When you think about the typical college-themed movies from the 1980s and even 90s and compare them to today’s experience, it truly couldn’t be more different. These movies often depicted the college scene as nothing more than an opportunity to move out of the house and party with friends until graduation day. Today’s college experience isn’t typically seen in that way, and that’s in large part due to the fact students are wanting and needing different things from their school experience.
So how have colleges transformed today? How are they offering students more of what they want and need? Let’s take a closer look.
The Rise of Online Learning
One of the biggest ways in which colleges have changed is that the online learning or e-learning platform has really blossomed and opened up the door for more students than ever before. Online learning gives students all over the country a chance to attend college in a virtual manner, no matter their location. What this also means is that there is no need to move, quit a job, or uproot their life.
While there are those colleges that are online-only, there are others that offer a chance to learn in the classroom and on campus in order to work better with their own schedule. A great example is Stevens-Henager College in Provo UT. The college in Orem UT offers a blended in-class/online learning format available in both evening and day classes. What this means is that students get the kind of flexibility that didn’t exist years ago.
Smaller Class Sizes are Available
Another common feature in colleges was to have large classes filled with hundreds of students at one time. While this may work for some, for others it created an environment that wasn’t ideal for learning and it took away the chance to have meaningful discussions in the class with other students and the teacher. Today you can find plenty of colleges that feature small class sizes, giving a much more intimate feel, which can help with the learning process.
New Jobs Exist – Which Means the Schooling Had to Change
Another big change was in the content that was being taught in colleges. Today we have all new jobs that didn’t exist 10, 20, or 30 years ago which means you’re finding new streams of classes and diplomas. There is a real focus on teaching students real-world skills so that they can leave school and get a job right away. The typical college student of today is very career-oriented and wants to know that their college experience will lead to job success.
It Has Become Very Competitive
With so many doors opening for new diploma classes and online schools and learning, it has also made college a lot more competitive. Where it may have been enough just to scrape by before, today students are putting a lot of energy and work into their studies. They realize it is necessary in order to walk out with the skills they need to get their dream job.
So, while the general focus remains the same in college – learn new skills in order to get a job – the way it’s being presented and how the students are reacting to it is vastly different to a couple of decades ago.