Claim: Educational institutions have a responsibility to dissuade students from pursuing fields of study in which they are unlikely to succeed.
Instructions: Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.
Rather than dissuading students from pursuing fields of study in which they are unlikely to succeed, educational institutions have the responsibility to provide the necessary information and to work alongside students to allow students to decide for themselves which field of study they wish to pursue. First, a student's likelihood to successfully pursue a career can change over time. Similarly, a student, in many respects, has a better gauge of his or her future potential in a specific area of study than an educational institution.
While past trends may be indicative of future actions (e.g., a poor high school GPA may be indicative of an unlikely college admission rate), this is not always the case. For instance, an educational institution may dissuade a student from pursuing undergraduate degree in biology due to poor performances in high school biology classes. However, such action is unfounded because the student can learn necessary skills to successfully pursue such a degree. For instance, a student could begin to study more and take academics and higher education more seriously, which would in turn increase that student's likelihood in succeeding in a biology career.
Likewise, a student may be a better gauge of his or her future potential to succeed in a specific area of study than an educational institution. An educational institution, for instance, may look merely at the available academic information to decide if a student is fit to pursuing a certain area of study. Yet such an approach neglects to consider various other factors that influence one's ability to pursue a certain career. For example, though a student may have scored poorly on a college entrance exam (such as the ACT or the SAT), an educational institution claiming that such student should not pursue a higher education is unfounded. Grit, curiosity, and motivation to succeed in college, traits not measured by college entrance exams, may be just as predictive as college entrance exams in regards to one's ability to succeed in a certain career. A student may be more aware of these personal features than an educational institution, which provides another reason on why educational institutions should avoid dissuading students from pursuing careers that they deem as improbable.
In summary, educational institutions have the responsibility of providing necessary information about future areas of study and to work alongside students to allow them to make informed decisions on their own. While an educational institution can provide information about the likelihood to succeed based on available information (such as test scores), a student's perspective is unique and the student may be able to gauge his or her ability to succeed based on information not available to educational institutions. Clearly, various factors can predict one's ability to succeed in life. By combining an educational institution's perspective with a student's perspective, coupled with an educational institution's efforts on providing necessary information and working alongside students, a student will be better able to better choose a career that fits them than by just having an educational institution dissuade their career interests.