How Education Shapes Student Lives


There is a general agreement that the world has developed more than it was several years ago. In this respect, disciplines are probably more intertwined with one another than they were before and college education needs to respond to these needs if they exist. The Learning All Students Need for the 21st Century gives a view that college students need be purposeful and self-directed in multiple ways.

College education must not only insist on passing information to students, the processes and the procedures of doing it, must it need to ensure that students see the connection and linkage of the information passed. In addition, important components must ensure that students put into practice what they learn. In many systems in the countries in the world, employment is the target for making people go through college education as can be evidenced by the alignment of the degree programs with the industries in those or other countries.

While this is good practice since students can utilize the academic knowledge gained at school to run the organizations when they get employed, diversity in the aspect of self-employment and securing employment elsewhere is important. The curriculum must be tailored to ensure self-employment is emphasized especially in countries with low levels of employment.

The quality of education is very important to ensure that those going through the system attain not only knowledge but also personal benefits. The community also stands to benefit from education through shaping the economic, political, and social lives of students who are part of the community.

In this aspect, the functions of education to the members of the society are diverse. Harmonization of the education system to include all aspects of lives in the social, economic, and political view is important to ensure that it achieves diverse functions. Policymakers need to provide that education avails an opportunity to shape the lives of individuals not only at school but also away. In addition to providing a high quality of education, high participation in the curriculum is of high importance because non-participation should be interpreted as a negative impact on the community.

College Education and Current and Expected Benefits

A 2007 report on the benefits of education in the United States documents a correlation between higher earnings and higher levels of education for all racial/ethnic groups and both gender. This is true because education is highly expected to equip the student with the knowledge to perform various duties and activities in the society when they get employed through which they earn a living. Society takes the students as possessing trained qualities and offers these opportunities to them.

In some places, society offers these opportunities are offered as rewarding opportunities for students after hard work at school. The impact of the income benefits among college graduates can be evidenced by the income gap between high school and college graduates. The earning was reported by Baum and Ma (2007) to be high enough for an average college graduate to recoup the cost of full tuition and fees and the earnings were forgone during college years.

Personal benefits include a rise in social class and rating, better salaries to those who secure employment after a college education. College education also avails more opportunities for the students to enjoy the social benefits provided by the employer such as health insurance and pension benefits than those who do not pass through this system. The benefits of a college education are expected to be financial and non-financial, indirect or direct. Non-financial benefits include greater opportunities, high moral standards, and more responsibility in society and community leadership.

The society benefits are also diverse and include financial benefits through the taxation of the students employed after college, their donations to public coffers, and development projects, while non-financial benefits include contributions in terms of leadership in the community, reformation of the community through high levels of moral standards. There is a correlation between the decrease in poverty levels with the reduction of illiteracy and increased employment. In the United States, low levels of smoking rates, higher perceptions of personal health, and healthier lifestyles among college graduates have been documented compared to those who did not graduate from college.

High levels of participation in voting, volunteer work, blood donation, civic and high level of openness to opinions of other people have been correlated with participation in college education. This participation helps the community in general. Education would be expected to help the members of the society identify the opportunities available for investment and thus more members can benefit from this investment because they can get employment at various capacities even with lower education levels.

The students would be expected to will thus be expected to empower other members of the society either through practical involvement of lesser fortunate through opening the economic opportunities or through empowering them to take these opportunities themselves. The difference between those who have graduated from a college education and those who have not must be clear in terms of identifying the developmental projects that are essential to uplift the community in terms of society enjoying better living standards in terms of health among other aspects.

Education must also ensure that there is an understanding amongst members of the society because their understanding of the importance of peace, harmony, and the consequences of negative ethnicity would be expected to be higher. Education should go beyond providing knowledge to the beneficiary but go ahead to making them access its quality and effectiveness because they could be involved in the formulation of important policies pertaining running of the system in the future.

For so long, students have been taught critical thinking skills which can help them to identify flaws and improve the system. In addition to providing technical skills necessary to empower students after college, it is necessary to make sure that students learn and appreciate the need to live in a multi-diverse community. This is to make sure those problems that would deter development such as tribalism and negative cultural differences do not negatively affect community development.

It is in these aspects that the college education must encourage or motivate students to volunteering in community development issues. Volunteering points to the fact that education may be perceived as a necessary tool to empower the whole society rather than the central focus of benefiting the individual. Volunteering is important because in some cases it involves undertaking those activities and opportunities that interest people.

To make sure that there is a high benefit for the volunteering programs, students should be advised to volunteer in areas where they have an interest. the curriculum must ensure that students are well versed with the benefits and consequences of volunteering so that they will go into it with an absolute mind. Increased volunteering to the work of the society is important because the society participates in activities that are not necessarily delegated to certain people, and where they have been delegated, those involved may be fewer and thus slowing down important developmental processes.

Sometimes individuals may offer voluntary counseling and property offering which some have indirectly attached benefits because the community in which they reside, improves. Moral training is, therefore, necessary to train individuals not only to train others but also to become morally upright themselves. Morality can be emphasized and achieved by establishing a connection between the subject matter and social life.

Although the emphasis on education as a benefit for an individual is important, the individuals must be trained to be integrated into society. It is in this aspect that issues of empowering students to be effective in communicating with other members of the community, teamwork, and social ethics need to be embraced in college education. To become socially responsible when they take positions of leadership or in businesses, students need to be able to have not only identified the need to become socially responsible but need to have practiced through their college work to be or at least think in a socially ethical manner.

This knowledge is important in ensuring that the corporations they head in the future plow back some benefits to the community in terms of social activities like sponsoring development projects. In many countries, the major focus for education has been ensuring individual survival through the system and eliminates the less fortunate. College education must be used to benefit both those with mental ability and those who have the lower ability since the society is diverse even in these aspects of mental capability endowment.


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Schrader, Dawn E, “Justice and Caring: Process in College Students’ Moral Reasoning Development”, in Justice and Caring: The Search for Common Ground in Education New York: Columbia University, 1999. pp. 43-52.

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