Week 11 – The Future of Higher Education

I, and I hope my fellow graduate students and professors, have a lot of opinions on higher education. There are many factors that play into an undergraduate student’s success in college. I know professors absolutely do not set their students up for failure, but rather I see it as professors have high expectations for their students, which is totally fine. However, some students think their professors are “too strict” because they might make them write many papers or give difficult tests.

The documentary provided some facts that surprised me. I did not know that nationally, one out of four students drop out before sophomore year. I did not think that the percentage would be so high. Especially since I also attended VT for undergrad, I did not see many of my friends or fellow students drop out so soon into their college career. Also in the documentary, there are clips of students who are about to fail classes or rely on extra credit to scrape by. I think extra credit is very beneficial but students cannot rely on extra credit to pass a class. In my opinion, extra credit should be used to bump yourself up a letter grade.

As for solutions, I think that students should receive better education during their high school years. High schools should focus on life skills that are translatable through various careers. I think writing is an important skill that all students should master before college. Then in college, the student’s writing skills can be enhanced based on the required style of writing they need in their major. (Technical writing skills for science and engineering majors, creative writing for English, etc.) If these skills aren’t enhanced during college, these students will graduate and their employers might be disappointed that their employees have terrible writing skills. Just a thought.

I understand that issues around higher education are difficult and take an extremely long amount of time to solve. I am glad that people are thinking about restructuring higher education.

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