Sometime a prospective student reframes or abbreviates the question as “Why go to college?” Others (not students) touch on part of the question from the perspective of expense and cost. Meanwhile, some people look at the question and answer through the lens of their personal experience. It appears the framing of the above questions as well as the answers are often from each person’s perspective. We need to consider a broader perspective. That will not be easy. It will take time and patience to explore fully.
The purpose of this blog is to broaden the reader’s understanding of the importance of a college education and the value of the colleges that provide that education. The value and importance will be partly from the transformation this education imparts upon the individual. There are also societal values that come from an educated citizenry. There are cultural implications. There are generational commitments, which fuel the rhythm of transference. There is certainly the perspective of investment and the expected return on that investment. Of course, it is critical to understand the origins of what is today’s college education. These topics as well as others will be part of this series of blog posts.
It is also likely that I will not convey everything correctly or succinctly. My colleagues in higher education likely will disagree with some of what I post. That is fantastic. I welcome alternative points of views and all the corrections I will richly deserve. That dialogue not only informs and broadens everyone’s understanding but it also serves as a living example of civil discourse. The ability to communicate while agreeing to disagree is another of the wonderful benefits of this topic, a college education.
I hope for one final benefit for this blog. I hope that I as well as other educators draw back the curtain on how we attempt to educate. I think even we as educators and professors sometimes forget in the day-to-day grind the larger picture. We do not want to hide or be less than transparent about our learning goals but sometimes we do forget to voice our noble purpose. However, ask any of us and we will surely gleam when we talk about that moment when we discern awareness or understanding has dawned in our students. The sudden elation we feel when that proverbial lightbulb goes off.
So buckle up and enjoy the ride as I humbly attempt to provide my perspective on the answers to “Why have colleges and college education?” If all goes according to plan, I will post on this topic every two weeks. I hope that there will be some other posts mixed in as well as some pictures of my trips. Please if you read, comment. Agree or disagree, all viewpoints help so I look forward to comments.