I have this underlying aggravation about the red-headed step-child of education. No, I’m not talking about a befreckled child, literally. I’m talking about self-education. In our modern Internet era, it is much easier to find information–some of it is crap, that’s a given. But if you’re smart enough to know where to look, and how to find the accurate data, you can learn almost anything. Thus, I feel the educational establishment should start recognizing self-educated people by offering a test-out option on all college and university websites.
Take me, for example. I had 8 years of college, for a degree in Professional Writing & Editing, but I am voracious about learning in many other disciplines, and I feel a little cheated that my pocketbook keeps me from verifying what I’ve learned with a piece of paper from a reputable Institution of Higher Learning. As an author with 13 books in print, I am often unfairly penalized for not having enough letters behind my name to be taken seriously, though I feel I am just as qualified to write about certain topics, through my own self-education. In my mind, if I am capable of taking a sort of CLEP test for Life Experience or self-motivated learning, and passing that test, I ought to be able to get some kind of certification representing that, and without having to take out a second mortgage.
I’m just sayin’.