I found an old college syllabus in the bottom of a drawer. It’s function was to outline the goals and assignments of the class, but this one just rambles on-and-on about impossible university expectations/objectives. I can’t recall now if they all looked this absurd. I’m also impressed that someone like myself [easily stressed out] still managed to take and complete the class that describes itself like this.
This 1 course required that I spend 8-12 hours every week on class projects, in addition to the lecture time itself. Followed by wordy descriptions of Class Rules for Respect, Diversity, and Deadlines. And then Various Rules about Integrity, and the official Rule about not submitting the same paper to multiple classes. and Something about a Counseling Center for Excellence. Academic Integrity, Campus policies for Compliance, Tech Resources, Learning Assistance, Grading Policies, ect.
This syllabus highlights Learning Objectives: Globalization Awareness, Information Literacy, Criticism, and Social Responsibility. And Demands that all writings I do for the class be: Compelling, Complete, Coherent, Concise, and Correct. And ‘Display my Ability to Competently Communicate in a variety of Theoretical and Interpersonal Contexts, as well as Demonstrate Social Responsibility and Community Engagement in a Practical Application that meets the Obligation of Democratic Citizens’……… this, grammatically, makes very little sense… but as I recall, that teacher was useless.
As I glance over this packet of daunting expectations, I wonder how anyone survives college. If I was reading it as a job posting, I might think that the job wasn’t humanly realistic. How could anyone do all these things willingly? Work under such restrictions? Obey such an unyielding employer? Why go to college at all?
I realize that the most of the people I know in real life didn’t go to college. And the people who did, aren’t currently using what they learned in college.
About half of each group has grown to be responsible adults, and the other half will most likely work hard, but still find themselves either living impoverished and/or in debt. One would think that the college grads would be better off, but it doesn’t seem like they are.
With the knowledge that graduates are likely to have higher incomes, how is it that their quality of life isn’t significantly better? Well, college is expensive and it’s likely that people who attend will have an impoverished lifestyle while they pay it off. An education doesn’t make a person less lazy or more responsible. It doesn’t ensure that they will have a comfortable life or a high paying job.
In hindsight, it’s very obvious to me that American University doesn’t do a great job at preparing young people for the future. It’s an archaic educational system that’s too slow to change and too inflexible [and expensive] to allow people the freedom to pursue their changing personal interests. Does the stress of college re-prioritize a young person’s efforts? Are some people better off Not having gone? Most College Graduates are bound to graduate in a debt hole, and can anticipate decades of poverty before they can acquire the financial stability necessary for a ‘home’ purchase and a family. But it still seems like the American public finds a college education preferable over a Trade-school profession.