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NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered Host Michel Martin visited Madison’s Monona Terrace in March for a special live community conversation called “Who needs college?”  The event was part of NPR’s series, Michel Martin: Going There, exploring local perspectives on national issues.

There is a growing debate on whether the cost of a college diploma is worth it. Students and families are taking on enormous debt, with no guarantee of a well-paying job at the end of the road.

Is the notion that college is a place to challenge oneself personally and politically, to push against social norms, an idea whose time has come and gone? Is a technical degree or online learning a smarter choice in today’s job market?

Michel and a panel of guests and performers, tackled these questions and invited the sold-out crowd to weigh in.

Featured Panelists:

Stephen Thompson, NPR Music editor, co-creator of Pop Culture Happy Hour, University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus

Lynda Barry, cartoonist, writer, associate professor in Interdisciplinary Creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Deshawn McKinney, University of Wisconsin-Madison student, president of the Wisconsin Union

Brian Raffel, co-founder and Studio Head at Raven Software, Studio Head at Raven Shanghai, University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus

Charlie Sykes, author, radio host, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee alumnus

Robin Vos, speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater alumnus

Sam Park, University of Wisconsin-Madison student

Brooke Evans, University of Wisconsin-Madison student

Kaitlynne Roling, University of Wisconsin-Madison student

Featured Performers : First Wave Scholars

See the Twitter feed here.

Hear the NPR story about the event and topic here.

Special thanks to our event sponsors:

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