Assignment: First Out of Class Essay
Are Colleges Worth the Price of Admissions?
Are colleges giving students a good value for their investment? What are individuals gaining from higher education? (179) These are some of the questions that authors Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus, college professors, posed in an excerpt from their book, "Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids-and What We Can Do About It." Unfortunately, their findings are grim. They feel that colleges "have lost track of their basic mission to challenge the minds of young people."(179) The authors make nine proposals that colleges may want to consider, beginning corrective action on delivering a better valued education. The proposal , "make students use their minds," resonated with me the most. Hacker and Dreifus felt that students should become more thoughtful and interesting people while attending college. They go on to outline in this proposal that colleges should persuade students to choose impractical studies as a way to receive a better return on their investment. That Liberal Arts programs produce more thoughtful and interesting people is a point well taken; but that it equates education with better value has not been substantiated.
The value of anything is solely determined by the recipient. Redirecting students away from, and downgrading Vocational Programs does not ensure a good education. Most students would agree that the reason they are attending college is to prepare for a career. The statistic Hacker and Dreifus cite, that 64 percent of undergraduates are enrolled in vocational majors (180), supports this reasoning. It is without question that impractical studies will challenge the mind, and foster creativity in students. However, to charge colleges with the mission to persuade students that the path to a valuable education is through impractical studies is presumptuous when it comes to value. Vocational...
Cited: Hacker, Andrew, and Claudia Dreifus. "Are Colleges Worth the Price Of Admission?" Pages 179-189. Print.
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