Higher Education Losing Its Way/Civic Responsibility Argumentative Essay Sample

Published: 2021-06-21 23:38:57
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Higher education is at a fork in the road – because of the greater possibilities of the technological age, distance education is becoming more and more of a common option for many, leaving normal higher education in a strange position. Because of the higher use of online education as a way to easily get an education, as well as opening up education chance for some who may not have the time or money to attend a college campus, the group of people gaining online degrees is becoming a more streamlined and big part of a worldwide population. Online education is said to have many different advantages and disadvantages. Online education allows classes to reach a higher number of students, so there can be larger class sizes (Volery & Lord, 2000). What’s more, the lack of definitive class times and hours lets online students learn at a slower pace, with more resources available to them at the click of a button. Disadvantages include the chance for communication to be lost without a real communication with the teacher, as well as scheduling and motivation issues because of the looser structure of the course (Noble, 1998). Campus-based education offers a more direct connection between instructor and student, so that instant check of ability and study skills can be made (Beard, 2003). The quality of professor-related contact has been found to be important for students to get that sense of connection needed for better education, but current online course materials still provide a bit of that interaction (Beard, Harper & Riley, 2003). Disadvantages include higher costs and stricter time schedules for a student, which may keep individuals with jobs, low income or other responsibilities from having the time to participate in college courses. Already, access to classes is a huge problem in California, with 472,000 students enrolling in California Community Colleges put on a waiting list in the fall of 2012 (Gardner and Young, 2013). To that end, online education might be seen as a possible solution for these big issues in the Californian education system, and is an example for the problems that are common to the state of higher education as it currently exists.
Another issue facing higher education is its connection to civic responsibility – one of the best ways to solve big inequalities in race, gender and class is to arm the people with a good enough education to survive in an modern, technological world. Higher education gives people that chance. By increasing people’s exposure to a greater number of cultures and points of view, higher education informs students and encourages them to act in a more civilly responsible way. Volunteer work and community service are encouraged through the institution of higher learning, as students from everywhere are given the chance to give to their community and help make it a more just and livable place. With higher education, the college culture is often invited and inspired to do more for civic responsibility in their personal, professional and group lives.
The goal of higher education relates to both my civic responsibility and others. The more we know about our history and our skills, the more we can do to help others in our community. By understanding my responsibility, for example, I understand what I can do and what I should not do in order to keep the morals of the society I live in. By being given the chance to learn about history, science, social science and more, I am allowed to reach my highest potential and use it to help others. A well educated populace can change the world; the institution of higher education gives us that chance. Public engagement with a community university-wide is easily found through higher education, as these large institutions have the resources and chances to give students and learners the ways to help others. Because of this unique chance for colleges and universities to link people with knowledge and resources, they are almost required to use those talents to perform their civic responsibilities.
In conclusion, online education is shown to be a great alternative to traditional education, especially for people who cannot normally get an on-campus education (those with fewer social skills, time-strapped adults, etc.). The bigger spread of online courses has called into question the quality of so-called "degree mills" and the actual usefulness of a degree gained from an online university. Many opponents think the distance between instructor and student removes each person from investment in communication and motivation to get a quality education. However, it is reasonable to say that there is no real difference between an online course and a traditional one in terms of quality. If the right teacher and students are put together, these learners get just as good an education online as others do on a campus. At the same time, higher learning as an institution is meant to give a sense of civic responsibility to well-educated students, which they can then pass on to their communities.
Works Cited
Beard, Lawrence A., Harper, Cynthia, and Gena Riley. “Online Versus On-Campus Instruction:
Gardner, Lee and Jeffrey R. Young. “California’s Move Toward MOOCs Sends Shock Waves,
but Key Questions Remain Unanswered.” Chronicle of Higher Education Mar 14, 2013. http://chronicle.com/article/A-Bold-Move-Toward-MOOCs-Sends/137903/.
Noble, D.F. “Digital diploma mills: The automation of higher education.” First Monday 3(1)
Smith, Dan. Penguin State of the World Atlas. Penguin, 2012. Print.
Volery, T. & Lord, D. “Critical success factors in online education.” International Journal of
Educational Management. 14(5) (2000): 216-223.

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