Good Tidings and Greater College and University Outreach for All

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/4f0/53882982/files/2014/12/img_0543.jpg Pasadena-based School Supply Store Closes Mid-January
This photograph shows a school supply store that closes the middle of January 2015 due to poor sales. Althogh, the store has been in business for decades, fewer teachers are able to support the store by buying products, according to the management. This would seem to indicated tough times for the teaching profession.

Carrying Out the Mission Beyond the Hallowed Halls of Ivy: The Key to Partnerships

Please join me in advocating for greater transparency in higher education for the new year, 2015. Based on recent networking events I have attended in 2014, and interviews with college students and recent college graduates, the .orgs of the world are leading the push to integrate higher education missions with outside-the-walls-of-ivy organizations. This cross-fertilization looks like increased co-working, increased technology and education networking and partnerships, humanities and non-profits building databases for the common good. Much of this ground-breaking work goes on in futuristic cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Northern California’s Silicon Valley. My recent visit to General Assembly, Santa Monica, and Tech Shop, Pittsburgh, and the co-working space, NextSpace, Culver City, indicate that something exciting is happening involving education, technology, and community outreach.

The Need for Bridge-Building Institutions of Higher Learning

Colleges and universities across the United States should share information in order to prevent students from dropping out of school due to factors that are not related to their intellectual capacity. For example, financial instability, lack of job opportunities, and distance between school, work, and home, can prohibit some students from graduating from college or university, as I learned when conducted interviews with a small sample of college students this Fall.

College and university administrators must escape the tendency to remain in a bubble. Instead, colleges and universities ought to expand access, build bridges with like-minded institutions and make it easy for students to move between institutions .

Universities and colleges must clearly articulate institutional missions, and transferability of course credits. Students receiving Federal Financial Aid may receive excellent communication from FAFSA officials, however, more can be done to see that colleges and universities have well-trained, and well-informed personnel who can guide students through the financial aid process. In addition, no matter whether a student attends a public, private, or church-affiliated institution, any accredited institution of higher learning that receives federal financial aid should ensure that students are getting the courses they need to graduate in a timely fashion. Ideally, students will graduate into a world where they accepting of their intellectual efforts. Anti-intellectualism has harmed society by making people who obtain advanced degrees seem out-of-touch. In reality, college graduates have much to offer, and tend to be eager accept new ways of doing things.

People with recent college and graduate degrees seem to be taking the lead in building the new .orgs that are leading dynamic new initiatives. Initiatives that I look forward to reviewing in 2015.

Colleges and universities that fail to create dynamic career counseling services attuned to the .org-revolution, risk big. The future is about making those degrees pay off, either in-kind, or in innovative programming.

Conclusion

Finally, colleges and universities must have the courage to reach out to non-profit organizations and businesses that have strong corporate social responsibility practices. Colleges and universities either have a responsibility to take an active role in connecting students with outside institutions that share similar goals and missions, or they must own up to being hands-off, and at risk of being cut-off from inclusive, innovative social networks that mirror their own target demographic. Competition is the word.

I have experienced the dynamic energy that college students, and recent college and graduate school graduates, bring to the table. Maybe in the long-run, .orgs will be the standard-bearers when it comes to integrating the aims, goals, and missions of colleges and universities with the needs of the world outside the halls of ivy.

Happy New Year, peace-makers, and change agents! Now is your time.

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Author: Gail Taylor

Welcome to Altscholar. Cultural Studies | Digital Humanities | Issue Advocacy

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