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Instilling Values in Undergraduate Students: Private Education Provides Guidance in Students' Social Maturity

Contact: Kathy Player, Ed.D. President, Grand Canyon University, 602-639-6566

MEDIA ADVISORY, Mar. 5 /Christian Newswire/ -- The university experience is the first "adult" experience for many students who are standing at a crossroads, looking back on childhood and looking forward to great success and importance. For some, the opportunity to live a life independent from their home life brings great excitement and anticipation, while others may feel uneasy about setting out on their own. Regardless of their situation, the values of a 17 or 18-year-old high school graduate are not fully developed and the next four years are a critical time. Today's young adults have had access to a multitude of communication sources and venues since childhood, adding to the challenges they face in making sound choices and decisions that will impact them for a lifetime.

For students whose moral compass is not fully developed, a private higher education experience can help chart them on the right professional course. While offering smaller classes and more personal academic direction, it would be naïve to think that this environment alone shields students from the many pressures and choices they face every day. However, private institutions with a reputation for integrating traditional values into their programs are gaining ground. These institutions provide students with a much-needed foundation that guides them when, not if, they are exposed to situations and choices that otherwise could easily throw them off course. Many of these programs integrate ethics into the educational process, preparing our future leaders to face even greater challenges ahead.

Over my University career, I have encountered many students who crave guidance, counsel and security - the type of guidance they may have sought from their parents at another place and time. They are not insecure, but rather they seek affirmation of their values and decisions from individuals whom they respect and see each day in a campus setting.

In a private institution, we are given the ability to instill desires and goals that do not destroy the student's original dream but rather captures it and puts it in a light of service to the greater good. We offer a safe, smaller atmosphere in which students are not afraid to explore and speak of what they are learning. Essentially, we become agents of transformation in students' lives. Through this experience students learn to decipher wisdom and foolishness in what they hear.

With the right guidance or maturity, students grow and develop their thinking processes, their learning skills, their listening skills, and their understanding of others. As graduating students, they should have acquired a sense of values that were developed, tested, and confirmed during their undergraduate study. This perspective gives them opportunities to assess their personal and professional values and decisions and their impact on the world.

Today's college graduate needs to be prepared to approach decisions with critical thought, integrity, and the knowledge that they are leaders, knowingly or unintentionally, and that their leadership is important. Our focus is to prepare our students to be tomorrow's ethically practicing leaders and to help shape the values of the organizations for which they are employed.