Building Community Through Better Relationships

Stop Telling Your Degree to Make Your Future

The majority of college students expect that they will enjoy higher lifelong earnings with their degree than their peers will without a college education. This position is often used to validate the old saying, “if you think education is expensive, then try ignorance.” However, too many students pursue higher education with the expectation that their degree will make their future.

In my college teaching experiences, I encounter students seeking to move their career prospects forward by earning a college degree. Personally, I emphasize learning the academic material as a vehicle to integrate a success mindset to a brighter future. Unfortunately, too many students minimize learning the success characteristics and overemphasize the grade. Then they are shocked, if not angry, when their degree by itself does not propel their career or fortunes. They have bought the car and refused the gas. I see three points that students must embrace to maximize their education’s value.

• Education is a vehicle – Higher learning is valuable in many unexpected ways. In selecting a major and studying its content, students are taught established knowledge. But, embracing the willingness and ability to learn broadly provides the greatest value. Obtaining and repackaging both old and new knowledge in creative ways is the key to professional growth and financial achievement.
• Ambition and attitude is the fuel – Schools at all levels like to talk about life-long learners. Unfortunately, too many disgruntled students assume that at graduation they have all the information that they need to be successful. Much like passing a driver’s test, a graduate now has the ability to drive legally. Driving well depends on boldly and purposefully gaining new experiences. Grab the keys and go!
• Accept the deal and the challenge – The expectation for lifelong learning is not clearly presented at the beginning of college. Then, the challenge emerges when that expectation often becomes more difficult to accept later. However, the deal is that success is a result of developing a strong knowledge base and learning more from there. By not accepting this deal, the option is to reject it and remain stuck.

Counterintuitively, higher education becomes more valuable when learners acquire skills to ask more interesting questions, not just give more answers. Developing that skill largely results from individual students continuing to fuel their education. Regardless of the content, the student needs to learn success characteristics, like ambition, tenacity, inquisitiveness, and discipline. Then, apply them to their formal education and subsequent learning. I am extremely proud to be an educator for students and professionals. My conviction remains to develop success – oriented learners, in addition to knowledgeable graduates.

By Glenn W Hunter


January 16, 2014 - Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , ,

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