1. The ___________ of college can lead a parent to wonder if an investment in higher education still makes sense.
2. When I was a college freshman, my group of friends got into a ___________ over who would room with whom during our sophomore year.
3. Alcohol sales climbed with little interruption throughout the_________, and have continued to expand in the last few months. This is in spite of – or maybe because of – the ___________. So the old adage – that the booze industry survives in a recession because people drink even when they’re broke – appears to be true.
4. This fall, Ann Shanton will be like any other giddy freshman starting college, with one _____________ – she’s 13 years old.
5. High school seniors are deciding where they will apply to college, and for a sizable fraction the __________ is: “Should I apply early?”
6. The ___________ of new people interested in becoming involved in the college paper was fantastic! The majority were freshmen, but there were newbies that are currently juniors and seniors as well.
7. The World Health Organisation has issued some _________ about the increasingly motorised, car-infested world in which we live. Part of them are a list of the top 10 most dangerous countries in the world to drive a car.
Listening Comprehension Activities
1. You are going to listen to an interview with Anthony P. Carnevale, Director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, which released the report “What’s it Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors.” Listen to the first part of the interview and choose the best option to complete the following statements.
1. Students preparing to graduate are often asked the pivotal question “What are you planning to do with your degree?” Nowadays
a) the Obama administration is working hard to increase the value of higher education and to give college graduates more job opportunities.
b) most people believe that a college degree is not worth the skyrocketing costs of higher education.
c) it is getting more and more difficult for young people to get a job as the job market is stagnant and the unemployment rate is high.
2. Both Michelle Kurtwright and Elizabeth Cartman
a) graduated in 2007 with a BFA in English.
b) can hardly make both ends meet.
c) are convinced that you should study what you like and things will work out in the end.
3 The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce put out the report about the economic value of college majors because
a) the government had come up with this initiative.
b) students and their parents want to know what majors will let them find well-paid jobs to pay off their debts.
c) the researchers were concerned that Americans believe that college is the ticket to the middle class though it is not.
4 People who have majored in engineering, computer science or business on average earn 50 per cent more than those who have majored in the humanities, the arts, education and psychology because
a) there is a great demand for technical majors in the market.
b) technical people are more talented.
c) jobs in these fields have always been considered premium.
5. The wage gap across racial and gender lines exists because
a) women and minorities are discouraged from choosing prestigious majors.
b) majors are segregated: men are attracted to the technical majors, computers, the physical sciences, and business whereas women and minorities prefer the humanities, arts, social work, etc.
c) women and minorities are not ready for challenging fields like engineering, business or computers; as a result they are looking for soft jobs.
2. Listen again and say what these numbers stand for.
3. Listen to the second part of the interview and complete the table below.
Name: Henry Plant
Residence: 1) _____________________________________Degree: B.A. in fine arts and 2)___________________________________
Additional schooling: 3)______________________________________________Occupation: 4) ____________________________________________________
Mr. Carnevale’s recommendations
· don’t focus on 5) __________________________________
· pay some attention to 6) ______________________________
· if you major in the humanities or the liberal arts, 7) _________________________
Mr. Carnevale hopes that the report 8) ____________________________________
Mr. Carnevale is afraid that the report 9) ___________________________________
After Listening Activities
Activity I. Discussing the Issues
1. Choosing a major is one of the most difficult things students face in college. What factors should students consider when making this important decision? Read the following stories and say whose opinion you agree with.
a) I have advised many students who emphatically declared as freshmen, “I want to be a doctor,” or lawyer, or banker, but when you question them further, you find out the enthusiastic future M.D. dislikes biology and chemistry, the would-be attorney detests public speaking and memorization, and the prospective financier got D’s in high school math. “Why the heck do you want to study that?” Because their dad is a doctor; because their brother is in law school; because (this was so common until a couple of years ago) “the money is in” banking/finance/fund management. For some students, that influence is real hard to shake off. It’s our job as advisers and higher ed. professionals to get down to what the students really are interested in and take it from there.
b) Not that you shouldn’t pursue your passion, but if it doesn’t pay the bills, why not make it a hobby? I am the parent of a 25-year-old living at home because she tried to follow her passion and found out that she can’t earn a living at it. She got tired of not having any money and is back in school. She can’t figure out what she wants to study, and my advice to her is, at this point PICK SOMETHING that will help provide a marketable skill or knowledge. After you’ve put in a day’s work and can pay the bills, then you can do what’s fun. Idealism can only carry you so far.
c) The idea behind studying a major you truly like in college is not to become a dilettante, or someone who sits around philosophizing all day and not working, or a Japanese literature major who makes coffee for a living. The point is to develop your intellectual abilities by stimulating your mind to learn new things, acquire new skills, learn how to communicate, be critical, and collaborate, seek out information, acquire it, and relate it to various topics, and think in ways you may never have thought before. Those are attributes any employer values, and that are applicable to any job.
d) Students should keep an eye not only on what they want to study, but on what fields they might want to work in, and pursue extracurricular activities and summer employment that will help them explore those careers. I was in school with a woman who is now a CNN correspondent; she majored in English and spent much of her free time working at the campus radio station. Art history majors might minor in business and move into management of non-profit or cultural organizations. Working on the yearbook or school newspaper or literary magazine might give a student a taste of publishing. Volunteer opportunities abound, and could introduce students to careers they didn’t know existed. In short, there are many more ways to prepare for a career than just sitting in a classroom (http://chronicle.com/article/Stop-Asking-Me-My-Major/63453/).
2. How did you make your choice? Did your parents influence your choice?
3. Do you think American students have a definite advantage over Russian students because they don’t have to choose their major before they start studying at college (they can do it during their freshman or even sophomore year), because they can change their major several times, and because they can choose a double (or dual) major?
Getting an Insight into American Culture:
Living on Campus
1. Read the following text about residential facilities at Washburn University, Kansas and fill in the gaps with the words from the box below.