Published on 2012/04/05

Higher Ed Providers Need To Move Past Silos

Traditionally, according to Stonehill College Sociology Professor Patricia Leavy, higher education institutions are thought to provide a path to a better life—provide the means for improvement both for the graduate and for society. Provide better job opportunities and answers to some of our major societal crises. However, in her article in the Huffington Post, Leavy says the industry has failed.

First, Leavy points out the skills that employers generally want to see in their new recruits: critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, international understanding, innovation and curiosity.

She says higher education institutions are failing to provide graduates with these skills because of the siloed nature of disciplines within a university or college. According to Leavy, this outdated system keeps professors and fields housed independently from one-another and over-specializes students into a particular discipline with a particular way of thinking.

If interdisciplinary studies are embraced, though, she says higher ed providers will gain the capacity to instill much-valued skills in their students by exposing them to a richer and more open learning experience.

This is especially important, she adds, because of the unprecedented high costs of higher education for students. If higher education really is going to be “the way out” for individuals, she concludes, higher education institutions need to cultivate skills with real-world value.

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Readers Comments

Miren Ivankovic 2012/04/06 at 3:26 pm

Well, at my institution, Anderson University, SC, we do expose students inside the College of Business to a number of different subject areas, not only in business but also in other areas of study. Some of my advisees major in econ and finance but they also take classes in music and art. When it comes to the study groups, some of my colleagues do make students join groups in the undergrad as well as graduate classes. So, in summary, some institutions do actually try hard to prepare their students for the work-force.

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