The need and purpose of higher education in the United States has constantly been a debate topic over the years. Traditionally, higher education has served as a platform for making sure that there is a fruitful contribution in the course of character development. Nevertheless, in the recent times, there has been more demand for focusing on career development through higher education learning. Many stakeholders in the education industry have also shifted focus on ensuring that people purpose on career development, but instead have focused on the enterprise aspect of higher education, where it has become more commercialized. This is in place of ensuring innovations and undertaking research on various issues.
Higher education in the US has been in place to create prepared minds. However, a significant danger facing the sector is the use of commercialization of higher education, where many colleges have turned their attention to the commercial development of their inventions (Rand and Sarah 176). By focusing on commercialization of higher learning, its central mission of creating prepared minds has been eroded. This is since administration and faculties of institutions have concentrated on chasing commercial goals to the exclusion of a higher purpose. The aim of higher education changes over time. Initially, the main objective in the US was to ensure that students got prepared for several learned professions (Rose 5). However, currently, many of the current activities involved in higher education major in defined specialization and faculty research. Different universities have diverse aims, where community colleges vary from the research universities. The vast majority of top learning institutions include teaching students, mainly in the occupational fields than in theory, equip the graduates to make them obtain jobs. The students in the course of learning also have the opportunity of participating in extracurricular activities (Schwind and Jasna 50). This shows that students in institutions of higher education also get to learn about interpersonal skills and make contacts that are useful for instrumental purposes as well as ends in themselves. The academic attainments achieved to provide a boost in the labor market, more for quantitative fields than other fields.
The most complex higher learning instructions are the research universities. The range of what they offer is difficult to catalog in a short answer. This is since they provide guidance in hundreds of programs, run various organizations and clubs, and contribute to the selection of high achieving students who seek to pursue degrees. The students at the research universities train and mentor graduates and the professional students and also partake research papers annually (Kuh 52). In the research universities, the students have the purpose of reaching out to the industrial partners, solving community challenges, make semiprofessional teams, patent discoveries and also make attempts to create a conducive environment in which there can be a learning for a wide variety of students. In the event of research universities for hospitals, the students here can investigate certain drugs and diseases and also tend to run tertiary care hospitals. These activities put together, constitute the enacted purpose of research universities.
There have been a number of recent mergers in recent years, more so regional public universities in the rural areas, which have seemed to be struggling. The reason for the struggle in these institutions could be attributed to the dwindling populations within the rural areas and the minimal resources that could support the education. However, this seems to be the exact opposite in the urban and suburban areas, where the population tends to grow with time, where the existing and new colleges are gradually rising more. Additionally, higher education has become a significant influence in the attraction of new employers, the creation of employment, and also growing wealth among locals. An example is the state of Georgia, which is currently the 10th largest economy. Some of the factors which have played a very crucial role in this state’s economy include the investments that have been made by the state leaders and donors (Schwind and Jasna 92). The leaders and donors are mostly from intuitions such as Georgia State University, the University of Georgia, and Emory. A significant concern with higher learning in the US has, however, been the costs, the quality of undergraduate programs in the country, and also the issue of liberal bias. These factors have affected the actual purpose of higher learning continuously in the country.
Several institutions of higher learning have opted to focus on commercialization. There is, therefore, a need to ensure that the primary goal of universities should be to pursue the higher purpose of education is instead of competing in business. Investing in higher education may entail having research lab and preparatory facilities, and also focusing more on innovation, a factor that could result in the creation of new products and services. This may lead to prepared workers needed by their specific for their pursuit of commercializing innovation.