When I teach the CSS 101 course at the Phoenix campus of CollegeAmerica, I try to help students understand that their return to school is merely one piece to a much larger puzzle of life-long learning and professional development. Their program is a window to a much more stimulating and fulfilling life.
In CSS 101, I try to emphasize the importance of interconnectivity between classes. Taking one class at a time is not something to do in a methodical fashion as though one has blinders on. Instead, the goal is to understand how things work, and not simply to study just to take tests. Much like head coach Alvin Gentry of the Phoenix Suns or Mike D’Antoni of the Los Angeles Lakers, students must be their own head coach and figure out how to make adjustments when their studying does not garner the right results. (I do not envy those two coaches right now but you get the point.)
But surely you’ve felt that one of your classes wasn’t worth your time or necessary. However, at the end of the day, the class was completed and you gained from that experience. If nothing else, it was a life experience that you could look back on and be proud that you survived. Plus, every experience learned in a classroom can later be related to something that occurs in the workforce or in a volunteer capacity.
Soft skills and the ability to communicate with others is certainly one of those important communication pieces. Another is cultural literacy or the ability to apply sound critical thinking. It is not nearly as important to know the answers to every question that comes your way. Instead, it is critically vital that students know what they do not know and how to find that information, in order to provide answers to the pressing issues of the day.
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