I recently started seeing the images above from CFNC.org (College Foundation of North Carolina) on billboards in North Carolina. "College works" is the slogan across all of the billboards. It seems the discussion about college is changing.
In the past most of CFNC's adds have focus on letting students know that college is more accessible than they think. They have always advertised the importance of college as well, but I think these billboards point at a subtle but important shift. The discussion around college seems to be changing and apparently CFNC's ad department agrees.
The question these billboards are trying to address is does college work? If I want a good job do I need to go to college? Will going to college help me earn more money? Will going to college make my life better?
When I went to college this was not a question that needed to be answered. The questions were: Can I afford to go to college? Can I get accepted into college? I know college is important but can I survive four more years of classes?
This is just an example of what I have seen and heard in other places. The discussion around college is changing. "Does college work?" is no longer a crazy question. For many students the answer is still yes, but the fact that many students feel they now need to answer this question is an interesting shift in perspective.
I personally feel this change in perspective will be good for education. It will push colleges to provide even more value to their students. Colleges don't want to be answering this question. They will try their hardest to take the question off the table.
The question is can they put the cat back in the bag? College works?