In this point-counterpoint piece in CO School Talk, Alan Gottlieb (co-author of The Age of Agility: Education Pathways for the Future of Work) cautions us against biting the bait and getting tangled up on either side of the false notion about the role of community colleges. There is growing tension between two camps. One side contends that the proper role of community colleges is to provide well-rounded education. The other side argues that community colleges should channel their efforts toward helping to close the skills gap and prepare students for the workforce. Gottlieb argues that the two are in no way mutually exclusive, stating: “Yes, people need technical skills, and industry needs workers who have these skills. But more important, people who want to be employable—and don’t we all?—need to learn how to deeply analyze problems, using the quirky human mind to tease out connections and synergies that aren’t immediately evident.” While both sides of the argument have merit, Gottlieb illustrates how they are both right (or, perhaps, both wrong).
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