Change is not a new entree at FSU, but there is one change that has everybody’s attention these days. The liberal studies for the 21st century are still warm from the oven and tweaks are being made to get the flavor just right (yes, I am writing while hungry). While I’ve heard a lot of belly-aching about things getting messy under the new requirements I’ve heard some positive as well.
It can be easy to get caught up in the minutiae of the policies but I find it helpful to do a little light reading to help me stay focused on what matters: students getting a good education that prepares them to either further that education or pursue their interests after college. What kind of light reading helps me focus on that prize? Why none other than the breezy academic journals available to every FSU student through lib.fsu.edu. There are two articles that have caught my eye recently: Gary Gutting’s “Why College is Not A Commodity” and Eric White’s “General Education An Academic Adviser’s Perspective”.
As I sat reading in my candle-lit bubble bath, treating myself to an artisanal root beer paired with raw cookie dough I was struck with how true the messages in these articles ring. The importance of a university as a place to foster critical thinking and an inquisitive nature, is being ignored more and more frequently. The value of a college education as a mark of more than just a qualification, but as a mark of intellectual distinction is being overlooked.
As an academic advisor I find myself in the unique position of being able to do more than just help students interpret university policy. I can directly influence the way they think about their degree. I can help contextualize all of these policies as more than just checkboxes that need to be satisfied in order to graduate. I can make a meaningful contribution to fixing some of the issues I see facing higher education, one student at a time.
I have been led to believe that blog posts need, nay demand pictures of cats. Here is a picture of my cat, Blue Ivy.