Virginian's believe that they have a strong higher education
system. They also feel that it is safe and prepares young people for the world
of work. They are less enthusiastic about the preparation of students in
writing and communications. These results come from a poll released by the
Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute in the Wilder School at VCU.
Respondents feel that high school graduates are ready for college, but 67% did
not believe that they are ready for work. Actually, 59% of Virginians indicated
that it is more important to have knowledge and skills than to have a degree
from a "well-respected" university.
Only three out of 10 believed that a
college degree was important to success. Nearly eight out of ten rated four-year
institutions and community colleges as excellent or good, but nearly 50% rated
the quality of internet-based programs as fair or poor.
As with most slices of
public opinion, perceptions of respondents are not necessarily accurate …or
causal. They are perceptions with the aggregate of personal insights and
interpretations that shape them.
As an example, virtual learning has gained
popularity and credibility as medium for the delivery of instruction; however,
respondents still see schools as bricks and mortar. In like terms Virginians
believe that higher education is doing a great job, but is not the only road to
Common sense is perhaps the most likely resolution to this
conflict: whether through college, military training, on the job experience, or
technical schools, the key to a successful career is knowing what you are doing.