ERIC Number: EJ1095039
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
The New Era of "Hire" Education
Martinez-Saenz, Miguel; Schoonover, Steven, Jr.
Liberal Education, v101 n1-2 Win-Spr 2015
In this article, Miguel Martinez-Saenz and Steven Schoonover, Jr. are putting higher education under the magnifying glass with the increasingly expected sphere of social life being justified in terms of market efficiency. Increasingly, colleges and universities now "sell" their "product" with a promise to enhance the earning potential of their "customers," and students view their time at college as, first and foremost, a way to land a "lucrative" job. The authors raise some seriously thought provoking questions for review such as: (1) Do colleges and universities provide "education" as a derivative effect of their students' quest to gain access to employment? Or is the primary focus on intellectual, moral, and socio-emotional transformation? (2) Is it the case that, despite the fact that employment is by and large the motivating factor for many students, colleges and universities can use this source of motivation as raw psychological material to compel students to engage in transformational practices of education, as distinct from more instrumental practices that lead to credentialing? (3) Insofar as students are demanding access to employment, does the college or university experience make these expectations more realistic? (4) To what extent do colleges and universities knowingly accommodate student/consumer fantasies about both education and employment opportunity in their routine operations? (5) To what extent does the emphasis on values associated with economic efficiency silently presuppose the idea that the undergraduate education is about hire learning, instead of higher learning? The authors conclude that what is actually being paid for is "hire" learning, not "higher" learning, and if the central purpose is to gain employment, then education becomes a kind of side effect--a derivative outcome, at best.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Outcomes of Education, Employment Qualifications, Role of Education, Student Motivation, College Role, Student Needs, Expectation, Values, Liberal Arts, Commercialization, Economic Factors
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A