I think this new report by Anthony Carnavale, head of the Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce, deserves a wide readership – and so here it is: https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/new-deal.pdf
In his conclusion, he states: “The choice between general and specific education is not a zero-sum game. The economic value of a college education and work training has added a new emphasis to the broader postsecondary mission. In a modern republic, the higher education mission is still to empower individuals to live fully in their time, but those individuals also need to be able to live free from the worst versions of economic or public dependency.”
I’m sometimes asked about my work and advocacy supporting the linkage of education abroad with student employability. Am I being too utilitarian? What happened to the ideals of seeing the world, having fun in new places, exploration of new cultures, learning abroad for its intrinsic value-apart from other objectives? My answer: sure, this still works, but, our higher education institutions are far far more pluralistic and diverse than ever. This means we need to expand how and why we value experiential learning and co-curricular activities – like study abroad and service-learning.
There’s nothing wrong with striving to connect how we educate students in college to the truer goal of students graduating (on time) and entering the workforce. Which families have the luxury of not wanting this for their children? Which students do not have to earn a living soon after graduation so they can begin paying back their loans?
Think about it.