Education vs. Training at Community Colleges

Jason Fertig

 
In the Chronicle, Jeff Anderson, dean of humanities, fine arts, and social sciences at Illinois Valley Community College, argues for the many benefits of great books courses, even for community college students.
 
Dr. Anderson asserts that community colleges, which many are seeing as vocational schools, should build curricula around a series of classical texts.  As opposed to completing degrees by checking off boxes on a list of siloed courses, students embark upon an interdisciplinary curriculum based on the Great Conversations.
 
Future employers can tell educated students from a credentialed ones.  According to Dr. Anderson:
 
"Norm Augustine, retired chief executive of Lockheed Martin, and A.G. Lafley, former chairman of Procter & Gamble, have recently argued that businesses would benefit from hiring graduates with the kind of liberal education that a curriculum centered around great books fosters. And companies such as ConAgra are hiring graduates who majored in the liberal arts precisely because they possess broader sets of skills than those trained in a particular specialty."
 
Keeping higher education from becoming full-fledged vocational training is not easy, but the fight is still worth pursuing.  Students become jaded when they leave school and realize that all they have is a fancy piece of paper and a student loan bill.
  • Share

Most Commented

June 13, 2022

1.

Regime Change: Repelling the DEI Assault on Higher Education

The last few decades have seen a total transformation of higher education's mission in American society. What was once an institution that encouraged innovation, built character, and sou......

May 12, 2022

2.

Mornin’ Ralph, Mornin’ Sam in Anthropology Today

Professor Lowrey recounts her latest encounter with academic cancel culture, this time with an acceptance-turned-rejection at Anthropology Today....

May 31, 2022

3.

Can America’s Colleges and Universities Be Saved?

We urge American citizens and policymakers to reform our higher education system while there is still time....

Most Read

June 13, 2022

1.

Regime Change: Repelling the DEI Assault on Higher Education

The last few decades have seen a total transformation of higher education's mission in American society. What was once an institution that encouraged innovation, built character, and sou......

May 15, 2015

2.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

June 21, 2022

3.

Press Release: Confucius Institutes Rebrand to Circumvent U.S. Policy, Report Finds

A new report from the National Association of Scholars finds that colleges and universities continue to host Chinese-funded programs similar to Confucius Institutes under new names......