While the reality of some interscholastic athletic programs may have diluted the pretensions of many colleges and universities as institutions of higher education, some schools and governmental agencies now seem intent on wholly abandoning even that charade. For instance, Portland State University and Concordia University have now both adopted programs to accept intellectually disabled students as undergraduates even though these students, generally scoring in the bottom 3% on standardized intelligence tests, will remain unable to read, write and do math at college levels even with remedial classes, tutorial help, coaching and other assistance.
The justification for these programs is that they can make the intellectually disabled student “very happy” and they are somehow going to enable a substantial portion of the participants to someday acquire a job “paying minimum wage or higher”.
The colleges expect to provide each intellectually disabled student “with plenty of extra supports, such as a peer tutor to go over key concepts and terms before every class session”, “modified writing assignments”, etcetera. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education is pushing this plan which will necessarily create an entirely new institutional bureaucracy and only add to the cost of a higher education for those who do qualify on their own intellectual merit. The article from The Oregonian is here.