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‘Business Report’ Publisher: Google will disrupt higher education – Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister used to joke that if Google ever started giving diplomas, colleges were in trouble. But now with Google parent company Alphabet’s latest announcements, it’s really happening. 

A March 11 report from Inc. features an interview with Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who details Google’s plans to launch a series of certificate programs aimed at helping people bridge skills gaps and get jobs in high-growth fields without a college degree.  

As McCollister writes in his new opinion piece, the article goes on to say that most enrollees will finish in six months or less, and pay less than $300 for their certification. That is tough competition for colleges when tuition continues to rise and college debt is at an all-time high, McCollister writes. 

Colleges and universities can offer a different experience than Google can, but they must provide a demonstrable value for the consumer for the time and money invested. In the end, the market—students, parents and employers—will decide who the winners will be.

Also in his column, McCollister writes about what he sees as flawed rhetoric surrounding discussions of voter registration legislation around the country. 

Every American citizen should have the right to vote, but there are requirements. Just as we have the constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms, provided a would-be gun owner clears the various government-imposed requirements, like registering or undergoing a background check.

Additionally, McCollister applauds the four new charter schools that will open in EBR this fall: BASIS Mid City, IDEA University Prep, Helix Aviation Academy and Helix Legal Academy, as recently reported by The Advocate. These are more public choices for parents and students, and good for the city, he writes. 

Lastly, McCollister mentions the newly restored Martin Luther King Jr. memorial sculpture that was unveiled April 6, and congratulates and thanks everyone involved in the project. 

Read his full column here. Send comments to [email protected]