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Good character essential, workers say

Trenton, NJ - American workers worry US high schools are doing a mediocre job preparing young people for today's workforce, but say colleges do somewhat better, according to a national survey. Forty percent of respondents said US high schools earn only a C in preparing students for workplace success. Only 5 percent gave high schools an A. The findings stem from a project at Rutgers University and the University of Connecticut.

In last month's poll, 87 percent of respondents rated communication skills as very important for performing in their jobs, and 81 percent said critical thinking skills and basic literacy were also very important. That compares with 50 percent who rated computer skills as key. Traits such as a strong work ethic, integrity, and a sense of individual responsibility were rated very important - nearly twice as much as computer skills.

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The study also found that 64 percent of those surveyed believe the primary purpose of a college education should be to prepare students for specific careers, compared with 19 percent who said a college should concentrate on providing students with general knowledge.

Student-run businesses spawn new rules

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. - Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government has issued new rules putting strict limits on how much instructors can become involved with student-launched businesses, The Boston Globe reported.

The school's image could suffer if professors became entangled in students' finances, said Kennedy School Dean Joseph Nye. "If one student in class gets an A, and one gets a B, if student A is in a position to make the professor a lot of money, compared to student B ... you can see how over time, it could have a corrupting effect on the morale of the student body," Mr. Nye said.

The rules come at a time when lines between academia and business are blurring. Many schools promote student entrepreneurship and license student research. Under the new guidelines, instructors or professors may not advise, invest in, or consult for student enterprises until three months after graduation. At Harvard's business school, professors must stay at arm's length only until graduation day.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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