Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Monday, February 17, 2014

College: Why a Brick and Mortar Institution of Learning Matters

University of Pennsylvania
To continue with last month’s blog post, why should a prospective college student attend a brick and mortar institution?  While totally online degrees abound, I believe it is the educational community and the opportunities the physical college setting offers that make it important for most students to attend. 

The give and take of the college classroom, the professors and their teaching assistants, the availability of tutors and writing centers, fellow classmates working and studying together; upper classmen assisting underclassmen, the genuine proximity of the education being offered.  More than education is shared on the college campus.  And I’m not talking about partying. 

While younger college students learn to become self-sufficient, older college students may struggle to understand new material.  Students come to a particular course from different stages in their curriculums.  Many times the physical presence in a classroom can afford a camaraderie that is not present in the online classroom. 

The physical college stetting can help students learn how to work with people from different backgrounds, discover different methods to analyze and evaluate class projects, perhaps fill in some missing knowledge for each other. 

I brought life experience to my college education.  Even though I had basic skills math to obtain college level math skills, there were educational holes in my knowledge base that fellow younger students filled in for me.  We worked together in numerous projects, each bringing an understanding that another hadn’t considered. 

Most physical colleges offer opportunities to their students where they can stretch their political or artistic wings, create a new community group or college periodical.  They can learn about other cultures firsthand through fellow students or professors.  Students can study abroad, take classrooms in the field of research, take advantage of internships, and scholarships to continue their education. 

The brick and mortar institution, with all its components, is an asset in a student’s learning journey.  Together with opportunities afforded to the student body, attending college within a learning community fosters the sharing of knowledge.  What do you think?