ERIC Number: ED200122
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Why Go to College? (Freshmen Assess the Value of a College Degree).
The views of incoming college freshmen at the College of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, about the value of a college education were assessed, as part of the college's annual 1978 entrance testing program. Students were asked to write an essay on this topic, along with a second essay about their language skills, which is described in a separate report. Of the 263 freshmen essay writers, all but 11 endorsed unequivocally the value of a college education. For 91.3 percent of respondents, job preparation was a reason for attending college; of those, 43.3 percent cited it as their sole reason. Of the remainder, some coupled job preparation with intellectual development (12.2 percent); some with social convention or personal conviction (14.4 percent); and others with character development (8 percent). Of the 23 (8.7 percent) who made no mention of job preparation, six (2.2 percent) said that they had come to college for intellectual development only; two (.8 percent) as a response to social convention or personal conviction alone. The rest of this group of 23 cited some combination of nonvocational incentives. An analysis of each of the cited reasons is presented that contains unedited student comments from the essays. Additional student essay comments are appended. It is concluded that students go to college largely because they feel it is essential to obtain well-paid, stimulating, and prestigious jobs. The implications of the view that college is a preparation for better living and that what one does for a living discharges one's social responsibility are briefly considered. (SW)
Descriptors: Career Development, College Attendance, College Freshmen, Education Work Relationship, Educational Benefits, Employment Potential, Employment Qualifications, Essays, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Individual Development, Institutional Research, Intellectual Development, Student Attitudes, Student Development, Student Educational Objectives, Student Motivation
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: College of Cape Breton NS
Note: For related document, see HE 013 605.