There has been a big push in the past few years—mostly from politicians, op-ed pundits, and tech venture capitalists—to make sure that college is valuable to students and their communities. This is understandable as the cost of a college degree can be expensive, the last educational investment before launching into a career. So, what makes college valuable? It depends on whom you ask, but not all answers are equally valuable. Continue reading Why Is College Valuable?
Students in core text courses can be (in)famous for their complaints about how required liberal arts courses are a waste of time and money because those courses have no practical value in preparing them for the “real world.” One semester not that long ago I received this written criticism from a student who had taken two of our university’s commonly-required Core history and literature courses:
I do not know what was going through the Core boards members when they concocted this curriculum, perhaps they did not understand the fact that we students have many other classes which are more pertinent to our LIVES and future CAREERS than English [and history] reading is….[S]ome of us are more concerned with the real education we came to school for.
Why do students react this way to core text courses? I submit that one significant (and completely ignored) reason is that universities tell students that college is a video game, not real life. Continue reading Preparing Students for the Real World, Not Video Games