Are we in a recession from which we won’t recover? (Colleges must change to survive.)

(3/3/10) Jobs for Graduates in the Knowledge Economy?

Here’s an insightful article about the relationship between higher education, the economy and the job market.  Read this excerpt and you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

“We are in a recession from which we won’t recover in the usual sense: We won’t return to economic vibrancy with the same distribution of employment opportunities as we had even a couple of years ago. Technology is now pervasive and has changed both the nature of knowledge and the ways we use knowledge in our jobs. It is time to replace classroom experiences with high-impact learning experiences, because right now our curriculum is out of step with the preparation our students need right now, this year, and next year and into the future.

College faculty in four-year colleges, universities, and research institutions in the U.S. traditionally have not expected to gear their teaching approaches with undergraduates to the specific needs of a job, even in the professions. Rather, undergraduate education has been perceived as preparing students to go into a field or into graduate school. But how that happens hasn’t seemed to be the concern of college faculty in the past. Course planning has traditionally not started with research into what kinds of work graduates are actually doing and how to teach your course to match that kind of work. Why not? We faculty have believed that teaching students job skills is too shortsighted. We thought we needed, instead, to focus on higher-level thinking skills and we needed to pass on disciplinary knowledge. Adjusting our curriculum to changes in the economy at the undergraduate level was not in the job description. Besides, graduates have always found jobs so what’s broken?”  

(3/3/10) Jobs for Graduates in the Knowledge Economy?  By Trent Batson.

About David A. Ross and Associates
David A. Ross, J.D. is a public policy and advocacy consultant from Pennsylvania. David A. Ross and Associates connects companies, nonprofits and government agencies to the rules, tools, information and resources they need to achieve their mission goals.

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