Got to say that there are a few of the "How do I turn the beep off" types everywhere :)
Our curriculum we offer covers lots of subject areas (much more variety than when I did my studies which was way too many years ago let me tell you!), requiring more core subjects like math and non major area stuff. When I was studying, we only did two half days a week outside the major area - and also a mandatory non-academic subject afternoon on Wednesday. Times have changed.
The Journo students have to run a TV station, a 24x7x365 radio station, the local cable access channel as well as the student newspaper. The BFA kids have an annual exhibition to do as well as having to do all the usual things like art history, life drawing, painting, design, and photography is just a part of the entire scene for them.
After being in this particular job for over a decade (I did teach as well in the 1990's as well as my non photo work too), I can tell you that it very quickly becomes obvious who has got it together already, who will get it together and you also get a feel for the individuals who don't have much talent but who know how to "Schmooze" ... and those who just plain "don't" for anything.
It's funny that you mention journalism students- the standard issue DSLR for journalism students is a Canon XSi I think, so the journalism students probably know more about DSLRs than the photography majors. :D
I think that the biggest advantage of education is the social side of it. Photography like any other trade that is somehow artistic is more or less small community in any given area. In school you get to know lot's of other people doing the same thing you do and being in good terms with them is so important. Learn to now the veterans too! They will retire and their clients go where they tell them to go.
Biggest learning curve comes from marketing. It's relatively easy to take a photo but getting those frst clients is hard. Doing free gigs, tradeshows, advertising etc. is tough work.
I understand the NSXR's point of not liking restrictive themes of some tasks at classes but if you work as a pro you have to learn all kinds of stuff and many things you have to learn are all but photography. Press events, sports, concerts and many other situations have restricting rules and limitations you have to factor in before single shot is taken. Shooting glass or metal in studio is boring but it's better to learn it in class than in front of a client ;)
If you really don't lke classes, take one anyway! Just to know the people, no harm in that! Maybe there is some old rich dudes who are willing to lend you their 400 2.8's
You're right, as a pro you'll need to know how to adapt to situations, but when you're shooting for yourself it really doesn't matter. I know that the professors may give you some insight, but again, I'd rather not be pressured by the grade- grades for me are very important. I'd love to go to a workshop, just not take it as a class.
Just as a side note, my grades are important because I'm on a pre-med track, every little bit counts and an overly harsh photo professor might sink me professionally. I'd rather not have that stress on my back.