GRE Argument Essay 50
The following appeared in a memorandum to faculty from the academic vice president of Waymarsh University.
“So that we can better accomplish Waymarsh University’s academic goals, we should adopt the job-opportunity (job-op) program offered at Plateau Technical College and strongly encourage all students at Waymarsh to participate in it. The success of the job-op program at Plateau is evident: Over the past two years, more than 75% of the freshmen at Plateau have enrolled in the optional job-op program. Moreover, at Plateau, the grades of job-op students are consistently higher than those of other students, 90% of the job-op students receive job offers within a month after their graduation, and most former job-op students report much success in their careers.”
In this memorandum, the academic vice-president of Waymarsh University recommends that in order to achieve its academic goals Waymarsh should adopt the same “job-op” program currently offered at Plateau Technical College. To support this recommendation, the writer points out a high enrollment rate in the program at Plateau, high academic grades among Plateau students enrolled in the program compared to other Plateau students, and a high success rate among new Plateau graduates in finding jobs. However, the vice president’s argument has several critical flaws as well as a false analogy.
First of all, it is wrong on the author’s part to compare Waymarsh University and Plateau. It is natural for Plateau to pay much attention to the job-future of its students, as Plateau is a technical college. However, the situation of Waymarsh University is distinct from the former. The author has not informed us about the academic goals of Waymarsh. There is a high possibility that these goals have nothing to do with enrollment in job opportunity programs. It might be that Plateau’s goals are likely to depend on its job-placement rate, while Waymarsh’s primary goal is to prepare its students for graduate-level study. Hence, without studying about Waymarsh’s goals and ruling out other possible means of attaining them, the vice-president cannot conclude that Waymarsh should adopt the job-op program. He has to evaluate the situation more closely for justifying his statement.
The second point that the author raises is that of the success of the job-op program at Plateau. As per the vice-president, more than 75% of the students at Plateau have enrolled in the optional job-op program in the past two years. Again, the author has assumed that the students at Waymarsh will also enroll in the job-op program as they did in Plateau. He has not provided any evidence in support of this assumption. It might be that Plateau students were far more concerned about obtaining employment immediately after graduation and Waymarsh students are not. The success of the program at Plateau has simply nothing to do with the accomplishment of Waymarsh University’s academic goals.
On the contrary, the program might actually deter the accomplishment of such goals of the university by distracting students from their studies by allowing them to work while going to university.
The vice president also cites the success of the Plateau job-op program by stating that the grades of the job-op students are consistently higher than those of the other students. In addition, the fact that 90% of the job-op students at Plateau received job offers within one month of graduation is cited in support of the argument. However, there is a possibility that only the brighter, more competitive Plateau students enroll in the job-op program in the first place. The author has not ruled out this possibility. Moreover, job offers are not equivalent to getting jobs. The author has not given any data about the types of jobs the students were offered. The author has also failed to rule out other factors that might be contributing to their success, such as individual struggle, good chance and other aspects that may have nothing to do with the program.
The author has not offered convincing evidence to support his recommendation. If he wants to justify his statement, the author should make sure that such job-opportunity program will be really successful and Waymarsh University does need it to accomplish its academic goals. The vice-president must also prove that this job-op program is equally successful in placing university graduates as it is in placing technical-school graduates.