The Value of Education…

Gather any group of college professors in any discipline in any part of the country, and most (if not all) have noticed a mindset affecting many college students in which they seem to value their degree more than their education.

An even more disturbing consequence of such a question is the eagerness to know the minimum performance necessary to achieve the desired grade. This mentality focuses on how little the student must learn rather than how much the student can learn.

Have we lost the value of education and what it provides; self-worth, personal discovery, social awareness and self-advocacy? There is a huge debate in academia lately, that institutions (and students) are more test oriented than ever. Hence, more college graduates are now earning degrees that don’t necessarily prepare them for the rigors of the “new workforce” that requires more soft skills to adapt and survive.

Many students are very uncomfortable with the current academic system. If one can separate the value of education and “lifelong learning,” we might be able to redefine success. For instance, is success focused on learning or just getting good grades? Should I major in engineering or in the career that I have a passion for? Perhaps it starts with a new perspective such as personal assessment, constantly asking oneself to use learning to enhance one’s life and the lives of the people around them? Learning more about the world one lives in and more about themselves?

At Dragonfly Transitions, we strive to support the student in this process of choice. Many of our students have struggled with the “school system,” and their prior knowledge can often prevent them from moving forward and changing perspectives. The main ingredient in all success is wise choices. Do beliefs cause behaviors, or do behaviors lead to beliefs? Like the chicken and the egg, it’s hard to say which came first. This much is clear: Once you choose a positive belief or an effective behavior, you usually find yourself in a cycle of success. Positive beliefs lead to effective behaviors. Effective behaviors lead to success.   Success reinforces positive beliefs.

Many of our Dragonfly students are at a fork in the road, is school an obstacle or an opportunity. It will require a wise choice, a choice that will often require support and words of encouragement. College is just like life. There will be conflicts, homework, health challenges, difficult students and instructors. Our desire is to create a new language of responsibility and choice, a new language and adventure that will incorporate critical thinking and emotional intelligence. A new language that will open the door to new dreams and goals.

– Jeff Mortimore


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