Finding the true value in higher education

ecm_suits_youI was recently reading the Washington Post and came across an excellent article called “College is not a commodity. Stop treating it like one.” In the article, the writer, Hunter Rawlings, gives a great summary about how college is now being evaluated in purely economic terms. It made me realize, as a parent paying to send a child to college, there is truth in that.

I want my kids to go to college and have the full, enveloping experience. To learn lessons about life, leadership and reality that will teach them far more than an “A” in any one class.

Parents – or, in many cases, the students – are making an investment. Right or wrong, we are looking for a measurable return on that investment. That probably amounts to knowing my child has found a career that provides a sustainable living and makes them happy for the next 40+ years of post-college life.

The article points to a topic that could really be my rallying cry. As it explains, the outcome really comes down to the effort of the student. Their personal motivation and drive to find value in the college experience is at the core of what makes it valuable.

Motivation for sale

It makes me want to sell motivation as a commodity.  Ironically, my buyers would have to be motivated to buy motivation in the first place – making it hard to turn a profit. I guess I’ll stick to selling amazing enterprise content management software.

While at the Achieving the Dream conference this year, I received a copy of the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective College Students by Sean Covey. It’s a great read, and it includes some excellent self-evaluation tools, helping college students examine who they really are and what motivates them.

If you’re an advisor, it’s a strong starting point for conversations with your student. And if you are a parent, read it right away. Please let me know if you can get your student to read it and tell me how.

As best as I can tell, there is no software or technology that will increase someone’s motivation.  I think in the case of motivating students – or employees – it comes down to personal interaction and personal intervention. And that means taking the time to find that motivation.

OnBase frees up resources on campus so your staff can carve out more time for that personal interaction. What office are you in?  Let’s talk about where we can apply technology so that ultimately, we can help motivation sweep across your campus!

Laurel Stiller

Laurel Stiller brings her passion for helping institutions strategically maximize their efficiency to Hyland as its marketing portfolio manager for Higher Education. A graduate of Miami University, Ohio, with more than 20 years of experience working to map proven solutions to higher education challenges, Laurel implemented ERP solutions at Dickinson College and University of Oregon Foundation before joining the sales and marketing team at Datatel, now Ellucian, Inc. Laurel offers a deep understanding of higher education, dedication to transparency and a fondness for candid conversations about the solutions Hyland develops and delivers to the market. You may reach her at Laurel.Stiller at onbase.com.

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