Thursday, January 26, 2006
Will the University Survive ?
The other day I came across this article by Tim Swanson about the future of Higher Education. It has a lot to do with the economic inefficiencies of colleges and universities and how ultimately many will be forced to make significant changes, but I appreciated its attention to what's truly important about post-secondary education.
It's not a "get rich quick" scheme, does not lead to clear job prospects, and often does not prepare students for the working world. This is significant because "getting a job" polls consistently as the main reason students pursue higher education. So if most schools are failing to deliver this desired effect, what's a student to do? How can the average student navigate the higher education system, and come out with something valuable?
There are many answers, of course, but let me suggest one rule of thumb. Seek out a diversity of educational experiences by taking different courses from different departments, by exploring ideas through conversations with professors and other students, by attending campus community events, basically by taking advantage of the wide range of resources available on the campus. That's one of the most important values of college life; it allows you to participate in a special intentional community, one that spends a great deal of energy assembling positive influences that expose the complexities of the world and the intricacies of your self.
I believe that's a value worth paying for.
Incidentally, I am also an officer in a Men's service and leadership org called "One Army" (http://onearmy.tamu.edu) -- so I have tried to take advantage of some of those multidisciplinary extracurricular here on campus. Thanks for the writeup.Post a Comment