College: Why a Brick and Mortar Institution of Learning Matters

University of Pennsylvania

To continue with last month’s blog post, why should a prospective college student attend a brick and mortar institution?  While totally online degrees abound, I believe it is the educational community and the opportunities the physical college setting offers that make it important for most students to attend. 

The give and take of the college classroom, the professors and their teaching assistants, the availability of tutors and writing centers, fellow classmates working and studying together; upper classmen assisting underclassmen, the genuine proximity of the education being offered.  More than education is shared on the college campus.  And I’m not talking about partying. 
While younger college students learn to become self-sufficient, older college students may struggle to understand new material.  Students come to a particular course from different stages in their curriculums.  Many times the physical presence in a classroom can afford a camaraderie that is not present in the online classroom. 
The physical college stetting can help students learn how to work with people from different backgrounds, discover different methods to analyze and evaluate class projects, perhaps fill in some missing knowledge for each other. 
I brought life experience to my college education.  Even though I had basic skills math to obtain college level math skills, there were educational holes in my knowledge base that fellow younger students filled in for me.  We worked together in numerous projects, each bringing an understanding that another hadn’t considered. 
Most physical colleges offer opportunities to their students where they can stretch their political or artistic wings, create a new community group or college periodical.  They can learn about other cultures firsthand through fellow students or professors.  Students can study abroad, take classrooms in the field of research, take advantage of internships, and scholarships to continue their education. 
The brick and mortar institution, with all its components, is an asset in a student’s learning journey.  Together with opportunities afforded to the student body, attending college within a learning community fosters the sharing of knowledge.  What do you think?

10 thoughts on “College: Why a Brick and Mortar Institution of Learning Matters”

  1. I so agree with this. I took a few online courses to complete my degree later in life and found them extremely limiting. Fortunately, my university had a branch in SLC so I could attend more of the classes in person. Online is a nice option for supplementing an education but I wouldn't suggest anyone do it 100%.

  2. I totally agree, Karen. While a few online courses are fine, the degree shouldn’t be had entirely online. Good for you attempting a few online courses. The computer—and the internet—do not always agree with me.
    Thanks, Karen, for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog. Please stop by again.

  3. I agree as well. Actually going to the college is so much better. You need that interaction with people. These days, people spend too much time on their computers. Taking classes online is nice because it saves time and money on gas, but you nee people. Not every teacher gets back to you when you need them. It's nice to have the instant conversation with your teacher in person. I was in school for 8 years and I never regretted taking classes at the physical college. It makes college more fun!

  4. Attending college in person is a good idea for many reasons, Michelle. The human being is a physical as well as social animal. I believe people learn best when they are in physical company with instructors and other students.

    Thank you so much, Michelle, for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog. It is greatly appreciated.

  5. I had to take an online workshop last year. It wasn't the same as being in class. And I have a MA degree + I'm close to a second one. I can only imagine how not having a brick and mortar would impact students who struggle. And there's something to be said for the social interaction. A few online courses would be okay, but I think more than that wouldn't be beneficial for a number of reasons.

  6. First, Congratulations, Theresa, on almost two master's degrees. I'm sure I've said this before; you are truly amazing. And you write and publish. What are the degrees in?

    I agree that a few online courses would be fine. It's completing the entire degree online that I feel doesn't benefit students as much as a brick and mortar university would, especially students who struggle.

    Thank you so much, Theresa, for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog. Please stop by again.


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