As some of you may or may not know, I am going into my fourth year of college as an education major. One thing that is drilled into the heads of education majors is diversification. Teachers have to diversify their teaching in order to teach to a wide range of students with varying educational needs. They should strive to meet the educational needs of all students so that they all have the best chance of excelling.
This is a fantastic principle for teachers to follow. However, does it only apply to grade school and high school…or should it apply to college, too? I have had multiple conversations with multiple people about how college today is too easy. I know what you’re assuming right now: These people must have been older, and they were probably college professors. Actually, the two main people who come to mind are both young, and one was a college student.
At first, I was inclined to argue with this idea of college being too easy because of the educational teaching I described in the first paragraph. However, I’ve come to realize that these people are right. A book I just started reading (titled Why Read? by Mark Edmundson) also discussed this issue, and it talks about how consumer culture has turned colleges into businesses. The collegiate market has become a “buyer’s market,” where colleges compete with each other to gain students’ interests. Part of attracting students has involved watering down curricula and making it so that nearly any student can succeed in college.
Should this really be the case, though? One function that a university should have is that of weeding out people who shouldn’t be going into a particular field of study. Making college easy opens the door for incompetent individuals to flood the work force, weakening the field into which they go. I’ve talked to professionals who have personally seen this happen; they’ve seen people in the workplace who have a bachelor’s degree that says they’re “qualified.” When it comes down to it, though, they are not suited to work in that job.
College needs to be challenging to prevent this from happening. College needs to be a place where intellectual and critical thought are stimulated. It needs to challenge students to think beyond their own personal worldviews. It needs to determine whether or not a student is fit for the major they are pursuing.
This isn’t just a place for people to goof off, get easy Cs in all their classes, and head out into the workplace as an environmental or corporate parasite. It’s a place where workers are produced, philosophers are created, and hard work is the only route to success.
At least, that’s what college should be. Consumer culture and entitlement may be watering down the collegiate education system, and the worst part of it all is that there seems to be no solution in sight. At least, I don’t have a solution to propose…not one that could reform the entire collegiate education system.
Universities: Don’t stifle these professors. They seek to create a world of professionals who know what they are doing and who have the intellectual and practical capabilities to be successful in their fields.
And students: Work hard. If you’re going to go to college, take it seriously. And just remember that college isn’t for everyone. Believe it or not, it may not be where you belong. You have options. You just have to go find them.