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Michael Pasqurella-Deiderich
Melina Probst
English Composition 1101
December 10, 2015
What Does College Need
The debate goes on and on about is college worth what people have made it seem to
mean. At one time colleges/universities were the main focal point to if someone wanted a
specific career they would go through college to start to obtain more of the skills they needed
and go into that specific career field. In todays world there are arguably two main issues with
most of post-high school education: the cost and what students are actually getting out of their
college experiences. While the cost has been a known issue for a number of years now, the more
pressing issue in the world of education should be the need for improvement in what is being
taught to the students. Even though colleges do offer some information as to what people would
need to know for a career and try to teach them in a way that is believed to lead to success, not
enough is being done to help these students who need to know skills concerning work related and
critical thinking, that has come from a college curriculum that provides a balanced system of the
two.
A balance would mean there should not be too much of one with too little of the other.
For example a student cannot be exposed to a lot of vocational education while receiving little to
none exploration-style education and still be expected to succeed in life and the same works the
other way around. To help ensure the success of todays students and generations to come the
college/universities must offer a balance between the two styles so students would be able to, in a

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friendly environment, develop skills to allow them to operate day-to-day in the career field they
wish to explore and be able to resolve issues that might not come up every day which could
include an issue between co-workers, employees, or managers. Being well taught in the field that
someone wishes to be a part of with having little to no skills with critical thinking could mean
that, while they could function at the job with the precise task it ask for, not being able to think
about issues that could come up that are untypical than what the person normally would deal
with could mean they would be unable to figure out a solution. It would be a similar case for
someone without work-related training in that they would be able to most likely solve problems
that dont come up but would not be able to perform their day-to-day goals at work nearly as
well. So being educated with work-related skills and the art of critical thinking is beneficial to
the success of a student.
Some professionals agree and some do not and that is okay, everyone is entitled to their
opinion on matters. There is one in particular that should be drawn to attention and her name is
Alina Tugend. Tugend, who is the author of the article Vocational or Exploration? Pondering the
Purpose of College was a column writer for the New York Times newspaper and has been for
the last for the past ten years from 2005 up until 2015, particularly in the business section. In her
article Tugend said pointed out she(in reference to Anne Colby) and her colleagues studied
undergraduate business programs around the country which more college students major in
than any other field - and discovered that the best programs combined major elements of a
liberal arts education and professional training(Tugend para. 22). Anne Colby is a consulting
professor at Stanford University and Tugend also is invested in the world of business. Being able
to use both sets of skills allows students to be well diverse in the professional world by being

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able to see problems from different perspectives and then being able to effectively solve them
with their work based training.
There are some professionals that would not see this route as the answer or more so see
problems in how effective it would be if implemented. For example one author, Mark
Edmundson, a professor at the University of Virginia and author of Educations Hungry
Hearts, who has been teaching for the past 35 years developed the ideology that The best
students and the ones who get the most out of their education are the ones who come to school
with the most energy to learn (Edmundson para 6). While it is true that those who are hungry to
learn will get the most out of something, it is still the responsibility of the university to offer the
best education plan that it can. Since not being given the most reasonable education has been a
theme for a number of years now, students old, current, and the ones to come in the future lose
faith and interest and do not wish to invest their time, money, and energy into a flawed product.
In order to achieve Edmundsons goal the system must be improved and proven to work to the
point that faith can be restored into it and that is when the hungry learners will be seen more and
more. Then more will be drawn to it as they see their peers succeed in the more perfected system
that allows for more visualized success in the publics eye.
Education is a gift for everyone across the world that can be accepted or declined. With a
system that benefits everyone to the best capabilities more people would want to take advantage
of it to allow for a much more higher chance of succeeding in the career field they want to
explore. With having an education that is balanced with vocational and exploration based skills
students receive the best chance they have for success with a balance of skills to help them
through the work day along with skills to assist them in situations that would normally not come
up. While they would learn how to communicate with co-workers and using specific programs

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while working in their field of choice, having that foundation provided by their education is very
much as essential as working in that field in general.

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Works Cited
Edmundson, Mark. "Education's Hungry Hearts." The New York Times. N.p., 31 Mar. 2012. Web. 8
Dec. 2015.
Tugend, Alina. "Vocation or Exploration? Pondering the Purpose of College." The New York Times. The
New York Times, 04 May 2012. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.