Selingo speaks to ‘Boro crowd about education field

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 at 6:46 PM

People decide to move on to a higher education for a variety of reasons, whether it be to better themselves, go into a certain career field, or just for the experience. 

Jeff Selingo, speaker at Edinboro University on Oct. 16, author of “There is Life After College,” and Must-Know Influencer of 2016, named by LinkedIn, believes that the role of higher education is quickly changing. 

In terms of how people learn and the way people desire to obtain knowledge, Selingo explained that, “We’re still in the very early stages of change in higher education.” 

From his research, Selingo has found that we need to start thinking about who our students really are. We used to see students as either traditional, 18 to 22 year olds, or non-traditional, everybody else — but now we need to start considering the different learning styles, motivations and mindsets each student has. 

Because we have so much research on learning in this day and age, it is much more plausible to make an effort into segmenting students based on the learning styles of each individual person, explained Selingo.

He stated that it would make more sense to employ hands-on learning styles. This would help students understand the theories that they learn in class, by actually putting them into application and seeing these concepts in their everyday lives. “The problem right now is when students learn these theories in class, but never put them into application until five or 10 years later,” he said. 

Selingo also talked about the way young adults launch into careers, which he believes happen in one of three ways. 

The first he labeled as sprinters; these are the people that jump right in. They immediately go to graduate school or their career field as soon as they graduate. 

The second is the wanderers; they tend to take their time. Selingo said, students that tended to wander in college typically wander a few years after college as well. It usually takes until their mid-20s to get going. 

Last is the strivers, the people that take most of their 20s to get motivated to find a career path. “It’s their 30th birthday staring them in the face that gets them going,” said Selingo. 

There are also three factors that lead to these approaches. The factors, according to Selingo, are the amount of debt the student has, the amount of experiential learning there was in college, and the student’s credentials. 

The amount of debt a person has can define their career ambitions. If there is a lot of student debt, he explained, it’s possible that the person will move back home to live with their parents or choose to live in a cheaper city. There’s also the chance they will take a job the person isn’t truly interested in, just because it’s a job and can pay off the debt. 

Amount of experiential learning affects the students because, according to Selingo, experiences matter. If the student did an internship, undergraduate research or project-based learning, they can show this to employers and help themselves jump start a career. Internships are opportunities that can turn into jobs, so if the student did an internship with a particular company, that company might be more likely to hire them directly after graduation. 

Credentials are important, according to Selingo, because they show how meaningful completing your degree is. His research showed that 90 percent of strivers had college credit, but no degree. Employers really look to applicants to see if they completed a degree or not, as a make or break point during the hiring process.

Selingo left the crowd with this thought: “Learning is moving from these episodes in life to lifelong learning, to continuous learning, learning that never ends.” 

Samantha Schaupp can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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