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Dartmouth College – The Relevancy of the Educational Experience in Today’s World

In today’s age of technological and social transformation, it is not always clear what is needed to develop in such a changing landscape. With the internet connecting people around the world to information at the click of a button and online courses widely available, traditional educational organizations are facing a crisis of relevance. Ivy League member, Dartmouth College makes the case that established educational institutions have never been more valuable.  

Dartmouth College was established in 1769 and is run with the belief that, when done well, higher education transforms a student’s quality of mind. This produces an innovative person with keen analytic skills, an open mind with qualities like curiosity and creativity.

With a firm commitment to the teacher-scholar model, Dartmouth College expects teachers to be totally committed to the learning of their students. The institution has an unwavering commitment to the liberal arts and a profound sense of place. Phil Hanlon, president of the institute, explains the benefits to a student of higher education. “What they get is a set of generally applicable lifetime intellectual skills: Being able to think critically, being able to engage the arts and humanities, a well developed creative mind, being able to work across difference – things that aren’t applicable to a single job, but to every job and to every experience they’ll have in life.”

Dartmouth College demonstrates the difference between what an online course can offer as opposed to an institution. Dartmouth offers classroom experience but also active and experiential learning, the prospect of studying abroad with other opportunities such as athletics as part of the experience. 

However, from a business sense, the residential higher education model is an expensive one. The costs involved for the institution go beyond paying for the education of their students, but also for their students’ housing, food, healthcare, in addition to ensuring that facilities are regularly updated. The realities of this affect the institution and students alike and mean that the quality of the educational experience provided must justify the financial cost.

However, Dartmouth College maintains that the benefits of institutionalized higher education to an individual are much greater than any negatives. The world is changing, with technology slowly supplementing human input in many avenues. Qualities like creativity, leadership and emotional intelligence, it is suggested, will be highly sought in the future. As a result, places that teach such qualities will also be highly sought, proving their relevance in this modern world.