John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Why We are In This Work

December 14, 2009John N. GardnerInsights0

Particularly when times are tough for both us higher educators and our students, I think it is important to pause every now and then to reflect on and remind ourselves why we are in this work often called “student success.” I invite you to join me in some reflections on why are we in this work anyway? Because…

• it makes a difference for students

• it delivers on the promise of access while simultaneously maximizes resources

• it’s a way for us to repay the gift

• it keeps us learning and developing

• we see enormous progress in some of the most initially unlikely candidates for success

• it is a form of social justice

• it extends and continues the unfinished civil rights and women’s movements

• it creates for us an affinity group/network which brings us together with those of like values

• for some of us it has not only secular redeeming social value, but transcendent, spiritual worth as well

• it promotes the health of the body politic and the personal health of our citizens who by becoming college graduates have increased their probability of a longer life span

Ok, that’s why I am in this work. How about you?

-John N. Gardner

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