Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Is college required for you to find "it"?

You always have some students who say, ‘I don’t want to go to college; But they don’t realize whatever it is in life, they need to go to college for it.” Martin Copland (no relation to me)

This is a quote I read recently in an article about plans to encourage more students to attend college out of high school. The quote was from a high school guidance counselor.

First as a parent of a high school junior I want to make it very clear that we strongly believe the path to our son’s lifelong career success will pass through college. We are blessed that he already has decided his future career and is working now to ensure he is gaining skills that will help him in college and beyond.

I also understand and recognize that the evidence clearly shows that college graduates over a lifetime will have a higher income and experience many other benefits.

With all of this in mind, I nonetheless could not help but get angry over the quote. I just hate to think of the poor kid with a dream to work with his hands and make a good living as a mechanic, welder or in a manufacturing industry having a dream crushed by such a statement.

College is outrageously expensive and there are many kids that go just because it is the right thing to do and years later find themselves in thousands of dollars of debt. Many graduate with soft degrees that give them no real skills for the marketplace or worse yet due to not knowing what they want they leave no degree at all due to having dropped out of school.(and still thousand of dollars in debt)

Wake up folks!  There are plenty of options for the young person not seeking to go to college. The key is to provide them with support and guidance to find the right fit for who they can be.

Need some ideas?  Here is an article about forty high paying jobs that do not require a degree.

What do you think?  Can someone be a success without going right to college after high school? Is it possible to effectively encourage kids to attend college while also encouraging the non-college bound kid to find a good career? 

Rant over....

Oh and by the way, I am very thankful to live here in Oklahoma where we have extensive help for kids dreaming of College thanks to the Oklahoma Promise program. Our school district is helping to make the process even easier by providing better and free access to the ACT test. We also have one of the nation’s best career tech programs for many non-college options. 

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