Choosing the Right College… By Understanding the Purpose

December 13, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A recent survey by the American Council on Education showed almost 90% of young alumni say going to college was worth it, and almost as high a percentage said their undergraduate education had prepared them for jobs they currently posses.  Just as interesting, and a great indicator for the success of our national university system, is 80% of respondents said they would attend the same undergraduate institution if given the chance again. The numbers lead one to conclude that going to college is the most important decision, and determining which college or university to attend is second. More often than not, students will fall in love with their school, whichever college that may be.

One of the other interesting pieces of the survey is the question addressing the purpose of college.  Respondents were relatively split over whether colleges’ purpose is to prepare students for employment, or should the purpose be to teach students how to think critically. When considering college choices at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, consider what is best for you and do your research. For instance, UC Berkeley courses tend to be more theoretical and focus on teaching you how to critically think. Just look at their motto, “Let There Be Light.” Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on the other hand, has a stronger emphasis on vocational skills, not coincidentally the focus can also be seen in their motto of, “To Learn by Doing.”  There is no correct answer or better answer, just make sure it’s the correct fit for your needs. Perhaps start with the motto?

Further Reading…

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