Today’s students see education as a means to an end, the end being a respectable job with decent pay and benefits. And who can blame them? With the national unemployment rate at 9.1 percent (a percentage that doesn’t include part-timers seeking full-time employment and those unemployed who have simply given up looking for jobs), students are understandably worried about career prospects. Many college students are also worried about paying back their student loans; operating under such financial pressure, a focus on salary and the possibility of pay raises and promotions is hardly surprising.
How about stimulating and facilitating a lifelong pursuit of fresh ideas and innovative solutions to national and global challenges? There are, of course, sound and practical reasons for such a pursuit, such as maintaining our economic competitiveness. A critical and learned citizenry, after all, is the very foundation for an active, informed and humane democratic process: one that both celebrates and safeguards our constitutional rights and liberties. Homeland security, indeed.