During the future professoriate lecture, we have learned about many types of higher education institutions. Having been involved with Virginia Tech for all of my higher education, it is enlightening to learn about the other types of institutions that are available to students. It is both interesting and exciting to see that higher education can be accessible to many different kinds of students. The full time student who lives on campus and does not need a side job to afford their education is not the only student who seeks a higher education. From research 1 universities to liberal arts colleges to community colleges, it seems that there is a place for anyone that seeks out a higher education after high school.
As an unconventional graduate student, myself, I can see a great value in the differing types of higher education. As of now, I am teaching public speaking in the communications department of Virginia Tech and really enjoy certain aspects of teaching. However, I am not sure that I would want to spend the rest of my career doing research in an attempt to gain tenure at a research 1 university. It is refreshing to know that there are some different options for me to continue my teaching in higher education. Looking into liberal arts colleges and universities that do not look upon research as the main component to being a professor has renewed an outlook of mine to continue teaching into my future. I would like to find a university or college where I can hone my teaching, classroom, and student interaction skills in order to become a better teacher and not just use teaching as a way to allow me to continue research.
I look forward to learning more about higher education and the ways in which it serves all kinds of students. When it comes to gaining a higher education, all students that look to better themselves should be given that chance, whether it be here in the United States or overseas. I believe that the different ways to earn that higher education and the different ways in which teaching that higher education is fostered is a great thing for the future of the United States.