Without academic expectations to bring structure to students’ time, too much time is wasted.In the absence of high academic and behavioral expectations, less demanding peer norms become dominant.
If a job ceiling is holding you back, a degree will help you push through and separate you from the status quo.
College level experiences provide exposure to a variety of topics and through-leaders that will help you expand your horizons.
The academy has adopted an increasingly consumer-based ethic that has produced costly and dangerous effects: the expectations and standards of a rigorous liberal education have been displaced by thinly disguised professional or job training curriculums; teaching and learning have been devalued, deprioritized, and replaced by an emphasis on magazine rankings; and increased enrollment, winning teams, bigger and better facilities, more revenue from sideline businesses, and more research grants have replaced learning as the primary touchstone for decision-making.
Teaching is increasingly left to contingent faculty; tenure-track professors have few incentives to spend time with undergraduates, improve their teaching, or measure what their students are learning.
Today’s jobs are more sophisticated and employers are expecting more with respect to skill, complexity, and specialization. Experience combined with education demonstrates to employers your motivation and drive to succeed.
As more people continue their education, the competition for high paying, stable jobs will increase. People with higher levels of education tend to have better job security—and any credential you earn stays with you for life. In the peer culture, time spent on class work, reading, and reflection must be limited; too much of it becomes a stain on a student’s social value.It has become possible -- even likely -- to survive academically, be retained in school, get passing grades and graduate with a baccalaureate despite long-term patterns of alcohol and other substance abuse that are known to damage the formation of new memories and reduce both the capacity and the readiness to learn. College gives a club, so to speak, where you can network with similar people, virtually or in person. Those with higher levels of education are more focused and get things done. We have reduced K-12 schooling to basic skill acquisition that effectively leaves most students underprepared for college-level learning.We have bastardized the bachelor’s degree by allowing it to morph into a ticket to a job (though, today, that ticket often doesn’t get you very far). Although not all jobs require a degree, employers are looking for the most qualified candidate, so be that person. On average, over a lifetime of earnings, college graduates earn almost a million dollars more than their high school counterparts. We mean the enormous expenditures devoted purely to securing a “better ranking” in the magazine surveys.We mean the progressive reduction in academic, intellectual, and behavioral expectations that has undermined the culture, learning conditions, and civility of so many campus communities.