Modern American higher education is not ready for the next Greatest Generation. We as educators cannot hope to reach a point of readiness unless we engage today in measured, strategic, deliberate action. All ideas are important; both passionate rhetoric and factual articles can inspire and motivate. Yet, this is not enough. Pivotal action, channeled by
clear goals, and an unrelenting pledge are required to capture the promise of tomorrow. America’s future is represented by the raw talent of the military community returning from war – our next Greatest Generation landing on our campuses nationwide and in large numbers. I could not write this article until I understood what defines the Greatest Generation – perhaps a generation that survived the Depression and World War II, perhaps a generation of young people who had their life’s plans put on hold when they marched off to war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said of those who were growing up between the Great Depression and World War II: “This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” As we have witnessed, the millennium delivered this challenge again on Sept. 11, 2001, by a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks launched upon the United States.
This generation once again has earned the distinction of the Greatest Generation. They are creating a future by overcoming the same challenges their earlier brothers and sisters met.
9/11 took on new meaning that is recognizable worldwide. The millennium’s challenges were not finished
on 9/11. Our nation witnessed the beginning of economic collapse on Sept. 8, 2008, when the U.S. Treasury seized control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The effects of the economic downfalls and high unemployment are
still felt today. The war in Afghanistan and the Gulf Wars have brought about a large number of war veterans returning home to a grateful country. This generation once again has earned the distinction of the Greatest Generation. They are creating a future by overcoming the same challenges their earlier brothers and sisters met. You see, we never learn from history, but history has learned to repeat itself. Speaking at the Empowering Our Nation’s Warriors Summit in February 2014, President George W. Bush said, “Since 9/11, more than 2.5 million Americans have worn the uniform. They have faced down our enemies, they’ve liberated millions, and in so doing showed the true compassion of a great Nation. They are the 1 percent of America who kept the 99 percent safe. And we owe them, and their families, a deep debt of gratitude.” The true
one-percenters are entering our nation’s career colleges with a pocket full of veteran education benefits they earned in a way most academics can’t possibly understand or imagine. However, I assure you, our next Greatest Generation is
enrolling and planning on using their earned veteran education benefits. Our obligation is much bigger than enrolling these veterans in our schools; our obligation to the next Greatest Generation is to make sure they experience the most amazing higher education possible.
How can we do this?
- By listening first to what education
opportunities sincerely excite our millennium veterans. Stop the
build-it-and-they-will come mindset; if your education practice is all about
filling seats, then you will fail, and you are not focused on the “deep debt
of gratitude” that President Bush spoke about.
- By listening first, then developing courses
that meet their needs, fulfill their dreams, and promote their future career
and employment opportunities. Our millennium veterans are more than
fulfilling higher education market share; their academic prosperity equals
- By listening first and taking notice that the
next Greatest Generation is here protecting our nation’s freedom once again,
day after day.
- By sincerely understanding what this
generation represents: a brotherhood and sisterhood that spans the entire
history of our great nation.
Modern American higher education is not ready for the next Greatest Generation. We need to be – and need to be
intelligently. History has defined the next Greatest Generation once again: this generation also had no choice, and they have accepted the challenge and delivered priceless returns to every American. We owe this next Greatest Generation a deep debt of gratitude. We must listen first with open ears and hearts before we enroll them, and then passionately develop education programs that meet their needs, relying on their viewpoint rather than our own.
On Veterans Day, never lose sight that these millennium veterans, a brotherhood and sisterhood that span the entire history of our great nation, are the next Greatest Generation.
by AMERICAN WRITER Dr. Pietro Savo Tradition Books Publication © 2014
Manufacturing Research Practitioner ™ by Dr. Pietro Savo
Dr. Pietro Savo E-Mail Link firstname.lastname@example.org