Preparing Students for Life: School to work programs, by definition, link students and schools with the workplace. This is accomplished through school partnerships with employers, unions, civic groups, and other public and private sector organizations. Together, these organizations help students develop the skills needed for the competitive job market while making their educational experience relevant to the world they will experience as adults.
Ask employers, and it's a very different picture. The Association of American Colleges and Universities AACU asked groups of employers and college students a series of similar questions about career preparation. They could be scary reading for many students and the college educators who are trying to prepare them for careers.
Sign up here to be notified of new "This Week" podcasts. Consistent with past AACU surveys, this one found that employers are concerned about new graduates having a range of skills in areas like communication and team work -- and that employers aren't as obsessed as some governors with questions about students' choice of major.
As shown on the bar chart below from AACU, students consistently rank themselves as prepared in areas where employers do not agree. The area where students and employers are the closest to being aligned is in staying current with new technologies, where 37 percent of employers think students are well-prepared and 46 percent of students think that.
But in a number of key areas oral communication, written communication, critical thinking, being creativestudents are more than twice as likely as employers to think that students are being well-prepared.
And these are the kinds of qualities that many colleges say are hallmarks of a liberal education. This is particularly the case for applying knowledge and skills in real-world settings, critical thinking skills, and written and oral communication skills — areas in which fewer than three in 10 employers think that recent college graduates are well prepared.
Yet even in the areas of ethical decision-making and working with others in teams, many employers do not give graduates high marks," the AACU report says.
Other parts of the employer survey may be more encouraging to many college educators, especially those who endorse the AACU view that there is more to college education than picking a major in a hot career field.
Employers were asked whether it was more important for new hires to have training in specific skills for a job, a "range of knowledge" or both specific skills and a range of knowledge. Further, the survey found that large majorities of employers at least somewhat agree with statements that suggest support for general education and a curriculum that extends beyond job training.
Employers Who Strongly or Somewhat Agree With These Statements Statement Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree All college students should have educational experiences that teach them how to solve problems with people whose views are different than their own.The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) asked groups of employers and college students a series of similar questions about career preparation.
They could be scary reading for many students and the college educators who are trying to prepare them for careers. Concerns are expressed about the lack of preparedness of students for college and about the presence of strong achievement differences as a function of ethnicity.
Implications of these findings are discussed.
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We as a society need to be concerned with the lack of student preparedness. These students lacking basic skills are going to run the future world. We need to nip this problem through the use of projects such as the one introduced in Virginia.
Improving Academic Preparation for College there is still a lack of consensus among researchers and policymakers about what it means . a standards-based solution Recent attention to uneven STEM education quality and outcomes is resulting in an unprecedented opportunity for improvement.
For the first time in U.S. history, educators and policy makers are working together to institute rigorous, common academic standards in mathematics and science across every state.