Daniel Greenstein, Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, visited West Chester University on Monday and hosted a public forum at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, where he discussed, among other topics, the importance of a college degree and ways to keep tuition costs down.
“In this country, it (a college degree) is the most reliable pathway into the middle class and beyond,” said Greenstein. “When I graduated from high school, there were maybe 350 kids in my class. Maybe 20 of us went to a four-year school. Twenty went to a community college. And the rest got a job at Kodak or Xerox or somewhere else.
“Those jobs are now gone, and those lifestyles are gone. It puts a lot of pressure on higher education to fill that gap.”
Greenstein also discussed the need for higher education to do a better job for students who have been historically underserved.
“For me, public higher education is about social mobility, equity, workforce development, and social justice,” he said. “Universities are one of the few places left where people can meet other people who are profoundly different than they are. And engage with those people. And by engaging with those people, build something called tolerance, which is something that is sorely lacking in this society.”