Please respond to the folloiwng discussion questions:
The debate this week was really interesting. To see the points made by my colleagues did bring up some points to think about. In particular, in making the transition to a technical and professional institution, over time liberal arts graduates close the earnings gap over time (Humphreys, 2014, p. 65). It is also fair to note that everyone has a different philosophy when it comes to this decision. This leads me to believe that everyone has their own vision as to how issues in higher education should be solved.
In addressing answers to questions posed, I have found that the value of critical thinking and innovation holds to be one of the issues that we face in comparison to employment and a steady workforce. Researching allowed me to see that ultimately the debate is between two topics: skill development and workforce development. Edgar Ruiz (2014) presented a great point in reference to the responsibility an institution must hold in order to maintain the integrity of research. On a whole scale, I realize this is a highly debatable topic.
Now that I have engaged in healthy dialogue, one question that was raised was could there be a hybrid/mixture of both. And that is a valid question. If there was enough thought and time committed into merging the two positions. Some of my colleagues pointed out how transitioning would result in loss of creativity needed. Being able to not only perform a specific task or gain skills to a specific task, but to gather the innovative skills as well would be beneficial to companies as well.
The skills gained and implemented will help to improve my professional and student roles. On a professional level, it will vastly change the way I look at issues and ways to solve problems. Additionally, it will help when trying to implement change in a professional role by addressing the issue as a student. Dr. Laura gave great insight on data driven analysis to support research and change. While your perspective may be valid, it is always efficient to use evidence to support your claim.
Humphreys, D. (2014, May/June). Employment Outcomes for the Four Year Sector: The Value of Liberal Arts Degrees. Change, 46(3), 64-66. Retrieved September 12, 2014, fromhttp://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=22ddc7ee-09f8-4309-a348-ffacf1baad62@sessionmgr107&hid=125&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=96086984&db=eue
Ruiz R., Gray, S., Whittaker, D., Feinstein, B. (2014). Transforming Society Through Education in the U.S. and Around the World. Retrieved fromhttps://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/201710_27/ED_EDDD/EDDD_8002/artifacts/USW1_EDDD_8002_CaseStudy_IssuesHigherEducation_Document7_paneldiscussion.pdf
After searching three scholarly articles related to the issue I debated, I discovered how there has been a vast decline in the past forty years of students graduating with degrees in the liberal arts and paraprofessional and technical degrees have expanded. “The percentage of degrees awarded in the arts and sciences between 1968 and 1986 dropped from 47% to 26%. The results is that the great majority of undergraduate students in the United States major in professional or vocational fields, with business being the largest major of all” (Gomez, 2014, p. 2). I also discovered that in some cases institutions may be pressured to increase enrollment. A solution to this is by offering more technical programs to increase adult enrollment. “Much of the higher education world embraces career-oriented education but older students gravitate toward programs with clear applicability to job careers” (Gomez, 2014, p. 2).
Although salary does not determine the quality of life, I did question which degree has the highest salary. It was determined that professional and technical graduates do earn the highest salary but Liberal arts graduates with emphasis in humanities earn the same salary over time and in some cases even surpassing the salaries earned by professional and technical graduates. “Our research demonstrates that while science, math, and especially engineering majors earn more on average than do those with other degrees, over time liberal arts graduates close the earnings gap with those who majored professional or pre- professional fields” (Humphreys, 2014, p. 65).
New questions that I have now that I discovered more about this issue are:
- Can a collaboration of educations exist? If so, how?
- If the decision is made to increase focus, funding, and new hiring for professional and technical fields will this decrease morale for the staff who teach liberal arts?
One way I might apply the critical analysis and research skills I have been practicing this week to my student and professional roles is by critically analyzing both sides of an issue before making a decision as to how I stand. I will research the pros and cons using reputable research and data to help support my decision. I have learned that this may not be an easy process and although I may have solid research for both sides it can be difficult to make a decision. Another way I might apply the critical analysis and research skills I have been practicing this week to my student and professional roles is making sure I am open minded. I will listen to others and their opinions on how they view situations as this makes for great debating, analyzing, and problem solving.
Humphreys, D. (2014, May/June). Employment Outcomes for the Four Year Sector: The Value of Liberal Arts Degrees. Change, 46(3), 64-66. Retrieved September 12, 2014, from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=22ddc7ee-09f8-4309-a348-ffacf1baad62@sessionmgr107&hid=125&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=96086984&db=eue
Ewest, T., & Kliegal, J. (2012, September). The Case for Change in Business Education: How Liberal Arts Principles and Practices Can Foster Needed Change. Journal of Higher Education Theory & Practice, 12(3), 75-86. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=3&sid=cd6c4787-95ce-420f-a73d-5ea5812b9c13@sessionmgr4010&hid=4212&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=eue&AN=79201102
Gomez, C. (2014, August). Career focused education can, should coexist with traditional, liberal arts learning. Recruiting & Retaining Adult Learners, 16(11), 1-5. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=8e955c40-098d-4ac3-9624-6b3852e9ae60@sessionmgr107&vid=37&hid=107