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Higher education has become filled with numerous flaws which is not only affecting our students but resulting in under-prepared graduates. Students in the first year of college are unable to select classes that will help them in their career goals and land their dream jobs; instead they are compelled to pursue courses which their universities believe are important.
Is University Education helping Students?
Almost all students during their first year in college end up taking General Education classes that are told to be the most useful when they start their career and land a job. Hence, our students spend a lot of time studying subjects like math, history, foreign language, literature, art and music & social sciences. But do these subjects help learners to get a job? Can you actually use your knowledge from these topics in today’s intensely competitive and ever evolving global workplace? No!
But still students waste years of their life sitting inside a classroom consuming information on various topics which they will never use in their careers ever. Then finally after the students have suffered through all the General Education classes, they are given the opportunity to select classes in different areas that might interest them. However, it should be noted here that at this point our students still have barely any idea about the type of jobs available in different industries. Moreover, they also have no knowledge what specific skills are needed for those jobs and what they would actually need to do. Still the students need to pick a class so that they may spend some more years cooped up inside a classroom studying about their chosen topics until they complete their graduation and earn their degrees.
Are our Graduates work ready?
Now, when they start looking for jobs, these graduates realise that what they knew about the job market was completely inaccurate. As a result, most of them get any job they can find and end up hating what they are doing. I believe this is nothing but a waste of 4 years spent in college.
Entrepreneur Amy Rees Anderson, founder and Managing Partner of angel investment firm REES Capital, recently wrote in a Forbes article
“When asking our High School and early University Students what they want to be when they grow up, the overwhelming answer is, ‘I don’t know’, because they honestly don’t know! But whose fault is that? We ask our young people to decide what they want to be when they grow up but we give them almost nothing in the way of educating and exposing them to their options.”
She added “We might do a great job of teaching students how to add one plus one, but we fail miserably when it comes to helping them understand why knowing how to add those numbers matters to their life, and how they could possibly apply that specific knowledge to be able to make a living for themselves someday. ”
— Phillip Morgan (@e_businesschool) June 3, 2015
Need for Experiential Learning
This is where the need for experiential learning comes in. Today, universities and colleges must focus on making experiential learning a priority in the General Education Required Class for all college students in the first year. This will enable students to get a clear vision about their own future and also encourage them about certain areas of study.
Our students will also be able to better understand which courses and classes are more suitable for them and choose the right ones to gain the necessary skills for a particular career they are interested in. This would make a significant difference in the personal & professional lives of our youths and also add value to the workforce by providing skilled and trained graduates.
Rees Anderson added “No doubt the future of higher education is going to belong to those institutions who provide students experiential learning opportunities first and foremost.”
What are your thoughts on experiential learning in university? Share your views and opinions with us by commenting below.