|Grand Valley State University Provost Gayle Davis: College Degree 'Most Important Investment' Students, Parents Can Make|
February 11, 2013/Mlive.com
Guest Column by Gayle Davis
Gayle Davis has been provost at and vice president for academic affairs at Grand Valley State University since 2002.
Davis earned a master's degree in art history and then a doctorate in American Studies from Michigan State University. She taught in and chaired the Women's Studies Department at Wichita State University in Kansas, later serving as WSU's vice president for Academic Affairs and Research before coming to Grand Valley.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- The need for more people to complete college degrees as a means to create needed talent for Michigan’s future is being discussed widely across the spectrum of employers and government.
The conversation is controversial for some, as they consider the rising cost of attending college and conclude that a college degree may not be the good personal investment it once was.
Those of us in higher education always welcome constructive review, but it’s important to correct the misunderstanding that a college degree isn’t worth the time and money invested. Current job requirements and opportunities are changing fast.
So, training new talent for both today’s employment needs and those of the future is important. Preparation specifically for current jobs is needed as well as the development of employees with “transferable abilities" -- those abilities that can apply to any endeavor and build the state’s talent pool to meet whatever employer needs that changes in the future may bring.
With exposure to a well-rounded, liberal education college and university students master not only a specific area of study, but they are also prepared to think, keep learning, communicate effectively, solve complex problems, create and innovate, lead, work collaboratively, and thereby contribute richly to their communities and their world.
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