Future of Student Needs

Mentoring

Can I help you with that?

According to a Pew Research Center study from 2011, 58% of college presidents say that students entering college are less prepared than the entering students from the prior decade. However, the students aren't to blame. That preparation, or lack thereof, goes well beyond study habits. Starting college, whether immediately after high school or after an extended stay in the adult world, takes a lot of adjustment. It always has, but the complexities of changing world aren't making it any easier.

In order help students not only cope but actually flourish in their new environment, the Student Needs 2025+ report identified several emerging needs for students of the future. Among those needs, re-skilling was listed at the top. Because it is impractical to expect the students of the future to master these constantly evolving skills on their own, the second emerging need, mentoring, is just as important.

Career counselor, life coach, and personal trainer are all relatively new fields. As society's focus on individual well-being has grown, so has the demand for one-to-one guidance. As this trend continues, it will be commonplace for students to have a trusted ally to help them navigate these uncertain waters as they pursue their greatest potential. Instead of that role being so broadly divided into job, success, and fitness instruction, students may find that they have much more specific advice coming from many sources.

Clearly, the cost and coordination of so many mentors would complicate this hypothetical future for most students. However, as technology gets smarter we could outsource much of this mentoring to our digital counterparts. Our need for re-skilling is growing in tandem with the capabilities of AI. Why not take advantage of this fact and help students of the future meet their emerging need of mentoring head on with every tool at their disposal?

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