Students form a substantial portion of the American population, and their roles have far reaching implications. They form the most socially, physically, and intellectually active segment of the population. Their roles are important due to the interrelations that exist among the various elements of the society. The participation of students in the society is influenced by many factors. It is, therefore, imperative to view students as elements in the society that are affected by many forces. Such a perspective supports the visualization of the roles played by students in the society and how their engagement in social activities impacts other parts of the society. Students are influenced by administration systems in schools, aspects of industrial economies, and dynamics in the social environment. Their importance in the society should be viewed in the perspective of the forces that shape their engagements in the social environment. Institutions of learning establish administration procedures aimed at controlling the activities of students in the school environment. These procedures influence social participation while other factors within and outside the school environment affect the student’s compliance with the set policies and procedures. In past two centuries, America has evolved from an industrial society to a knowledge-based society. A knowledge-based society is an outcome of an industrial-based economy where an emphasis is put on applying knowledge in businesses. Students are exposed to the education system to enhance their participation in the economy. Stakeholders in the society seek to ensure students acquire the necessary characteristics to enable them to make positive contributions to the society. It is essential to examine the participation of students in schools as well as their roles in the society.
Students’ participation in schools has been a major concern. Stakeholders in the education sector seek to exploit different approaches of enhancing student participation. Academic goals can only be realized when student participation in the school environment is not disrupted. A lot of research has been directed to the promotion of student participation. As a result, a variety of factors that influence student participation has been brought to light. Diversity is one of the main factors that have been put into consideration. Dimensions of diversity in the American population include race, religion, gender, age, and economic status. The identified factors are common in the American society, and efforts have been made to identify whether some of them influence student participation. In their study, Denson et al. investigated the role of racial diversity in student participation. America is diverse regarding race, a feature that is also reflected in student population. The American law prohibits discrimination in the education sector that leads diversity in schools. School population diversity has negative and positive impacts on student participation. The impact is determined by the nature of the population and the measures implemented by school administrators to address discrimination. Student participation is enhanced by the absence of discrimination at school. The nature of the population directly influences the risk of discrimination. Some schools have dominant races that put the minority races at the risk of discrimination. Minority races such as African Americans and Hispanic Americans are vulnerable to discrimination. A population characterized by under representation of the two races exposes the concerned students to racial discrimination. Some schools implement reliable measures for preventing discrimination. The absence of such interventions expose the minority students to racial discrimination that compromise participation. A diversity that is characterized by an absence of discrimination promotes student participation. Evidence shows that student participation in a diverse population that is discrimination free is higher than in a homogenous population (Denson et al. 351). Stakeholders in the education sector can enhance student participation by encouraging diversity in schools and also implementing measures to control different forms of discrimination.
Extracurricular activities are engagement in the school environment not aimed at making a direct contribution to academic performance (Massoni 84). These activities vary from one school to the other. Most of them are not compulsory giving the students a chance to engage or concentrate on other activities. Examples of extracurricular activities include clubs, drama, school publications, sports, debates, and student councils. These activities play a crucial role in student development. The purpose of enrolling students in schools is not only to equip them with academic skills but also to create an environment that supports the acquisition of social skills. Participation in extracurricular activities fosters holistic development of the students to responsible and productive members of the society. Interpersonal skills are essential in the work environment that makes it necessary for schools to foster the acquisition of these skills. Evidence shows that students who engage in extracurricular activities develop outstanding interpersonal skills (Massoni 86). These skills support productive interactions in the work environment. Leaders and subordinates use interpersonal skills to foster cooperation with other members in the work context. Teamwork in organizations is important since the ability of an organization to realize goals is pegged on the extent to which internal stakeholders can work in a cooperative manner. The absence of teamwork compromises the organization’s ability to create synergy in operations. Some extracurricular activities promote communication skills that are essential in businesses and social engagements. For instance, engagement debates and engagements in clubs improve the ability of the participants to express themselves. Students are trained to enable them to occupy positions requiring disseminate information to others. It is, therefore, important to ensure they have advanced communication skills through participation in extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities enable students to meet social needs (Massoni 85). People are social beings making them have social needs. It is the responsibility of the key stakeholders in the education sector to create an environment that enables the students to meet social needs. Extracurricular activities provide conditions that support social interactions that in turn satisfy the student’s social needs. Socially satisfied students are more productive in academic engagements. In other words, participating in extracurricular activities fosters good academic performance in the long run.
Entrepreneurship is a key driving force to economic development. Schools teach entrepreneurship to empower students with skills aimed at increasing their participation in economic activities (Stamboulis, Yeoryios, and Achilleas 370). Incorporating the principles of entrepreneurship in academic programs enables students to understand what needs to be done to make them successful entrepreneurs. Students have diverse ideas that can be translated into businesses. Some of America’s leading technology firms such as Google Inc., and Facebook, were founded by students. These successes compel the stakeholders in the education sector to make arrangements to improve the students’ entrepreneurship skills. Some schools have entrepreneurship subjects that enable students to have a broad perspective of entrepreneurship. These studies emphasize on the basics of entrepreneurship as well as identifying the problems that confront business persons. Evidence show that students who undergo entrepreneurship training become better entrepreneurs than those not exposed to a similar training (Stamboulis, Yeoryios, and Achilleas 365-367). Such students can diagnose entrepreneurship problems, therefore, coming up with ways of addressing them.
Cyber crime is a major problem in the contemporary society. Developments in information technology have led to the establishment of large networks where people who are physically away interact through ICT platforms (Yu 38). The internet is a crucial proponent of information technology that has far reaching impacts on the society. It has both negative and positive impacts that make it necessary for stakeholders to focus on maximizing the benefits as well as preventing the negative impacts. Cyber crime is one of the main negative impacts of the internet. Students are key stakeholders in the cybercrime as victims as well as perpetrators. Most students have access to the internet and possess reliable ICT skills making them potential perpetrators of cyber crime. The participation of students in cyber crime is hindered by their fear of the crime. Engagement in cybercrime has negative ramifications to the perpetrators. Evidence shows that the fear of cyber crimes vary from one crime to the other considering that there are different types of cyber crimes. Common cyber crimes include cyber fraud, cyber bullying, and cyber terrorism. Research shows that a relationship exists between cyber crime and the level of internet use. Frequent users of the internet fear cyber crimes less than individuals with limited access to the internet (Yu 37)
In conclusion, students are an important part of the society. Their role in the society is influenced by many factors. Diversity in the school environment has negative and positive impacts on the participation of students in the society. Extracurricular activities help students to acquire communication and interpersonal skills. Teaching entrepreneurship in schools makes them successful entrepreneurs. Cyber crime is a major problem facing today’s society, and students are the main stakeholders as perpetrators and victims
Nida, Denson, and Chang, Mitchell J. “Racial Diversity Matters: The Impact of Diversity-Related Student Engagement and Institutional Context.” Source American Educational Research Journal 46.2 (2009): 322-353. Print.
Massoni, Erin. “Positive Effects of Extra Curricular Activities on Students.” ESSAI (The Berkeley Electronic Press) 9. Article 7 (2011): 84-87. Print.
Stamboulis, Yeoryios, and Achilleas Barlas. “Entrepreneurship education impact on student attitudes.” The International Journal of Management Education 12.3 (2014): 365-373. Print.
Yu, Szde. “Fear of cyber crime among college students in the United States: An exploratory study.” International Journal of Cyber Criminology 8.1 (2014): 36-46. Print.