For years, education experts have been saying that community colleges offer an underutilized path in higher education. States spend less money per student there and tuition is much lower. The institutions' emphasis on teaching and on recruiting low-income and minority students means that they reach and graduate many students overlooked by flagships or who can't afford them. While many efforts in recent years have tried to ease transfer from two- to four-year institutions, elite colleges haven't always been part of the equation.
Student course evaluations are ubiquitous these days, whether they be at a national site like ratemyprofessors.com or sponsored by individual institutions. But Harvard University faculty members are split on whether evaluations should be mandatory.
Both the Faculty Council and the Harvard College Curricular Review have recommended requiring course evaluations, but at a Tuesday meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, many professors expressed the need to have a deeper discussion about the utility and drawbacks of evaluations before any decisions are made.