College Sexual Health

The State of Education - College Sexual Health

STD rates and forcible sex crimes on college campuses have risen dramatically over the last few decades. STD rates have increased by 50% between 2000 and 2014,1 while forcible sex crimes on colleges campuses have more than doubled in roughly the same timeframe (2001 to 2013).2 A 2015 survey of 150,000 students from 27 universities–including 7 Ivies–found that 27.2 percent of senior college women had been the victim of sexual assault since entering college.3 These sobering statistics left us with more questions than answers, so we set out to discover a better understanding of the current state of sexual health in higher education today.

Part I: The Financial Landscape of Education Today

The financial landscape of higher education in the U.S. is vast. At one corner are educational institutions with endowments in the billions—money that connects them to hospitals, research centers, businesses, local cultural units, and job creation. At another corner are people who want to remain competitive in an economy where, it has been shown, a standard college degree means $450,000 more in earnings than a high school diploma. In 1975 it cost about $2,400 on average per year to get a four year degree at a public school. In 2015, the same education cost around $9,500.

Part II: The Intersection of Education & Technology

Technological advancements of the last two decades have completely changed what education can be and how knowledge can be efficiently distributed to students. After World War II the integration of technology into the curriculum and teaching process (more specifically, video-based instruction) became widespread, and by the end of the seventies there were initiatives around the country focused on individualized, computer-assisted education. The subsequent rise of the Internet and the rapid proliferation of information and cheap consumer electronics changed two major things: they lowered the age that children became exposed to vast stores of information and, in turn, fundamentally changed the way younger generations preferred to learn

Part III: Educational Policy Today

Whether at the state or federal level, government policy is critical to the shape of education in America. Governments set direct regulations on the ways that colleges can operate. They also designate local state budgets to improve educational standards, modernize schools, and bring learning opportunities to disadvantaged people. By focusing on equalizing the opportunity for all individuals to get an education, policies can help lower rates of crime and unemployment and improve the overall economy.

Part IV: Employability and the Economy

While some people are fortunate enough to take college classes for their own personal interests, most people who seek post-secondary education (whether online or not) are typically looking to make themselves employable. Whether that means a person takes a practical path and chooses a degree they know will be in demand, or whether they choose to pursue the path of passion does not matter. One of the major benefits of a college degree is deep awareness of how to learn and how to think about your skills and interests from an entrepreneurial perspective. Some career paths are easier than others, but what makes today’s world economy dynamic and progressive is that it supports an infinite number of money-making opportunities if a person knows how to make their skillset valuable to others. Today’s economy supports doctors-turned-artists, athletes-turned-politicians, and entry-level-salespeople-turned-CEOs.