If you would have asked me a year ago about the classes I might have predicted that I would be taking spring semester of my freshman year of college, I can certainly assure you that “Higher Education: Past and Future” would not have been one of the first to pop into my mind. However, as I rapidly approach the concluding days of my first full year within the higher education system, I can honestly say that I am so very glad that it eventually did. I am so sincerely thankful for the opportunity that this course gave me to truly think about the experience that I am currently immersed in from multiple levels of depth, scrutiny, and optimism, and for the privilege of learning from and have an open dialogue of ideas with the peers and instructors that I did.
In the grand scheme of things, I truly don’t feel that there was anything obviously missing from the course subject matter that was covered over the last four months. Granted, seeing as I initially entered the classroom with very little existing knowledge regarding the realm of higher education beyond perhaps what one might be able to find on a college brochure or within a freshman orientation session, most of the depth of this course progressed to levels I had not yet before encountered or even thought of. I very much so appreciated the deliberate challenge each week to sit down and explicitly think about a dimension of the world I’d enrolled in, what it used to look like, where it was headed, and how it would affect me. If anything, I think that it could have been interesting to talk a bit more about the complexity of the in-state/out-of-state student algorithm, whether that be how the price difference is calculated, what contributes to the particular geographic demographic makeup of a university, or simply the different factors of university life that such differences might affect. Particularly as an out-of-state student attending a university where a fairly decent percent of the student population are not residents of the state of Oklahoma, I feel that such a process might be a relevant potential topic of conversation.
At the end of the day, the possibilities in terms of conversation for this course lie as deep as the scope of the world of higher education itself, and ultimately I think that simply further depth as opposed to vast new topics would ultimately prove most beneficial to students, if any changes were even made at all. I will forever fondly reflect on my time in this course as a place where a portion of my voice was discovered, and I look forward to the next three years and a lifetime of keeping the conversation going. All that matters, in my opinion, is that the conversation lives on.