TEACH AS IF YOU MIGHT BE PREPARING TOMORROW'S LEADERS. You probably are. I sometimes say that Northern Illinois University students have to work twice as hard as people at Harvard do to achieve half the recognition, but fortunately, that is not difficult. A Rate Your Students gripe makes the same point, if indirectly.

Letter U students were sent into the world lacking degree-related skills. The students were hired by employers with expectations that were NOT met. It happened too often and too long. Now the employers have come to know what to expect from a Letter U grad. As a result, these companies do not hire from Letter U. Or if they do, they do not hire Letter U students for the jobs that there degrees should entail. To many Letter U grads (undergraduate AND GRADUATE) are working as Administrative Assistants.

Because Letter U has history, the students aren’t always aware of the Letter U’s current reputation among other employers (although some of the alumni are, and they are NOT happy.) So the students don’t realize that their degree that isn’t going to get them as far as they may think (unless they work for Company G.) Because education IS an investment, and an EXPENSIVE investment, I think it’s a damn shame when it doesn’t enhance a student’s career options.

I used to think that a University was defined by its instructors, its programs, and/or its mission. But I’ve come to the realization that a University is actually defined by its GRADUATES. And every time we pass someone that doesn’t deserve to pass, or we graduate someone that doesn’t have the skills and knowledge expected for the degree we GAVE them, we weaken the reputation of ALL of our graduates. And we do a LONG-TERM, and expensive, disservice to those students who have actually earned their grades and their degree.

Letter U and Company G refer respectively to a (possibly invented) highly regarded university and major employer for which a Letter U degree is a ticket to employment.


David Foster said...

I'm actually surprised that there are that many companies that have opinions on performance of current grads from this & other universities, as opposed to brand images that may be 10 years out of date.

The graduates must be *really* bad to have sent such a strong signal through the noise...

15 weeks said...

To bad about there spelling skills.

Stephen Karlson said...

It IS an anonymous whinge on Rate Your Students, and yes, it could benefit by some proofreading. But perhaps it is an allegory, where Firm G is really the Government, and Letter U is any of the Ivies that are so getting called out for providing disproportionately many Justices of the United States and Presidents (not to mention tort lawyers and hedge fund managers.)

And that disproportionality ought to be an incentive to college administrators elsewhere to ask why more of their graduates aren't being so recognized. (And if your institution can claim a Speaker of the House and a Secretary of Veterans Affairs you ought emphasize developing more such talent.)