Graduating from a college does not qualify you to be an expert on college education in general or even your alma mater. In fact, far from it. My undergraduate experience was entirely unique to me and my chosen path through school. My classmates and I were different in more ways than we were similar; the only thing we had in common was the same airspace for a few hours each week. But regardless of major, extracurriculars, or social tendancies, the university had the same goals for all of us and for itself:
I currently live in Blacksburg and thought this would be an interesting juxtaposition:
UVA puts quite an emphasis on “achieving eminence as a center of higher learning” while NRCC places more importance on meeting ”individual, business, and community needs of the Commonwealth.” These two exerpts neatly sum up the differences between the goals of the two institutions. I have very little experience with community college but based on reading the mission statement I wouldn’t hesitate to give less tuition dollars for the same degree – especially in the current economy.
UVA’s mission statement encompasses a lofty vision for a small subset of the population while NRCC’s mission statement describes more modest aspirations that apply to a greater portion of the population. Both institutions will meet needs of the community. There is a great need for research and cutting edge innovation in order to better society. There is also a need for education for the masses, if you will. Not everyone needs or can afford to pay for the prestigious diploma associated with attending a more selective college.
My father is a lawyer. He didn’t go to Harvard or Yale. He went to night classes at Chase College of Law (Northern Kentucky University) while working full time. He’s doing very well for himself. But I think it’s great that we have Harvard and Yale.