The New York Post reported on Sunday that a 2009 graduate of Monroe College is suing her alma mater for failing to provide the job search services it promised. The recent graduate is asking for her tuition costs, about $70,000, because she has not been able to find "gainful employment" due to Monroe's insufficient career and job search support. In the class action suit filed on July 24th she says, "They have not tried hard enough to help me."
In a Recession, undergraduate colleges of all shapes and sizes can only do so much to help their students find employment after graduation. Most schools have increased their career center services to help students find jobs and learn about different opportunities they may not have known were out there. However, in the end, getting the job is the responsibility of the student. University or college career counselors will help students craft their resumes and write the perfect cover letter, but they cannot sit in the interview with the student.
The Monroe graduate will probably not win her lawsuit. However, it does bring to the foreground a larger question: what services are schools required to provide, and how do we hold them accountable? Students pay thousands of dollars for tuition and other costs. If they haven't received the education and services they paid for, is the institution at fault? We hold our institutions to an academic standard, but in this economy, that may not be enough to launch them into the work world. How do graduates ensure they get their money's worth?
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