Last updated on: 1/13/2015 | Author:

Michelle R. Weise, PhD Biography

Higher Education Senior Research Fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute
Con to the question "Is a College Education Worth It?"

“Community college is great if it helps you get a bachelor’s degree, but only one in five students attending these institutions goes on to earn the degree within six years according to federal data. In addition, only 21% of first-time, full-time students earn an associate’s degree within three years, and tuition is not the main obstacle to the completion of a degree for low-income students.

Census Bureau data reveal that for most students with some college and no degree, it actually pays—in pure earnings premiums—to pursue a professional certification or educational certificate instead of a stand-alone associate’s degree…

Today, many employers demand more and higher academic credentials because of their dissatisfaction with the quality of degree-holders…

Continued focus on a college degree loses sight of the needs of most first-generation, low-income and minority students…

College is not the only path into the middle class.”

Michelle R. Weise, “Obama’s Dead-End Community College Plan,”, Jan. 12, 2015

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Individuals with JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to the study of higher education. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to the study of higher education.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Team Member, Change and Innovation Lab (CIL), Apr. 2014-present
  • Higher Education Senior Research Fellow, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, Jan. 2013-present
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs, Fidelis Inc, Mar. 2012-Nov. 2012
  • Assistant Professor, Skidmore College, Sep. 2008-Mar. 2012
  • Curator, Francis Young Tang Teaching Museum, May 2010-Jan. 2011
  • Editor, ICG Advisors, 2011
  • Fulbright Scholar, Fulbright Korea, 2005-2006
  • Volunteer, Health Volunteers Overseas, Aug. 2005-Sep. 2005
  • Instructor and Teaching Assistant, Stanford University, Sep. 2002-June 2004
  • Second Grade Teacher, John A. Reisenbach Charter School, Aug. 2001-Dec. 2001
  • Volunteer, Peace Corps and DED, Feb. 2001-June 2001
  • Volunteer, Willing Workers on Organic Farms, Dec. 2000-Jan. 2001
  • Volunteer, Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers, Aug. 200-Nov. 2000
  • Office Manager, Net Effect Technologies and Fishman Family Foundation, 1998
  • Intern, Bear Stearns, 1997-1998
  • PhD, English, Stanford University, 2008
  • MA, English, Stanford University, 2004
  • AB, Literature, Harvard University, 2000
  • Speaks French, Spanish, and Korean.
  • Twitter handle: @rwmichelle
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Is a College Education Worth It?