From a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article on the importance of writing skills at nonprofits:
…bosses shouldn’t assume that even college graduates can write at a professional level because so few institutions teach grammar or the critical thinking processes that go into good writing.
This adds some additional perspective to all the stories about rapidly increasing college costs, doesn’t it? I realize that the assumption used to be that high school graduates would enter college with decent writing skills to begin with, but since we know that this isn’t true anymore (if it ever was), it’s odd that we make this huge, ever-increasing investment in higher education but can’t figure out how to ensure that those students who enter with poor writing skills learn to write at a professional level before graduating.
I’m been thinking lately about whether to ask for a writing sample from every potential employee. I’ve employed people with just GEDs, as well as people with college degrees, and the one place in my experience where the skill gap really narrows between people with different levels of formal education is with writing.