Thursday, August 13, 2015

How is Beekeeping like Education?

A friend in town keeps bees. He allowed me to help him harvest honey and see firsthand the industrious work of the honey bee. It's really fascinating. Beekeepers and educators have something important in common.

I've been in Austin this week where I serve on the board of directors of ICUT:  the association of 40 Independent Colleges and Universities in Texas. The group includes large institutions like Baylor and TCU and much smaller colleges like Parker and Wiley.

ICUT completed an impact analysis to quantify the important contributions of independent colleges and universities in Texas. We do much to make Texas a better place. That's where the beekeeper analogy comes in.

The bees cared for by beekeepers  make honey but more. Those same bees pollinate nearby orchards making fruit possible and that fruit benefits humans, animals and birds. Colleges exist to educate students but those students contribute much to make our communities better.

For example, did you know college graduates are much less likely to smoke, be obese, or suffer from prolonged illnesses?  They are less likely than non college graduates to abuse alcohol or use illicit drugs. College graduates are much less likely to become incarcerated and cost society.

So much good happens in our society when we raise the educational attainment of our communities.  College grads bear fruit of many kinds beyond higher salaries. I'm proud LETU is part of Texas independent colleges enrolling 175,000 students and making a better Texas.