Wednesday, September 11, 2013

After graduation

I want to start by sharing an article I read to today titled: “Colleges' Role Shouldn't End at Graduation” here are some relevant excerpts to my article today:

“Despite this trend, many colleges continue to think that the bulk of their work is focused on just one moment in their students' lives, typically starting when they are 18 years old and ending when they are 22. During that time, institutions still treat them as they always have, welcoming them for orientation and wishing them well at commencement and saying, "Our work is done."”

“Colleges could offer their recent graduates opportunities to study or work in internships abroad. Employers say they value a global perspective in job applicants, yet only 9 percent of American undergraduates studied overseas in 2010-11, according to the Institute of International Education. There are many reasons why more students don't go abroad, but a crowded undergraduate curriculum and extracurricular schedule cannot be among them if students have already graduated”.

“Of course, at a time when rising college prices are straining family budgets and are a focus of politicians, the question will be whether such postcollege experiences are reserved only for the wealthy, and if not, how institutions, or more likely their graduates, will pay for them”.

So, what do colleges truly owe their graduates, and those who attended the college but never graduated?  

There are many jobs nowadays that are requiring a college degree but traditionally did not. It is almost as if the degree is being used as a form of ‘weeding out people’, and so then you have hundreds of college grads competing for that one job.

How about those who get graduate and professional degrees? Having one does not guarantee anything, but surely, it should make one more competitive, right? Surely the amount of money spent warrants some gratitude from the institution?

Beyond a request for donations from the alumni office asking for money (even though you probably have not paid off the debt from your degree and possibly have no job) or a request to use your story for their publicity; when do you ever hear from your school? Did they value you as a student? Did they celebrate your achievement and congratulate you in a meaningful way, or was it just the standard form letter, with the standard thanks for paying off your account? If they did value you, and you felt that value, then those requests for money will not seem so bad because you attach value to the institution requesting it.

Colleges do not miss the opportunity to truly be the’ good guy’ here, let your grads know that you value them and their contributions to your institution beyond helping your graduation stats. Often, all that folks want is a sincere thank you from you, but try checking in on them from time to time simply to see how they are faring. If they are having a hard time with the job search, perhaps offer to aid them with their job search. Colleges are a great platform for networking after all, and it is full of people who know people.

I do believe that our role as educators goes beyond the classroom, and that should be no less for the institutions as well.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be respectful, thoughtful, and relevant with your comments:))