College presidents less optimistic about higher ed's future
- A recent survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education found presidents believe a focus on academics to be equally or more important than experience in career development.
- Presidents are less optimistic about the value of higher education, and the overall direction of higher education as an industry.
- A high percentage of survey participants said that higher education makes students 'very well prepared' for job searching, which represents a significant disconnect between the perspectives of campus leaders and indusry leaders.
College presidents still believe in the process and outcomes of higher education, but not surprisingly, believe its value and direction to be worse than two years ago. These perspectives are likely shaped by rising cost burden to students, and the falling investment in higher education from state and federal resources.
One question stands out from the survey — a majority of presidents believe academic preparation to be more important than work experience in workforce development. While it is true that academic training credentials graduates for consideration, an argument can be made that work experience shows potential employers the capacity to work, receive and retain direction.
As industries look to colleges and universities to produce more workers, innovators and leaders, they are also looking for graduates to earn as much practical experience as an academic setting can encourage and facilitate. The federal government has suggested as much in providing its guide to college value, and states around the country are awarding funding to create the opportunities for students.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education The mindset of a president: How today's leaders view the direction of higher ed