Higher Education Civic Responsibility (in the U.S)

Higher Education Civic Responsibility (in the U.S)

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Higher Education Civic Responsibility (in the U.S)

Higher education plays a critical role in shaping civic life of many American citizens. The type the American’s system of higher education contributes less to the promotion of civic responsibilities among students (Astin 1). Civic responsibility is an aspect that every society must possess irrespective of their culture, religion, or ethnicity. Higher education has the responsibility of promoting civic responsibility, but most institutions distance themselves from the issue and instead concentrate of education knowledge. The lack of the democratic ideal in higher education leads to universities producing qualified academic graduates, but poor leaders and drivers of change in societies. The paragraph below explains the main problems associated with higher education ignoring civic responsibility courses in the United States.

The society that lacks democracy is as good as dead. Democracy contributes to the growth of the society in terms of economy, evolution, and civilization. Universities that produce graduates with no idea on civic responsibility create a huge problem to the society and the country as a whole. Higher education systems today produce a generation with knowledge but have no idea on how to utilize the knowledge to benefit the society. In the past, institutions of higher learning concentrated on education for democracy and knowledge for the society but the present institutions do not promote civic mission (Boyte and Hollander 7). Institutions focus more on producing top students rather that education them acceptable values and ethics when they go back to the community. Moreover, university management today aims at making the community gain the reputation of the institution, and concentrates more on serving the same community.

The problem described above affects almost the entire U.S. population, but some geographical areas suffer more impacts compared to others. Dallas in Texas forms the main population of focus for this paper. The Dallas community consists of people from different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds with the minority population making the highest number of residents. Lack of civic responsibility in Dallas has contributed to its poor development. The higher education should take control of the civic disengagement by focusing on promoting civic education and community involvement through introducing learning opportunities for university students (Hodge and Lewis 41).

The problem of lack of civic responsibility poses many challenges to a society. The society stays at risk of losing its value and instead developing generations that have no idea on how to develop a diverse democracy that caters for the rights of all people. The problem negatively affects many sectors that contribute to the economic growth and development of the nation. In addition, the government suffers a great challenge in trying to pursue institutions of higher learning consider educating their students on the issue of civic education in order to save the future generation. On the other hand, the problem creates challenges in the employment sector because most of the university graduates who secure employment in big industries contribute to the failure of these industries. Companies employ graduates who lack effective decision-making processes when it comes to protecting the culture of the firm leading to poor productivity. Students face challenges in making decisive actions that positively affects the company (Gottlieb and Robinson 24).

The main sectors that face major challenges in Dallas are the business sector, the non-profit/ non-governmental (NGO) sector, and the government sector.

The business sector is one of the most affected areas by the problem of lack of civic responsibility among higher education learners. In order to solve the issue, different firms have come together to sponsor free programs to universities and other institutions of higher learning. They hire experts in civic education and society democracy to offer lessons to students on civic responsibility in order to give them ideas on how to utilize knowledge gained in class for the benefit of the society. For example, Southern Methodist University (SMU) offers public service programs that engage students in community service annually aimed at developing leadership and civic responsibilities among students. The program plays a beneficial role to Dallas community (SMU).

Non-profit and NGOs also contribute positively to the promotion of civic responsibility in current institutions of higher learning. NGOs play a vital role in promoting growth and development of American societies especially in Dallas where high instances of poor development are recorded. NGOs collaborate with Higher Education in developing a common agenda aimed at improving the democratic capacity of societies. NGO fund for civic education in societies and promote civic engagement at lower levels of learning. For example, the introduction of OlympiArts project that helped unify young people and educate them on how to implement modern civilization and social responsibility (Aksit, Hartsmar and Moraeus 15-17).

On the other hand, the U.S. government works together with the Ministry of Higher Education to ensure students graduate with both education and civic knowledge. One of the moves that the government would make to solve the problem involves passing a policy that requires all institutions of higher learning to incorporate civic education classes in their curriculum. Higher education should become a close friend to the government in order to shape the future of students enrolling in various courses in Universities.

The above analysis shows that higher education contributes to the high rate of underdevelopment experienced in most areas in United States. The United State lacks democracy in higher education because many institutions drift away from the civic mission (Boyte and Hollander 7). Every individual has the responsibility of ensuring they practice good civic responsibilities and pass the knowledge to others in order to build a strong nation in terms of knowledge, values, and ethics.

Works cited

Aksti, Necmi., Hartsmar, Nanny and Moraeus, Lisa. NGOs and Higher Education: Working

together for Citizenship Education and the Development of Identities,

Astin, Alexander W. “National CrossTalk – Summer 1998 – National Center for Public Policy

and Higher Education.” National CrossTalk – Summer 1998 – National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. 1 Jan. 1998. Web. 4 Nov. 2014. <http://www.highereducation.org/crosstalk/ct0798/voices0798-astin.shtml>.

Boyte, Harry., and Hollander, Elizabeth. Wingspread Declaration on Renewing the Civic

Mission of the American Research University. USA: University of Michigan Center for Community Service and Learning, 1999

Gottlieb, Karla and Robinson, Gail. A practical guide for integrating civic responsibility into

the curriculum. United States of America: Community College Press. 2006.

Hodge, G. and Lewis, T. Beyond learning communities to engaged campus: Integrated

Learning Communities with Service-Learning, National Learning Communities Project, n.d.

SMU. SMU Today: Public Service Programs. 2014. Web November 4, 2014