Posted by: frodas | May 31, 2010

The Quarterlife Generation: What is College For?

There are is great amount of reasons why people pursue a college education. After the completion of high school it is natural for students to think about furthering their education at a four year college. The most common reason for people to attend a college institution is to simply extend their knowledge after high school. Newly learned skills are put into practice by applying them in your career path. Often people attend college simply to obtain a diploma in order to enter the workforce. Higher education allows people of all ages and backgrounds to become well rounded by exploring different views of the world.

First of all, a career path allows individuals to specialize in their field of interest. Theory learned in the classroom will ensure a smooth transition from college into the work place. This prepares you to perform job responsibilities more efficiently, effectively and confidently. The word out is that if you don’t go to college then the chance of someone getting a good job are slim. A report by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, written by Sax, Astin, Korn, Mahoney and Becker, indicates that “based on more than 260,000 first time freshmen from more than 400 colleges and universities nationwide, 72% of the students reported that one of the primary reasons they decided to attend college was to get a better job.” The analysis from this survey supports the idea that college is essential for professional development. Becker, a writer involved in the analysis process of the freshmen survey, provides a basic overview on the progress students make before entering the job market. “In many ways, colleges and universities function to impart skills, values, and information to students that can later be exchanged in the labor market for wages.”(Becker, 1993) It is fundamental to gain knowledge and skills in the classroom environment to later apply in the work place. College education and work experience is rewarded through wages and benefits.

Moreover, college allows individuals that have an undecided major to explore a diverse array of classes.  Throughout the extent of a four year education, students are enriched by various fields of studies where they obtain the opportunity to choose their major based on their career preferences and interests. The college curriculum acts as a guideline to prepare students to encompass new perspectives and knowledge, which includes, but is not limited to, cultural and value, science and business. An article by Time Magazine, The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research, providing insight on the essentials of a four year college curriculum.  “Freshmen ought then to take a yearlong English course, with emphasis on writing that should extend to other courses through all four years. The heart of those four years, he declares, should be a required core curriculum that embraces language, the arts, history, social and governmental institutions and the natural sciences. Thus everyone, regardless of individual goals, gets a base of essential common knowledge.”(Time Magazine, 1986) These are the words of Boyer, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which takes a relative approach on the studies colleges should provide or as they call it “a blue print for American Universities.” Both the Boyer Commission and the Carnegie Foundation are credible sources that work in setting standards in education and helping produce academic bill of rights.

Furthermore, the classes offered in college provide the material necessary to create a well rounded individual that can carry knowledge and perspective into society. Mervin B. Freedman, author of The College Experience, describes some of the social changes a Liberal education rewards us with. “Liberal education will make students more independent in their judgment and more flexible in their thinking; it will make them more aware of themselves and of the world around them; it will make them less prejudiced in their thinking; it will make them more socially responsible.” They will be able to understand and connect to the many different areas of life, which in return, helping them become better individuals and professionals. College graduates become the new leaders in society, which means that their education is crucial to make the world a better place.

Ultimately, college leads to a great career upon completion of a degree. College is the process through which an individual discovers part of their identity. College students become “life long learners” by acquiring new morals, values and skills. Higher education influences an individual’s career path to success. College graduates become the new leaders of society and we need educated individuals to make good decisions, which impacts new generations. The gain of experience and knowledge offered in college is priceless.

Works Cited

Lamont A. Flowers “Developing purpose in college: differences between freshmen and seniors”. College Student Journal. 31 May, 2010. <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCR/is_3_36/ai_95356600/.&gt;

Bowen, Ezra. “Education: What Is College For?” 10 Nov. 1986: 2. Time Magazine. Web. 31 May 2010. <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,962830-1,00.html&gt;.

Freedman, Mervin. The College Experience. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc., 1967. 202. Print.

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