.uga.edu/russell/rfclg), a civic engagement program of the Russell Library hosts community deliberative forums on a monthly basis to explore challenging public issues in a deliberative, civil way.

About this month’s forum on higher education…
Today there is a growing belief that everyone who wants access to college can have it. College enrollments have continued to grow for over half a century and now most American families dream of a college education for their children. Americans have great regard for colleges and universities, but recently, there is indication that our national commitment to higher education may be fading. As states struggle with budget crises, state support for public colleges is declining and tuition is rising. Some states do not have sufficient capacity to serve the students who want to enroll. More and more students attend college part time, bear a greater share of the cost of education than ever before, and subsequently assume higher levels of debt.

Based upon current census data and enrollment trends, greater than 2.3 million more students will attend college by 2015. Our current system is not prepared to meet the growing demand. As it stands, colleges and universities will be forced to make difficult decisions about who should come to college. When spaces are limited, what are the most equitable ways to admit students?

Opportunity, fairness, and participation in “the American dream” are at the center of this issue. In an era when college is seen as an important path to economic success and civic leadership, yet access to college may be limited, we are forced to ask the question: Who is college for?

A Different Kind of Talk…
In this community forum we will explore this complex issue by working together to understand the issue better. With help from trained neutral moderators we will look at several possible approaches to crafting a 21st century mission for public education and consider both the benefits and consequences of each approach, as well as possible trade-offs. Finally, we will explore possible actions that might make a positive difference in our community. Throughout the forum we may find some areas of agreement among us, just as we will likely clarify areas where our beliefs and perspectives differ greatly. This robust and civil threshing of the tough public issues that we face is the foundation for vibrant and resilient community.

About the issue guide…
This forum will use the deliberative issue guide developed by the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good. If you are interested in reading more about the issue before the forum, you can download the issue guide in advance for free at http://www.thenationalforum.org/Docs/PDF/who_is_college_for.pdf

How to Find the Russell Library (Parking, Bus access, walking)
Russell Library (www.libs.uga.edu/russell) is located in the University of Georgia Main Library Building just off South Jackson Street in Athens, GA. Parking is available in the North Campus Parking Deck also on South Jackson St. Athens Transit and UGA Bus Service both serve the main library via the bus boarding zone on South Jackson Street.

The Russell Library maintains its own entrance on the West side of the Main Library building. Follow the path/steps down the right side of the main library building (the west facing side) and down the stairs to access our door. If you need handicapped access, please go to the main entrance of the Library and check in at the security desk.

For more information about this forum
, please contact Jill Severn at 706-542-5766 or jsevern@uga.edu. For more information about Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia, visit www.libs.uga.edu/russell/rfclg

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