Future of the University

Hopefully it will happen soon, but I think the most important change we need is increased access to higher education. I think on one end of the spectrum, there is entirely too much pressure on the value of college. We take 17-18 year old kids, have them sign up for a huge amount of debt, and then may not provide them with the education that would offer them a career with an income to pay it back.

One answer it to make sure that people don’t pursue a college education if their career wouldn’t need it. Prioritize trade schools, other certification programs, and make college even more difficult and more exclusive so only people who “need” a college education for their career, will be so skilled and so specialized it will be worth it. But I don’t like that answer. I think college is more important than preparing for a career, and there has been so much stress on the cost on the individual, only those who are privileged enough are able to treat it as an opportunity to grow as individuals.

An average US high school education is not enough preparation to succeed in this country, nor is an average high school graduate mature enough to succeed as an adult. I believe if our country and government could provide it, a college education should be provided for anyone who would wish to pursue one. For me personally, the ability to attend a community college for two years, and then a 4-year university for 3 were extremely important in my ability to take the time to figure out what I want to do in life, and my ability to pursue that. I’m privileged enough to have been able to take that time, screw up a bit, and succeed some as well. I am also privileged enough to not have had the financial barrier or prevent me from taking the time I needed to end up where I am now. There is too much pressure on individuals trying to develop in to contributing members of society, and the cost on the time they are taking to develop is too high, which I believe inhibits the process. I think it would better many individuals but also higher education as a whole to increase access.

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