Houstonian Chats: Responses on “Soft Skills” and a new a Topic!

Last week, The Houstonian published an article regarding soft skills – the subjects not traditionally taught in the classroom but vital to everyday life post-graduation. Here are some reactions.

Renee Vailes – “I think colleges should have an entire class devoted to the skills you mentioned. They could call it “Life Management Skills 101.” or “Things you need to learn to do as an adult 101.”

Brandi Marek – I think this is a wonderful idea! I think it would be great to learn about taxes, home ownership, credit scores and what to expect when entering the work force. A degree sets you up with what is essentially a very LIMITED set of principles for your course study then life happens. You gain experience. While college is very important, it only scratches the surface of what is waiting for you out there. Just a general “Life After College” class could cover this wide range of very important things that would be great to know when truly stepping into the REAL WORLD.

Lila Alvarado – “Everyone doesn’t go to college, myself included. These skills would probably help more people if taught in high school.”

Marina Rea DeLeón – “I definitely agree that students NEED these skills. We never had classes in high school that taught us soft skills (at least my high school didn’t) and my parents have never taught me any soft skills. It seems fair that we should get them here. So, why not have a course that is open to all classifications (either required or as an elective). I’m sure the vast majority of students feel clueless about how to actually “adult.” This course could help students in the long run. Maybe not at 8 a.m., but after we graduate.”

The consensus seems to be that these skills are valuable, and that they aren’t being adequately taught or represented in the current system.

There are classes available, currently, that help students begin to grapple with some of these questions, such as UNIV 1301 and other freshman focused introduction courses. Promoting these courses would be a step toward helping more widely provide soft skills education, and the expansion of this one class to a series of courses might provide a larger breadth of information to students.

But as Lila noted, soft skills might need to be integrated even earlier than college if we want to ensure that future generations step into the adult world confidently, equipped with the knowledge they need.

Next week, we want to hear your thoughts on Satire. This past Sunday Saturday Night Live won a whopping nine Emmy’s, but in a world full of satire, it’s important to ask whether it’s a good thing. What do you think of satire? Where do you see the most satire, and who does the best? Is there such a thing as too much satire? If the goal of satire is too critique, does it accomplish this goal?

As prep for this week’s response, we recommend a couple of things. First, check out the SNL sketches that won Emmy’s, as these are presumably some of the best televised examples. Second, to get an idea of the critique of satire, check out the Tenth episode of Malcom Gladwell’s podcast Revisionist History, which we will link to in the online version of this article.

Thanks to everyone that responded. We love hearing our community’s thoughts on important issues. Remember, you can comment your thoughts on Facebook or email them to us at eic@houstonianonline.com. We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.




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