purposeful education audit

Three weeks ago, we had students in our “What Can I Do With My Life” class take a Purposeful Education Audit to examine the state of their educational experience, to see if they need to make a change in some way.  The statements for the Purposeful Education Audit were adapted from the Purposeful Work Audit from Richard J. Leider and David Shapiro’s book, “Work Reimagined: Uncover Your Calling” (2015).  These are the ten statements used for this audit:

  1. Life seems to be passing me by while I am trying hard to succeed in school.
  2. School is getting most, if not all, or my energy, while other parts of my life (like relationships) are getting very little.
  3. I know that my education is important, but I just don’t find it meaningful or know how to make the most of the experience.
  4. I feel like I’m the only one who feels lost, confused, and stuck.
  5. I am ready to do something different, but I don’t know what it is or how to figure it out.
  6. These days, I rarely wake up eager to face a new school day with anticipation and energy.
  7. I rarely enjoy what I do each day, in my classes and in school.
  8. I do not feel like my gifts, talents, skills, and abilities are being used well while in school.
  9. I wonder if there’s more to life than getting a college degree.
  10. I rarely go to sleep at night with a fulfilling sense that this has been a well-lived day.

The students in the classes range from first-year students to seniors, with a few non-traditional students sprinkled in.  Not surprisingly, many of the upperclass students checked off 1-3 items at most; however, it seemed as if the younger (in age and experience) the student, the more items they seemed to check off.  Below you will find the results of the tallies, rank-ordered from most responses to least responses, with the number of responses (out of 44 total) in parentheses:

Responses (most to least, out of 44 responses)

#1 – 6. These days, I rarely wake up eager to face a new school day with anticipation and energy. (22)

#2 – 5. I am ready to do something different, but I don’t know what it is or how to figure it out. (21)

#3 – 1. Life seems to be passing me by while I am trying hard to succeed in school. (17)

#4 – 10. I rarely go to sleep at night with a fulfilling sense that this has been a well-lived day. (15)

#5 – 8. I do not feel like my gifts, talents, skills, and abilities are being used well while in school. (14)

#6 (tie) – 3. I know that my education is important, but I just don’t find it meaningful or know how to make the most of the experience. (13)

#6 (tie) – 9. I wonder if there’s more to life than getting a college degree. (13)

#8 – 2. School is getting most, if not all, or my energy, while other parts of my life (like relationships) are getting very little. (12)

#9 (tie) – 4. I feel like I’m the only one who feels lost, confused, and stuck. (7)

#9 (tie) – 7. I rarely enjoy what I do each day, in my classes and in school. (7)

I was REALLY disturbed that almost 50% of the students responded to #5 – “I am ready to do something different, but I don’t know what it is or how to figure it out.”  I guess that’s why they are in the class in the first place!  It’s also disheartening to know that the college experience for many of our students is such a grind, not maximizing on their talents and gifts, or providing little help in developing the “whole” student.  Would love to hear any thoughts that you might have to the responses and/or how to change the situation.

In the next posting, I will share how this information led me to examine the things that are most important to them, to address: (1) what’s motivating them on a daily basis, and (2) where getting a college degree, getting a job, and making money rank in importance to other, more personal, items.

 

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