University is supposed to be a place of knowledge, where students and teachers alike take part in the activity of nurturing bright minds. I believe that college is a time for learning – but not only about academics. In my opinion, it is a time for learning about one’s own self. Personal growth and development are key components of the college years and an opportunity to study at a top college would offer endless possibilities toward accomplishing those ends. As a society, we place much importance on "education", as compared to real learning and accomplishment.
Is college for everyone? As a society, the answer is "yes, as long as you can find some way to afford it". But what happens at college? Students are educated in many areas, but how much do they learn? With every resource imaginable handed to students like disposable cutlery, one would expect the next Mark Zuckerburg to be graduating from highly renowned colleges like U of I among the next batch.
My argument is whether students at colleges actually learn what they’re taught or if they just float in the mind-set of achieving good grades and then applying for a job right after. Students graduate with reputable degrees but are they really satisfied with the amount they learn? Are employers satisfied with the students being hired? My plan is to propose a survey to common UIUC students and record their response. Once that is done I’ll be comparing the statistics to further strengthen or dispute my argument.
The questions included in the survey were 1- The range of a student’s current cumulative GPA, 2- How satisfied they were with that GPA, 3- How confident they were that their GPA would improve, 4- How satisfied they were with how much they learn from a particular course, and 5- If they were given a job today how well would they perform.
The survey responses categorized most students to be among the 2.5-3 GPA range and a not so surprising satisfaction scale of 7-9 out of 10. This determines that students are achieving a borderline average grade and hence they stay satisfied because it’s all they’re aiming for. Since they aren’t on probation they feel confident in their academic capability and think they’re in the green.
When asked how confident they were that they’ll be able to improve their GPA, a whopping majority answered from 6-9 out of 10. It is evidently visible that students believe they can perform better than they already are because they aren’t putting in their 100% i.e. completely
“learning” what they’re taught. Students believe they can do better and pull their GPA up but the truth is that once a student goes through a majority of their college credit, let’s say 60 hours then it’s almost impossible for a student that has a GPA like 3.0 to go up to a 3.5 or so without achieving 4.0 or almost 4.0 every remaining semester in his/her college life. In a world as competitive as ours a mere 3.0 is not likely to land a job anywhere.
The next question in the survey was going to either be my boon or bane. Students when asked how satisfied they were with the amount they learn from a particular course, a vast majority again replied as being averagely satisfied. People answered the as close to 5 as possible since they weren’t completely sure about what to write. They don’t know how much they learn, if they don’t learn. This statement is strengthened by the next question in the survey; Students were asked how confident they were about their performance, if they were to start working today. Most people were either lacking confidence or not confident at all. This shows that while learning supposedly takes place all the time we’re just taught how to get good grades.
A college degree is overrated at best. Most true learning that does take place at college is on the students' own time. While some professors may offer question and answer times, most lecture during class and expect the students to manage their incomprehension by means of