Another year passes by, and even more students are going to be added to the untold list of jobless individuals. With a stagnant economy and an increasing cost of living, more and more students find themselves pursuing an American nightmare as they struggle to battle with enormous debts and underpaying jobs.
The question that we have to ask is what is contributing to this dystopia?
Truth is, the underlying factor contributing to this issue is the sad reality that our universities are no longer preparing students for the professional world. Truth is, our system of education is broken. Our classes are no longer sufficient for providing students with the skills they need to be able to excel in the professional world. Our curriculum is way too outdated to keep up with the technological advancement of the day. Classrooms are overcrowded, retention programs are underfunded, and the courses are failing to provide students with the critical knowledge that they need to learn.
Today students are constantly paying more and more while learning less and less. In the meanwhile, there is a sudden growth of focus on online classes, which are even less critical and more flawed than the normal ones. It appears as if numbers matter more to universities than quality. Consider the current online course “Juvenile Gangs,” a course offered in school of Social Sciences with more than 600 students enrolled. While the university may praise the colossal amount of students that are taking the course, in reality, there are more than 600 students who are receiving an inadequate education far from the quality learning experience they are paying to get. In the midst of this dystopia, students are faced with no choice but to be involved outside of their classroom to learn the necessary skills for their professional advancement.
The very system of education that was created to build leaders out of students is now requiring students to build leadership experience from outside involvements. The definition of a student has changed fundamentally. A student is no longer defined as someone who studies and researches his or her field of interest. A student today is one who has to overcome the despicably hard and pointless classes in order to avoid being “weeded out,” join countless outside organizations just to prove that they are a “leader,” work at multiple part-time jobs, and take out numerous loans just so they can “afford” the cost of their college education, and constantly search for any faculty member who is willing to give them a chance to join a research project. In the meanwhile, all trying to figure out what path they want their lives to be headed toward.
Our system of education is broken. It is broken because it does not take into account different learning styles. It is broken because it does not take into account the familial problems that students have to take care of aside from school. It is broken because it doesn’t take into consideration the mental and physical health challenges that students face. It is broken because it is institutionally racist. Our system of education is broken because it asks students to put in their entire effort, energy and money without expecting anything in return.
It sees students as just another number. So it would only make sense that students are graduating jobless, penniless and purposeless, and unless this system is reformed to be more inclusive and critical, we cannot expect any progressive changes to happen.
Parshan Khosravi is a second-year political science major. He can be reached at email@example.com.