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Wendy Fischman

Season 3, Ep. 22

Episode 22: The Purpose and Nature of Higher Education 


Since the beginning of the New View EDU podcast, we’ve been asking guests to help us answer the question: “What is the purpose of education?” Now we’re expanding our search for answers into the realm of higher education. What’s the purpose of college? Is it just to get a foot in the door of a competitive job market, or is there something greater to be gained from higher ed? 


Guest: Wendy Fischman

Resources and Expanded Show Notes

Full Transcript


In This Episode:


  • “We devised a concept, a new concept, called higher education capital. And as you said, this is what we believe should be the goal of college for students, is to build and amplify higher education capital. Briefly, higher education capital is the ability to attend, analyze, reflect, connect, and communicate on important issues. So it's what you used in planning for and facilitating this podcast. It's what I used in preparing for the questions that I thought you were going to ask me…that’s what we call higher education capital.” (6:47)
  • “We hope and expect that students who go to college will have the opportunity to develop and increase their own HED cap. And actually, students and parents should demand it. That's what they should be choosing colleges on. That's what they should be asking about. Rather than tout dining halls and schools' private islands, we wish that schools would promote their ability to increase HED cap.” (10:17)
  • “Just a word about mental health on the college campus. While some students did talk about severe issues, including bipolar disorder or suicide or major depression, the majority of students talked about mental health issues as they relate to performing well, doing well, getting A's, and the anxiety about not performing and compiling the best possible profile when they graduate in order to get the job.” (24:26)
  • “Today high school has become more of an exercise about preparing students to get into college, rather than preparing them for the college experience…We need to find ways in the high school experience and even maybe earlier, to incorporate these kinds of essential questions in our conversations with students, and also in our college counseling, so that they don't just form this very transactional view about college.” (31:13)
  • “I think at early stages, we should be helping students to understand that their goal is not about getting into the most selective college, because sometimes it may not make a difference. It's about finding the college that speaks to the student's goals, what they wanna get out of it.” (34:26)



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