Amer­i­cans adults and employers want col­leges to pro­duce grad­u­ates who can think crit­i­cally and cre­atively, and can com­mu­ni­cate orally and in writing, according to the results of a public-​​opinion survey released by North­eastern Uni­ver­sity here on Tuesday.

Respon­dents were far less inter­ested in having stu­dents receive narrow training and industry-​​specific skills.

In fact, nearly two-​​thirds of adults and three-​​quarters of employers agreed with the fol­lowing state­ment: “Being well-​​rounded with a range of abil­i­ties is more impor­tant than having industry exper­tise because job-​​specific skills can be learned at work.”

The survey results, which were described in the pre­sen­ta­tion “Inno­va­tion Imper­a­tive: Enhancing Higher Edu­ca­tion Out­comes,” sup­port the con­clu­sions of a poll of employers that the Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­ican Col­leges and Uni­ver­si­ties released ear­lier this year. That poll found broad sup­port for the idea that stu­dents should learn to think crit­i­cally, com­mu­ni­cate clearly, and solve com­plex prob­lems, or what the asso­ci­a­tion described as “a 21st-​​century lib­eral education.”

Read the article at Chronicle of Higher Education →