Tag Archives: Six tips for liberal arts colleges to produce employable grads

New York Federal Reserve Bank report: Many college grads underemployed

11 Aug

One Tennessee Study found that quite often kids are encouraged to choose college over vocational or trade options. The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media. http://www.tennessee.gov/education/cte_council/doc/career_college_advice.pdf The Pew Research Center has a report, Is College Worth It? http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/05/15/is-college-worth-it/ Amanda Paulson of the Christian Science Monitor has a great article, Does Everyone Need A College Degree? Maybe Not Says Harvard Study http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0202/Does-everyone-need-a-college-degree-Maybe-not-says-Harvard-study about a Harvard study.

A new report released by Harvard Wednesday states in some of the strongest terms yet that such a “college for all” emphasis may actually harm many American students – keeping them from having a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood and a viable career.
“The American system for preparing young people to lead productive and prosperous lives as adults is clearly badly broken,” concludes the report, “Pathways to Prosperity” (pdf).

Harvard has quite a bit of press about the report. Jill Anderson wrote the press release, Pathways to Prosperity Seeks to Redefine the American Education System which is at the Harvard site. The point of the report is whether there should be a variety of post-high school paths and not just the focus on a B.A. Still, there should be post-high school training which would provide additional skills. http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news-impact/2010/02/pathways-to-prosperity-seeks-to-redefine-american-education-system/

One of the goals of education is to give the student sufficient basic skills to be able to leave school and be able to function at a job or correctly assess their training needs. One of the criticisms of the current education system is that it does not adequately prepare children for work or for a career. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/ A liberal arts education has been considered the gold standard. A Washington Post article has some good tips about how a liberal arts education could be made valuable in the current economic climate.

Andy Chan, vice president of the Wake Forest University Office of Personal and Career Development, and Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Reynolds Professor of Computational Biophysics and dean of Wake Forest College wrote in the Washington Post about producing employable liberal arts grads. In the article, Six tips for liberal arts colleges to produce employable grads, Chan and Fetrow give the following advice:

Here are a few recommendations for liberal arts colleges to more deeply realize and communicate the value of the liberal education for the world of work today:
• Develop partnerships that bridge the career development office with the faculty and academic advisors. Students demand to know how their choice of major will affect their career options. By sharing these data and student examples with the faculty and academic advisors, the career development office becomes more vital to students and to the faculty. With the endorsement and influence of the faculty, students utilize the complete range of resources offered by the career development office starting from their first year on campus.
• Provide opportunities for faculty to understand the needs of employers. When professors understand why employers hire certain students, they can articulate how the academic material can be applied variety of work settings and help students recognize and better market this knowledge and skills. They can also more effectively mentor students and provide career advice and connections.
• Make internships and/or research projects an integral part of the student experience. Make sure the student demonstrates the drive to stick with a research problem for longer than a semester. A survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 84 percent of executives at private sector and non-profit organizations expressed a desire for students to complete a significant project before graduation to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and a passion for a particular areas, as well as their acquisition of broad analytical, problem solving and communication skills.
• Offer credit-based courses in career development so that students learn the fundamentals for lifelong career management. With projections that today’s graduate will have eight or more jobs in their life, they must be equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to navigate the path from college to career as well as post-graduate career changes.
• Bring recent alumni from a variety of careers to campus and perhaps into the classroom to share their experiences for how they utilize their liberal education. Today’s students expect immediate answers and a direct line from major to career. At Wake Forest University, history professors require their students to participate in teleconferences with alumni who applied their bachelor’s degree in history to relevant but not directly related fields, such as journalism, law and marketing. Understanding the breadth of real-world opportunities dispels the myth that all history – and other liberal arts – majors are destined to become professors.
• Develop partnerships between the liberal arts college and the business school to enable faculty and students to work and learn across boundaries. Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise, now the most popular minor at Wake Forest, emerged from a college-business school collaboration. Alternatively, many students choose to acquire the Masters in Management degree at Wake Forest in their fifth year to develop the business knowledge and leadership skills to complement their liberal undergraduate education. These types of partnerships are essential to provide students with the skills to apply their liberal arts skills to business-world problems.
There are many possible solutions to help students realize and articulate the relevancy of the liberal education to the world of work. The one requirement is that liberal arts colleges must make personal and career development a mission-critical part of the undergraduate experience – and they must collaborate with faculty in the endeavor.
A liberal arts education, long regarded as one of America’s unique sources of strength, remains an important vehicle for nurturing young talent who will produce the answers for our future. However, a liberal education without regard to career relevance is not enough. Liberal arts colleges must begin rethinking success by demonstrating relevance beyond the classroom. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/college-inc/post/six-tips-for-liberal-arts-colleges-to-produce-employable-grads/2012/03/31/gIQAQb6EnS_blog.html

In the current economy more and more prospective students are wondering if college is a good investment.

Jill Barshay of The Hechinger Report reported in the article, Reflections on the Underemployment of College Graduates:

Most people — and especially parents of 20-something college graduates — know that the job market is particularly tough right now for recent college grads. But so tough that about half of them are either unemployed or underemployed?
That is what analysts for the New York Federal Reserve Bank of New York calculated, in a January, 2014, report, “Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs?” Defining “underemployed as working in low-paid jobs that don’t require college degrees, the analysts, Jaison R. Abel, Richard Deitz, and Yaqin Su, found that roughly 6 percent of recent college graduates, aged 22 to 27, were unemployed at the beginning of 2013 and 44 percent were underemployed. The unemployment figure has likely dropped since then, along with the overall drop in unemployment. But it’s quite possible that underemployment — the percentage of college grads who are in jobs that don’t require college degrees — hasn’t changed much.
Curiously enough, this New York Fed study was largely a rebuttal to the popular notion that the job market is much worse for college grads today. The authors looked at two decades of data and found that the combination of unemployment and underemployment is roughly the same today as it was for college graduates in the early 1990s who also had to seek jobs during a recession. By age 30, the majority of the 1990s cohort eventually found better work, and the same could happen for the current crop of college graduates.
But the authors also pointed to some ominous signs. They drilled down into the data of the underemployed and noted that it’s more likely for recent graduates to be in a low-wage or a part-time job than in the past. In other words, there’s a smaller share of college graduates in well-paying non-college jobs, such as electrician, dental hygienist or mechanic. And there’s a rising share of college graduates in the lowest paid of the non-college jobs, such as bartender, food server and cashier. That could make it harder for these young adults to transition to higher skilled jobs in the next few years. Time will tell.
Harvard professor Richard B. Freeman, one of the leading U.S. labor economists, wrote that he believes things are also worse now for American college graduates because of international competition. “The college graduate situation has a global dimension — 6 million bachelor’s graduates in China that affect the U.S. market as well — which is very different than in the past,” he wrote.
It’s worth pausing a moment to understand how economists think about underemployment, an admittedly fuzzy term. The New York Federal Reserve used the Department of Labor’s O*Net surveys. If at least 50 percent of the respondents working in a particular occupation say it requires a college degree, then the New York Fed labeled the occupation a college job. And it called a college graduate “underemployed” if he or she worked in a job for which less than half the respondents said a bachelor’s degree was necessary. Under this definition, every college-educated real estate broker, registered nurse and Shakespearean actor is classified as underemployed.
Sometimes fields change and become more sophisticated. Twenty years ago, some jobs didn’t require college degrees that now do. Journalism is one where many people didn’t have a college degree a couple generations ago. Now, even O*Net says reporters need a college degree. One question interesting labor economists is whether the employers hiring young adults can be more selective than the job itself warrants, and can demand college degrees simply because they have an excess of college graduates to choose from. Many elementary schools in the New York City area, for example, have the luxury of being able to demand that any teacher’s aide have a B.A. But O*Net says that the degree isn’t necessary for that job. Over time, that could change, if enough teacher’s aides respond that a college degree is necessary to be a teacher’s aide, even though you could perform the job superbly without one….
Reflections on the Underemployment of College Graduates – Higher Education http://diverseeducation.com/article/66209/

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano reported in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/education/edlife/edl-24masters-t.html?emc=eta1&_r=0 Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

Resources:

A publication by the government Why Attend College? Is a good overview http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/Prepare/pt1.html

Article in USA Today about gap year http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-06-18-gap-year_N.htm

Advantages of Going to a Vocational School http://www.gocollege.com/options/vocational-trade-schools/

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology http://www.accsc.org/Resources/Links.aspx

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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Association of American Colleges and Universities report: Liberal arts graduates run a marathon to become successful in later life

22 Jan

One of the goals of education is to give the student sufficient basic skills to be able to leave school and be able to function at a job or correctly assess their training needs. One of the criticisms of the current education system is that it does not adequately prepare children for work or for a career. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/ A liberal arts education has been considered the gold standard. A Washington Post article has some good tips about how a liberal arts education could be made valuable in the current economic climate.
Andy Chan, vice president of the Wake Forest University Office of Personal and Career Development, and Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Reynolds Professor of Computational Biophysics and dean of Wake Forest College write in the Washington Post about producing employable liberal arts grads. In the article, Six tips for liberal arts colleges to produce employable grads, Chan and Fetrow give the following advice:

Here are a few recommendations for liberal arts colleges to more deeply realize and communicate the value of the liberal education for the world of work today:
• Develop partnerships that bridge the career development office with the faculty and academic advisors. Students demand to know how their choice of major will affect their career options. By sharing these data and student examples with the faculty and academic advisors, the career development office becomes more vital to students and to the faculty. With the endorsement and influence of the faculty, students utilize the complete range of resources offered by the career development office starting from their first year on campus.
• Provide opportunities for faculty to understand the needs of employers. When professors understand why employers hire certain students, they can articulate how the academic material can be applied variety of work settings and help students recognize and better market this knowledge and skills. They can also more effectively mentor students and provide career advice and connections.
• Make internships and/or research projects an integral part of the student experience. Make sure the student demonstrates the drive to stick with a research problem for longer than a semester. A survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 84 percent of executives at private sector and non-profit organizations expressed a desire for students to complete a significant project before graduation to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and a passion for a particular areas, as well as their acquisition of broad analytical, problem solving and communication skills.
• Offer credit-based courses in career development so that students learn the fundamentals for lifelong career management. With projections that today’s graduate will have eight or more jobs in their life, they must be equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to navigate the path from college to career as well as post-graduate career changes.
• Bring recent alumni from a variety of careers to campus and perhaps into the classroom to share their experiences for how they utilize their liberal education. Today’s students expect immediate answers and a direct line from major to career. At Wake Forest University, history professors require their students to participate in teleconferences with alumni who applied their bachelor’s degree in history to relevant but not directly related fields, such as journalism, law and marketing. Understanding the breadth of real-world opportunities dispels the myth that all history – and other liberal arts – majors are destined to become professors.
• Develop partnerships between the liberal arts college and the business school to enable faculty and students to work and learn across boundaries. Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise, now the most popular minor at Wake Forest, emerged from a college-business school collaboration. Alternatively, many students choose to acquire the Masters in Management degree at Wake Forest in their fifth year to develop the business knowledge and leadership skills to complement their liberal undergraduate education. These types of partnerships are essential to provide students with the skills to apply their liberal arts skills to business-world problems.
There are many possible solutions to help students realize and articulate the relevancy of the liberal education to the world of work. The one requirement is that liberal arts colleges must make personal and career development a mission-critical part of the undergraduate experience – and they must collaborate with faculty in the endeavor.
A liberal arts education, long regarded as one of America’s unique sources of strength, remains an important vehicle for nurturing young talent who will produce the answers for our future. However, a liberal education without regard to career relevance is not enough. Liberal arts colleges must begin rethinking success by demonstrating relevance beyond the classroom.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/college-inc/post/six-tips-for-liberal-arts-colleges-to-produce-employable-grads/2012/03/31/gIQAQb6EnS_blog.html

In the current economy more and more prospective students are wondering if college is a good investment.

Allie Grasgreen reported in the Inside Higher Ed article, Liberal Arts Grads Win Long-Term:

Liberal arts majors may start off slower than others when it comes to the postgraduate career path, but they close much of the salary and unemployment gap over time, a new report shows.
By their mid-50s, liberal arts majors with an advanced or undergraduate degree are on average making more money those who studied in professional and pre-professional fields, and are employed at similar rates. But that’s just one part of the paper’s overall argument that concerns about the value of a liberal arts degree “are unfounded and should be put to rest.”
“That’s a myth out there – that somehow if you major in humanities, you’re doomed to be unemployed for the rest of your life. This suggests otherwise,” said Debra Humphreys, a co-author of the report and vice president for policy and public engagement at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. “That sort of journey to professional success is more of a marathon than a sprint.”
The report, “How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment,” includes U.S. Census data from 2010 and 2011 and is a joint project of AAC&U and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. Humphreys and her co-author, Patrick Kelly, a senior associate at NCHEMS, looked at long-term career path and salary data as an answer to the many short-term studies on recent graduates that have fueled the assertion that liberal arts graduates are disproportionately un- or underemployed.
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/01/22/see-how-liberal-arts-grads-really-fare-report-examines-long-term-data#ixzz2rCYOkCTv

Back in the day there was a book entitled Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. It was published in 1988 and was written by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Moi liked the concept, some others, not so much. “Cultural Literacy” is defined by Education. Com:

Having sufficient common knowledge, i.e., educational background, experiences, basic skills, and training, to function competently in a given society (the greater the level of comprehension of the given society’s habits, attitudes, history, etc., the higher the level of cultural literacy). http://www.education.com/definition/cultural-literacy/

Marci Kanstroom wrote E.D. Hirsch, Cultural Literacy and American Democracy which was published in Education Next liked the concept. http://educationnext.org/e-d-hirsch-cultural-literacy-and-american-democracy/ Others, like Patrick Scott criticized the concept in articles like Scott’s A Few Words More about E. D. Hirsch and Cultural Literacy. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/378146?uid=3739960&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=55881093943 Scott takes issue with Hirsch’s criticism of education icons Dewey and the NEA.

Bernard Schweitzer wrote an interesting 2009 piece for the NEA, Cultural Literacy: Is It Time to Revisit the Debate?

Some will say, “What’s so wrong with being unable to pick up references to a few historical figures, most of them dead White males? Our students are equipped with vibrant local cultural knowledges of their own.” Others will caution me not to expect too much from freshmen, saying that it is my job to ensure that they leave the academy armed with a degree of common knowledge that they may not have when entering it. Yet others may be more concerned, agreeing that while a basic fund of knowledge should be expected of freshmen, my students are perhaps performing so poorly on general knowledge issues because most of them come from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds (e.g., poor inner-city high schools) and diverse ethnic backgrounds (e.g., immigrants). But here’s the rub. If undergraduate students have never heard of Gandhi, Orwell, or Thoreau (or have no reason to remember them), they obviously have such a huge gap in general knowledge that four years of college education are not likely to make up for what has been missing since middle school. Although I may strive diligently to fill those gaps, I realize that we no longer live in a culture that encourages and reinforces a shared knowledge basis with regard to history, geography, literature, and the sciences. But that does not mean that this kind of cultural literacy has ceased to be relevant. Indeed, I believe it is still alive and well, but that it is now cultivated only in a narrow circle of the privileged classes. The reason I don’t see much evidence of this shared knowledge in my own classroom is that I do not, as a rule, encounter the products of the country’s elite preparatory school systems. What I’m saying, then, is that the issue of cultural literacy is socio-economically coded.
Some will say, ‘What’s so wrong with being unable to pick up references to a few historical figures,most of them dead White males?’
The problem with the argument that cultural literacy is irrelevant is that it does actually matter to some. It matters to the upper-middle and upper classes, who hold the reins of wealth and power. Those families who can afford to send their children to top schools can be sure that their offspring are inculcated with precisely the kind of cultural fluency that some are trying to persuade us holds no importance in today’s diversified world. The more we argue the unimportance of cultural literacy among the general populace, the more we relegate the possession of this knowledge to the province of a socio-economic elite, thereby contributing to a hardening of social stratification and a lessening of social mobility. In the upper echelons of society, cultural literacy indicates belonging, and it signals the circulation of knowledge within tightly knit coteries. http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/TA09CulturalLiteracy.pdf

Whether one wants to argue that certain cultures are not included or do not have a prominent enough place in the definition of cultural literacy, the real question is what is the baseline knowledge necessary to be upwardly mobile? That is the real value of a liberal arts education which helps to develop critical thinking skills which are transferrable to many occupations.

Here is the press release from the Association of American Colleges and Universities:

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Carrie Johnson
Associate Director, Marketing and Media Relations
AAC&U
johnson@aacu.org
202-884-0811
New Report Documents That Liberal Arts Disciplines Prepare Graduates for Long-Term Professional Success
Analysis of Census Data Tracks Long-Term Earnings and Employment Rates of Liberal Arts Graduates; Counters Stereotypes about Value of Liberal Education
Washington, DC—January 22, 2014—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) released today a new report on earnings and long-term career paths for college graduates with different undergraduate majors. In How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment, authors Debra Humphreys and Patrick Kelly analyze data from the 2010-11 US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and provide answers to some common questions posed by students, parents, and policy makers who are increasingly concerned about the value of college degrees.
Responding to concerns about whether college is still worth it and whether liberal arts* majors provide a solid foundation for long-term employment and career success, the report compares earnings trajectories and career pathways for liberal arts majors with the earnings trajectories and career pathways for those majoring in science and mathematics, engineering, and professional or preprofessional fields like business or education.
“Recent attacks on the liberal arts by ill-informed commentators and policy makers have painted a misleading picture of the value of the liberal arts to individuals and our communities,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “As the findings in this report demonstrate, majoring in a liberal arts field can and does lead to successful and remunerative careers in a wide array of professions.”
In addition to providing useful information about long-term career success of liberal arts graduates, the report also shows “the extent to which degree holders in humanities and social sciences are flocking to a family of social services and education professions that may pay less well than some other fields (e.g., engineering or business management), but that are necessary to the health of our communities and to the quality of our educational systems.” The authors note that “the liberal arts and sciences play a major role in sustaining the social and economic fabric of our society.”
The report argues that “whatever undergraduate major they may choose, students who pursue their major within the context of a broad liberal education substantially increase their likelihood of achieving long-term professional success.”
Key Findings
Liberal Arts Majors Close Earnings Gaps—Earn More than Professional Majors at Peak Earnings Ages
• At peak earnings ages (56-60 years) workers who majored as undergraduates in the humanities or social sciences earn annually on average about $2000 more than those who majored as undergraduates in professional or pre-professional fields. These data include all college graduates working full-time, including those with only a baccalaureate degree and those with both a baccalaureate and graduate or professional degree.
Unemployment Rates are Low for Liberal Arts Graduates—and Decline over Time
• The unemployment rate for recent liberal arts graduates is 5.2 percent. The unemployment rate for mature workers with liberal arts degrees (41-50) is 3.5 percent—just .04 percent higher than the rates for those with a professional or preprofessional degree.
Liberal Arts Graduates Disproportionately Pursue Social Services Professions
• Relative to their share in the overall employment market, graduates with humanities or social science degrees are overrepresented in social services professions like social work or counseling.
Many Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Also Attain Graduate and Professional Degrees and Experience Significant Earnings Boosts When They Do
• More than 9.6 million individuals hold a baccalaureate degree in a humanities or social sciences field, and nearly 4 million of these individuals (about 40 percent) also hold a graduate or professional degree. These graduates with advanced degrees experience, on average, a yearly boost in earnings of nearly $20,000. More than half of science and math majors earn advanced degrees and experience, on average, a boost in earnings of more than $30,000 when they do.
Graduate and Professional Degrees Provide Earning Boosts for All; Largest Boost for Science and Math Majors and Smallest Boost for Professional Majors
• Graduate and professional degrees provide significant boosts in earnings for all majors. The largest graduate/professional degree earnings bump is experienced by those with science or mathematics degrees. The smallest bump is experienced by those with professional or preprofessional degrees.
Median Annual Salaries are Highest for Engineering Graduates; But, Whatever the Undergraduate Major, College Degrees Lead to Increased Earnings over Time and Protect Against Unemployment
• The median earnings of engineering graduates are consistently higher than the earnings of all other degree holders, but college graduates in all fields see their salaries increase significantly over time
“My educational background is in a STEM field, but in recent years I’ve become alarmed at the attacks on the liberal arts as being poor educational investments—for both students and the state,” said Dennis Jones, NCHEMS president. “This report makes a strong case that liberal arts degrees really do prepare their holders for successful careers. More importantly, it reminds us that these degrees also are the primary pathways to careers that society critically needs, but has been unwilling to compensate as well as others.”
Note on Methodology
The study analyzed public use files from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2010 and 2011. These files include information related to the education and occupation of about 3 million US residents between the ages of 21 and 65. The report authors grouped together for purposes of comparison college graduates with four-year degrees in a humanities or social science field (e.g. philosophy, history, or sociology) and compared the employment status of these individuals with that of three other groups: those with degrees in a professional or pre-professional field (e.g. nursing or business), those with a degree in science or mathematics (e.g. chemistry or biology), and those with a degree in engineering.
*The term “liberal arts” is used in the report as a description for majors in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.
The publication of this report was supported with grants from The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Spencer Foundation, and the Teagle Foundation.
Credentialed media can obtain copies of the full report by contacting Carrie Johnson at Johnson@aacu.org or 202-884-0811.
________________________________________
About NCHEMS
Through its more than forty years of service to higher education, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) has been committed to bridging the gap between research and practice by placing the latest concepts and tools in the hands of higher education policy makers and administrators. Since its founding, NCHEMS has received widespread acclaim for developing practical responses to the strategic issues facing leaders of higher education institutions and agencies. With project support from multiple foundations, NCHEMS develops information and policy tools targeted at policy makers and institutional leaders that can help them set strategic directions and evaluate their effectiveness. NCHEMS also delivers research-based expertise, practical experience, information, and a range of management tools that can help institutions and higher education systems and states improve both their efficiency and their effectiveness. A particular hallmark of what we do is identifying and analyzing the data drawn from multiple sources to help solve specific policy and strategic problems.
About AAC&U
AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,300 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at http://www.aacu.org.

Citation:

How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment: A Report on Earnings and Long-Term Career Paths
Student, parents, and policy makers interested in the “return on investment” of college education tend to place unwarranted emphasis on the choice of undergraduate major, often assuming that a major in a liberal arts field has a negative effect on employment prospects and earnings potential. This new report—which includes data on earnings, employment rates, graduate school earnings bumps, and commonly chosen professions— presents clear evidence to the contrary. It shows not only that the college degree remains a sound investment, especially in these difficult economic times, but also that— as compared to students who major in professional, preprofessional, or STEM fields— liberal arts majors fare very well in terms of both earnings and long-term career success.
Also available in eBook Version (PDF).
Read an excerpt
Product Code: LASCIEMPL
Author: By Debra Humphreys and Patrick Kelly; With a foreword by Carol Geary Schneider and Peter Ewell
Year Published: January 22, 2014
AAC&U Bookstore: Publications, Books, Assessment, Curriculum, General Education, LEAP, Liberal Education
Member Price: $12.00
Non-member Price: $20.00
http://secure2.aacu.org/store/detail.aspx?id=LASCIEMPL

Related:

Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

ABA task force proposes sweeping changes to legal education

23 Sep

Moi has been posting about whether a degree is the best option. In Why go to college?
The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media.
Chris Stout lists Top Five Reasons to Go to College http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-Five-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Choose-To-Go-To-College&id=384395
Stout places the emphasis on the college experience and the fact that college is not just a place for possible career training. Forbes. Com published Five Reasons Not to Go to College http://www.forbes.com/2006/04/15/dont-go-college_cx_lh_06slate_0418skipcollege.html Some people discover their passion earlier in life than others.Forbes.Com addresses its comments at those folks. The calculation is that if one already knows what they want to do, college could be an unnecessary detour. A US News and World Report article estimated the value of a college degree http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2008/10/30/how-much-is-that-college-degree-really-worth
https://drwilda.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

The calculation for pursuing a professional degree is different. One must not only look at personal satisfaction, but earning potential.

Tamar Lewin reported in the New York Times article, Task Force Backs Changes in Legal Education System:

Faced with rising student debt and declining applications to law schools, a task force of the American Bar Association is calling for sweeping changes in legal education, including training people without law degrees to provide limited legal services and opening the bar to those who have not completed four years of college and three years of law school.
The report, to be issued on Friday, does not refer specifically to President Obama’s suggestion last month that law schools might limit classes to two years, and have students spend their third year clerking or practicing in a firm. But it did recommend the elimination of the rules that law students must have 45,000 minutes in a classroom to graduate and that they cannot get credit for field placements that are paid.
The report describes an urgent need for change in the nation’s legal education.
“The system faces considerable pressure because of the price many students pay, the large amounts of student debt, consecutive years of sharply falling applications, and dramatic changes, possibly structural, in the jobs available to law graduates,” it said. “These have resulted in real economic stresses on law school, damage to career and economic prospects of many recent graduates, and diminished public confidence in the system of legal education.”
It called the predicament of the many recent graduates who may never get the kind of jobs they anticipated “particularly compelling.”
The report is still a draft, to be distributed for comment, then considered at the bar association’s 2014 meeting. If adopted there, it will be influential but not binding on either law schools or state bar associations.
Randall T. Shepard, the former Indiana chief justice who was chairman of the task force, said that within the group, the most controversial sections were those dealing with how legal education is financed and with the accreditation standards.
The report criticizes the practice of most law schools to provide little aid to needy students, reserving most of their scholarships for those with the highest credentials in part to help raise the school’s rankings. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/education/task-force-backs-changes-in-legal-education-system.html?ref=education

Here is the press release from the ABA:

News > ABA News > ABA News Archives > 2013 > 09
ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education issues draft report on proposed reforms to pricing, accrediting and licensing
« Experts predict more divided decisions when Supreme Court takes on controversial cases in new term
Experts from architect, contractor groups to discuss federal P3 projects, aging infrastructure at ABA event »
ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education issues draft report on proposed reforms to pricing, accrediting and licensing
By John Glynn
CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2013 — Stating that the system of legal education in the United States is widely admired around the world but faces serious challenges, the American Bar Association Task Force on the Future of Legal Education today issued its draft report with recommendations.
Key proposals call for changes in the pricing of legal education, liberalizing or eliminating certain accreditation standards, and speeding the pace of innovation and practical-skills training at law schools. The draft also calls on courts and bar authorities to devise new frameworks for licensing legal service providers.
“The Task Force believes that if the participants in legal education continue to act in good faith on the recommendations presented here, with an appreciation of the urgency of coordinated change, significant benefits for students, society, and the system of legal education can be brought about quickly, and a foundation can be established for continuous adaptation and improvement,” the draft report states.
The Task Force is soliciting public comment on the draft that will help the panel prepare a final report for consideration by the ABA House of Delegates. Neither the draft report nor the final report represents the policy or positions of the ABA.
“While the Task Force is not finished with its work, this draft report represents our effort thus far to formulate solid proposals to ensure that legal education in the United States remains viable in light of substantial economic and structural changes,” said Task Force Chair Randall T. Shepard, former chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court.
“We look forward to receiving additional public comment to supplement the hearings and comments process that we have conducted over the last year,” Shepard continued. “Our goal is to produce a final report that will be as comprehensive and effective as possible while taking into account all the views that came to our attention.”
Said ABA President James R. Silkenat: “Legal education in the United States is the best in the world, but it must continue to evolve to match the rapid changes that are taking place in legal practice in the United States. The Task Force’s draft report was informed by a thoroughly open process, which is important, given the gravity and complexity of the issues. The draft report represents the hard work and broad-based inquiry that ABA leadership expected from our insightful Task Force members, who represent a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
“We are grateful for the Task Force’s continuing efforts under the leadership of Justice Shepard,” Silkenat continued. “Thanks to the Task Force’s work, the legal community will be able to have a full, engaged discussion with all stakeholders concerning the future of legal education. This is a topic that is critical to our profession and essential to the delivery of legal services in the United States.”
The Task Force was commissioned in July 2012 by then-ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III and supported by ABA leadership, including Silkenat and Immediate Past President Laurel G. Bellows.
To prepare the draft report and recommendations, the Task Force reviewed literature on problems and solutions. It met throughout the year to review and test potential solutions, accelerating its original timetable in light of the seriousness of the developing challenges to legal education in the United States.
The Task Force solicited written comments from interested parties starting in September 2012, held two public hearings and conducted a webcasted mini-conference in April 2013, to which various knowledgeable parties were invited to share information and perspectives.
In addition, the Task Force chair met with the leadership of the Association of American Law Schools and conducted a forum for deans of ABA-approved law schools. The chair and other Task Force members held forums at the annual meeting of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation and the Conference of Chief Justices.
The report is available online here, http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/images/news/PDF/draft_report_of_aba_task_force_september_2013.pdf
or at the Task Force website. http://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility/taskforceonthefuturelegaleducation.html
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. To review our privacy statement click here. Follow the latest ABA news at http://www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.
This entry was posted on Fri Sep 20 01:00:00 CDT 2013 and filed under News Releases and Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Whether a person chooses to attend a graduate or professional school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with degree.

A one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

Related:

Should colleges be career schools? Saving the liberal arts education
https://drwilda.com/2013/01/02/should-colleges-be-career-schools-saving-the-liberal-arts-education/

Brookings paper: Is college a good investment?
https://drwilda.com/2013/05/10/2784/

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Should colleges be career schools? Saving the liberal arts education

2 Jan

There is a continuing debate about the value of a liberal arts education. My College Guide defines a liberal arts education in Julie Bogart’s What Are Liberal Arts?

What do colleges mean by “liberal arts”?

In its broadest of terms, it’s an education that provides an overview of the arts, humanities (the study of the human condition), social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences. “Artes liberals are rooted in classical antiquity and refer to the general skills (=artes) a free person (=liberals) needed to contribute meaningfully to society,” shared Concordia University associate professor, Dr. Michael Thomas. “Today, we intend for this to translate into life-long, self-motivated learners who can flourish in——even transform ——the world.”

Some of the more common majors include: anthropology, communication, English, history, language and linguistics, philosophy, political science, math, psychology and sociology. Unlike the colleges and universities that offer these majors, other Some schools are strictly liberal arts colleges—meaning that all of their majors are considered liberal arts. http://mycollegeguide.org/articles/8/145/what-are-liberal-arts

One of the most prominent liberal arts colleges is Harvard College of Harvard University.

According to Harvard Admission’s post, The Value of a Liberal Arts Education, at the Harvard site:

A Harvard education is a liberal education — that is, an education conducted in a spirit of free inquiry undertaken without concern for topical relevance or vocational utility. This kind of learning is not only one of the enrichments of existence; it is one of the achievements of civilization. It heightens students’ awareness of the human and natural worlds they inhabit. It makes them more reflective about their beliefs and choices, more self-conscious and critical of their presuppositions and motivations, more creative in their problem-solving, more perceptive of the world around them, and more able to inform themselves about the issues that arise in their lives, personally, professionally, and socially. College is an opportunity to learn and reflect in an environment free from most of the constraints on time and energy that operate in the rest of life.

A liberal education is also a preparation for the rest of life. The subjects that undergraduates study and, as importantly, the skills and habits of mind they acquire in the process, shape the lives they will lead after they leave the academy. Some of our students will go on to become academics; many will become physicians, lawyers, and businesspeople. All of them will be citizens, whether of the United States or another country, and as such will be helping to make decisions that may affect the lives of others. All of them will engage with forces of change — cultural, religious, political, demographic, technological, planetary. All of them will have to assess empirical claims, interpret cultural expressions, and confront ethical dilemmas in their personal and professional lives. A liberal education gives students the tools to face these challenges in an informed and thoughtful way.

http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/about/learning/liberal_arts.html

Commentators and educators are increasingly asking about a liberal arts education because so many liberal arts graduates have difficulties finding their first job after college.

Sal Gentile of PBS’ Need to Know asks Is a liberal arts degree worth it?

That said, several experts are pushing back on the idea that diverting public funds from the liberal arts to science and engineering departments will make America more competitive in the long run. Michael Crow, a science policy analyst and president of Arizona State University, wrote in Slate last week that the role of public universities should not be purely vocational.

The objective of public universities should not be to produce predetermined numbers of particular types of majors but, rather, to focus on how to produce individuals who are capable of learning anything over the course of their lifetimes,” Crow wrote. “Every college student should acquire thorough literacy in science and technology as well as the humanities and social sciences.”

In support of his argument, Crow offered an interesting hypothetical: “Inspired engineering, in other words, could come as a consequence of familiarity with the development of counterpoint in Baroque music or cell biology. Or even the construction methods of indigenous tribes.” To the educational pragmatist, this scenario might seem far-fetched. How might a background in polyphonic melodies inform the design of, say, a bridge or aqueduct? If Scott or any other jobs-minded governor is looking for ways to cut the fat out of the public education system, the study of melodic counterpoints in post-Renaissance music would seem to be a prime candidate for the chopping block.

Except some of our most revered, influential innovators — and, not incidentally, job creators — took their inspiration from disciplines that are arguably even more obscure than music. Steve Jobs, who was neither a computer programmer nor a hardware engineer, famously told graduates of Stanford University in 2005 that one of the most influential and lasting experiences in his brief tenure at Reed College was his dabbling in calligraphy. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/the-daily-need/is-a-liberal-arts-degree-worth-it/12107/

Perhaps the most cogent defense of a liberal arts education comes from a 2008 Inside Higher Education article.

Victor E. Ferrall, Jr. writes in the article, Can Liberal Arts Colleges Be Saved?

As the steady decline in the demand for liberal education shows, the Case is not persuasive to those who are not pre-sold, i.e. those who need to be persuaded. Consider the following Case elements:

(1) Even though it won’t get you a job, a liberal education really is useful because it teaches students how to think critically.

The “critical thinking” mantra is an especially good example of embracing a bad argument solely because it is not laughable on its face. Never mind that no one knows what “critical,” as opposed to plain good, thinking is, or that there is no reason to suppose that one is more likely to become a critical thinker studying English literature than business management, or that there is certainly no reason to suspect that English literature professors are themselves more critical thinkers, or more capable of teaching critical thinking than business management professors. Yet no single assertion is more central to the Case made for liberal arts educations than the claim it will make you a more critical thinker, whatever that is.

(2) A liberal education best provides oral and written communication skills.

It is certainly true that a liberal education can provide these skills, but is it more true than for career-based education (or for that matter for the education that comes from being in the workplace)? There is no convincing evidence that the liberally educated are more effective communicators and the fact that the assertion is totally unsupported undercuts the Case as a whole.

(3) Liberal arts colleges provide an international education.

We live in a global world and it behooves liberal arts colleges to internationalize their curricula to the maximum extent possible. This does not mean, however, that the following common liberal arts promotion makes sense: “The globe is shrinking, we live in an international world, and our college recognizes these important facts by encouraging all students to spend a semester abroad….”

(4) You can study the subjects you like best and are most interested in.

In an effort to attract students, liberal arts colleges have reduced, and some have even eliminated, course requirements. To the extent they do so they turn over liberal education curriculum design to students who by definition are not yet liberally educated and virtually insure that their education will be less broad, less liberal. Maria Montessori’s maxim “follow the child” may make sense in first grade, but not at a liberal arts college unless, of course, the college’s education philosophy is that students will find liberal education on their own without the college’s guidance, in which case why should they spend $200,000 for 26 months?

(5) You will get good grades and this will help you get into the graduate or professional school of your choice.

Colleges don’t explicitly include grade inflation in their pitches to students, but everybody knows it is going on. In fact, grade inflation serves only to cheapen the value of a liberal arts degree and signals to students that a liberal education is simply a part of playing the credential-seeking game, of getting ahead. Further, since everyone is doing it, it doesn’t work very well.

The Case That Needs to Be Made

In contrast to these frivolous, disingenuous or wrong claims, the distinctively desirable features of a liberal arts education are de-emphasized or omitted entirely from the Case because it is assumed by admissions staff that they won’t be believed or understood.

(1) The quality of a liberal education that makes it so effective is that the subject matter studied is not “use-eh-full.”

It is the very “uselessness” of what liberal arts students study that opens the door to their appreciating knowing for the sake of knowing, that drives home the point that learning is of value in and of itself whether or not it leads directly to a marketable skill. It is possible to realize these things while studying banking or engineering, but it is much more difficult because the student is constantly distracted from the utility of acquiring knowledge by the utility of the knowledge being acquired. The genius of the American system of liberal education is that it eliminates this distraction. Its uselessness separates knowing from need to know, learning from need to learn, desire to understand from need to understand.

(2) The best teaching is at liberal arts colleges.

If liberal arts colleges pay attention in hiring, training, supporting and tenuring faculty, there is really no way universities, no matter now highly ranked, can match them in teaching excellence. The mission of universities is diverse and complex, the mission of liberal arts colleges is singular, to provide a liberal education to undergraduates….

(3) Your life will be fuller and richer if you read Aristotle, Descartes and Rousseau.

There is no doubt that this is a tough sell for college bound, wealth-seeking, “what’s in it for me” philistines and their nervous parents, but enrichment is inescapably central to the value of the liberal arts. Before I came to the academy, I was a lawyer. I know to a certainty that one does not learn how to practice law until one starts doing it. It is not learned in law school. Therefore, a career-directed, pre-law program at the undergraduate level makes no sense, i.e., even though vocational, it is neither useful nor enriching. By far the best, and often the only, way to learn any career skill is by practicing it. Career-directed courses are always of limited value; a liberal education is always enriching. The wise person, therefore, seeks both a liberal education and an on-the-job career education.

Curriculum

In the early 19th century, subject matter that made up the liberal arts curriculum was fixed: the ancient classics, rhetoric, logic, Greek and Latin. It was what a gentleman, a liberally educated person, had to know. Today, while the curriculum is flexible, taking advantage of the special skills and interests of the faculty, it still defines liberal education at each liberal arts college. It is the responsibility of the faculty — not the students, not the administration — to create a curriculum and the goal in doing so must be to make the best possible use of the faculty to insure that the college’s graduates are securely launched on a lifetime of liberal education….

There is nothing wrong with career-based courses and there is nothing wrong with encouraging students to pursue them, but not in lieu or instead of liberal arts courses. “Take them in the evening, in the summer, or before or after you graduate, but for the 26 months you are with us you will pursue a liberal education full time” is the correct rule for liberal arts colleges.
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/02/11/ferrall#ixzz2GmH9yPJM

Liberal arts colleges, like many institutions, are being forced to adapt to the tumult in the economy.

Justin Pope of AP writes in the article, Liberal arts colleges forced to evolve with market:

First, get students in the door by offering what they do want, namely sports and extracurricular opportunities that might elude them at bigger schools. Offer vocational subjects like business, criminal justice and exercise science that students and parents think — rightly or wrongly — will lead to better jobs.

Then, once they’re enrolled, look for other ways to sprinkle the liberal arts magic these colleges still believe in, even if it requires a growing stretch to call yourself a liberal arts college.

“We’re liberal arts-aholics,” says Adrian President Jeffrey Docking, who has added seven sports and two pre-professional degree programs since arriving in 2005 — and nearly doubled enrollment to about 1,750.

But he’s also a realist.

“I say this with regret,” said Docking, an ethicist by training. But “you really take your life into your own hands thinking that a pure liberal arts degree is going to be attractive enough to enough 18-year-olds that you fill your freshman classes.”

In ancient Greece, liberal arts were the subjects that men free from work were at leisure to pursue. Today, the squishy definition still includes subjects that don’t prepare for a particular job (but can be useful for many). English, history, philosophy, and other arts and sciences are the traditional mainstays. But these days, some prefer a more, well, liberal definition that’s more about teaching style than subject matter.

“I refer to it as learning on a human scale,” said William Spellman, a University of North Carolina-Asheville historian who directs a group of 27 public liberal arts colleges. “It’s about small classes, access to faculty, the old tutorial model of being connected with somebody who’s not interested only in their disciplinary area but culture broadly defined.”

Does it work? It’s true that research tying college majors to salaries can make the generic liberal arts degrees look unappealing. But technical training can become obsolete, and students are likely to change careers several times. These schools argue you’re better off, both in life and work, simply learning to think.

Research does point to broader benefits of studying liberal arts in small settings, in areas like leadership, lifelong learning and civic engagement. Liberal arts colleges are proven launching pads to the top of business, government and academia (graduating 12 U.S. presidents, six chief justices and 12 of 53 Nobel laureates over a recent decade who attended American colleges, by one researcher’s count). Foreign delegations often visit to observe, and big U.S. universities are trying to recreate mini-liberal arts colleges within their campuses. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765619049/Liberal-arts-colleges-forced-to-evolve-with-market.html

The dilemma is an old one of short-term gain vs. a solid foundation for the future.

Moi wrote in Producing employable liberal arts grads:

One of the goals of education is to give the student sufficient basic skills to be able to leave school and be able to function at a job or correctly assess their training needs. One of the criticisms of the current education system is that it does not adequately prepare children for work or for a career. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/ A liberal arts education has been considered the gold standard. A Washington Post article has some good tips about how a liberal arts education could be made valuable in the current economic climate.

Andy Chan, vice president of the Wake Forest University Office of Personal and Career Development, and Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Reynolds Professor of Computational Biophysics and dean of Wake Forest College write in the Washington Post about producing employable liberal arts grads. In the article, Six tips for liberal arts colleges to produce employable grads, Chan and Fetrow give the following advice:

Here are a few recommendations for liberal arts colleges to more deeply realize and communicate the value of the liberal education for the world of work today:

Develop partnerships that bridge the career development office with the faculty and academic advisors….

Provide opportunities for faculty to understand the needs of employers. When professors understand why employers hire certain students, they can articulate how the academic material can be applied variety of work settings and help students recognize and better market this knowledge and skills. They can also more effectively mentor students and provide career advice and connections.

Make internships and/or research projects an integral part of the student experience. Make sure the student demonstrates the drive to stick with a research problem for longer than a semester. A survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 84 percent of executives at private sector and non-profit organizations expressed a desire for students to complete a significant project before graduation to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and a passion for a particular areas, as well as their acquisition of broad analytical, problem solving and communication skills.

Offer credit-based courses in career development so that students learn the fundamentals for lifelong career management….

Bring recent alumni from a variety of careers to campus and perhaps into the classroom to share their experiences for how they utilize their liberal education….

Develop partnerships between the liberal arts college and the business school to enable faculty and students to work and learn across boundaries….

There are many possible solutions to help students realize and articulate the relevancy of the liberal education to the world of work. The one requirement is that liberal arts colleges must make personal and career development a mission-critical part of the undergraduate experience – and they must collaborate with faculty in the endeavor. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/college-inc/post/six-tips-for-liberal-arts-colleges-to-produce-employable-grads/2012/03/31/gIQAQb6EnS_blog.html

https://drwilda.com/2012/04/01/producing-employable-liberal-arts-grads/

It is difficult for even seasoned economic forecasters to predict the future.

In Is a business major in college the right move? Moi said:

Melissa Korn has a provocative Wall Street Journal article, Wealth or Waste? Rethinking the Value of a Business Major:

Undergraduate business majors are a dime a dozen on many college campuses. But according to some, they may be worth even less.

More than 20% of U.S. undergraduates are business majors, nearly double the next most common major, social sciences and history.

The proportion has held relatively steady for the past 30 years, but now faculty members, school administrators and corporate recruiters are questioning the value of a business degree at the undergraduate level.

The biggest complaint: The undergraduate degrees focus too much on the nuts and bolts of finance and accounting and don’t develop enough critical thinking and problem-solving skills through long essays, in-class debates and other hallmarks of liberal-arts courses.

Companies say they need flexible thinkers with innovative ideas and a broad knowledge base derived from exposure to multiple disciplines. And while most recruiters don’t outright avoid business majors, companies in consulting, technology and even finance say they’re looking for candidates with a broader academic background.

William Sullivan, co-author of “Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession,” says the divide between business and liberal-arts offerings, however unintentional, has hurt students, who see their business instruction as “isolated” from other disciplines….http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304072004577323754019227394.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_editorsPicks_2

As the environment becomes more unstable and uncertain, those graduating in a time of flux need to be adaptable.
https://drwilda.com/2012/04/05/is-a-business-major-in-college-the-right-move/

Related:

Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                 Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                        http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                              http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                     https://drwilda.com/

Producing employable liberal arts grads

1 Apr

In Borrowing from work: Schools teach career mapping Moi said:

One of the goals of education is to give the student sufficient basic skills to be able to leave school and be able to function at a job or correctly assess their training needs. One of the criticisms of the current education system is that it does not adequately prepare children for work or for a career. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/ A liberal arts education has been considered the gold standard. A Washington Post article has some good tips about how a liberal arts education could be made valuable in the current economic climate.

Andy Chan, vice president of the Wake Forest University Office of Personal and Career Development, and Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Reynolds Professor of Computational Biophysics and dean of Wake Forest College write in the Washington Post about producing employable liberal arts grads. In the article, Six tips for liberal arts colleges to produce employable grads, Chan and Fetrow give the following advice:

Here are a few recommendations for liberal arts colleges to more deeply realize and communicate the value of the liberal education for the world of work today:

Develop partnerships that bridge the career development office with the faculty and academic advisors. Students demand to know how their choice of major will affect their career options. By sharing these data and student examples with the faculty and academic advisors, the career development office becomes more vital to students and to the faculty. With the endorsement and influence of the faculty, students utilize the complete range of resources offered by the career development office starting from their first year on campus.

Provide opportunities for faculty to understand the needs of employers. When professors understand why employers hire certain students, they can articulate how the academic material can be applied variety of work settings and help students recognize and better market this knowledge and skills. They can also more effectively mentor students and provide career advice and connections.

Make internships and/or research projects an integral part of the student experience. Make sure the student demonstrates the drive to stick with a research problem for longer than a semester. A survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 84 percent of executives at private sector and non-profit organizations expressed a desire for students to complete a significant project before graduation to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and a passion for a particular areas, as well as their acquisition of broad analytical, problem solving and communication skills.

Offer credit-based courses in career development so that students learn the fundamentals for lifelong career management. With projections that today’s graduate will have eight or more jobs in their life, they must be equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to navigate the path from college to career as well as post-graduate career changes.

Bring recent alumni from a variety of careers to campus and perhaps into the classroom to share their experiences for how they utilize their liberal education. Today’s students expect immediate answers and a direct line from major to career. At Wake Forest University, history professors require their students to participate in teleconferences with alumni who applied their bachelor’s degree in history to relevant but not directly related fields, such as journalism, law and marketing. Understanding the breadth of real-world opportunities dispels the myth that all history – and other liberal arts – majors are destined to become professors.

Develop partnerships between the liberal arts college and the business school to enable faculty and students to work and learn across boundaries. Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise, now the most popular minor at Wake Forest, emerged from a college-business school collaboration. Alternatively, many students choose to acquire the Masters in Management degree at Wake Forest in their fifth year to develop the business knowledge and leadership skills to complement their liberal undergraduate education. These types of partnerships are essential to provide students with the skills to apply their liberal arts skills to business-world problems.

There are many possible solutions to help students realize and articulate the relevancy of the liberal education to the world of work. The one requirement is that liberal arts colleges must make personal and career development a mission-critical part of the undergraduate experience – and they must collaborate with faculty in the endeavor.

A liberal arts education, long regarded as one of America’s unique sources of strength, remains an important vehicle for nurturing young talent who will produce the answers for our future. However, a liberal education without regard to career relevance is not enough. Liberal arts colleges must begin rethinking success by demonstrating relevance beyond the classroom.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/college-inc/post/six-tips-for-liberal-arts-colleges-to-produce-employable-grads/2012/03/31/gIQAQb6EnS_blog.html

In the current economy more and more prospective students are wondering if college is a good investment.

Moi wrote in Why Go to College?

The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media.

Chris Stout lists Top Five Reasons to Go to College Stout places the emphasis on the college experience and the fact that college is not just a place for possible career training. Forbes. Com published Five Reasons Not to Go to College Some people discover their passion earlier in life than others. Forbes.Com addresses its comments at those folks. The calculation is that if one already knows what they want to do, college could be an unnecessary detour. A US News and World Report article estimated the value of a college degree

Amanda Paulson of the Christian Science Monitor has a great article, Does Everyone Need A College Degree? Maybe Not Says Harvard Study about a new Harvard study.   

A new report released by Harvard Wednesday states in some of the strongest terms yet that such a “college for all” emphasis may actually harm many American students – keeping them from having a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood and a viable career.

The American system for preparing young people to lead productive and prosperous lives as adults is clearly badly broken,” concludes the report, “Pathways to Prosperity” (pdf).

Marcus Wohlsen of AP has posted the article, Tech Mogul Pays Bright Minds Not to Go to College at Seattle PI.Com. Wohlsen reports that tech tycoon Peter Thiel has set up a scholarship which two dozen gifted young people $100,000 not to go to college but to become entrepreneurs for the next two years.

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano is reporting in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’sWhether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

Related:

Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©