Four-year college doesn’t fit all

Four-year college doesn’t fit all students, argues Beyond One-Size-Fits-All College Dreams: Alternative Pathways to Desirable Careers in American Educator. Low achievers should aim for vocational certificates rather than bachelor’s degrees, argue the authors.

For-profit higher education is a bargain for taxpayers, according to a new study that compares public costs of the for-profit, non-profit and public sectors.

IBM and City University of New York plan a six-year high school-college hybrid that will graduate students with an associate degree and the inside track to a job.

It’s all on Community College Spotlight.

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Comments

  1. I must not really understand what it means to have a vocational certificate, but I wonder why this is what low achievers should do. I don’t really want a low achiever fixing my car or my air conditioning system.

  2. I must not really understand what it means to have a vocational certificate, but I wonder why this is what low achievers should do. I don’t really want a low achiever fixing my car or my air conditioning system.

    The context of the quote is that students who are (or will be) low achievers in a highly academic environment (like a real 4-year university) should aim at getting vocational training (e.g. electrician, or plumbing) rather than stumble through four years of university classes.

    “Low achievers” should have been something like “low achievers in an abstract knowledge context.” These kids might be very high achievers at something a bit more in line with what they care about and are good at.

    I’m actually perfectly okay if people who have a very hard time writing thirty page essays on the symbolism in Moby Dick work on my car. In fact, I *expect* that most of these people won’t perform very well in a literature track at a decent 4-year university. I also expect that the typical literature professor won’t know how to repair my car’s engine, and that doesn’t bother or surprise me either.

    -Mark Roulo

  3. Alternate headline: “Study funded by for-profits finds for-profits are just peachy.”

  4. About 25% of 18 year olds will be able to handle four year University level academic work (Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD).

    The next 25% of 18 year olds will be able to handle getting an Associate’s Degree in something more directly career-oriented at their local Community College, but that’s where their academic skills will end.

    The remaining 50% of 18 year olds weren’t meant for academic work of ANY kind (it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them; they just weren’t wired that way) and this large group should be taken straight to vocational schools, where they can get certificates in more hands-on fields that they will be likely to excell in (yes, your plumbers, carpenters, electricians, barbers, beauticians, etc.)

    While there is a general trend of higher pay as you go up that academic ladder, the correlation between higher pay and higher education is pretty weak. For example, there will always be a demand for plumbers, and good plumbers can make some VERY good money; meanwhile, there isn’t much demand for PhDs in Literature – those that do find jobs will be living in easy street, but those that don’t have a tough road ahead. In other words, it’s not just the education level, it’s what the education is IN, and what the job market actually NEEDS that ends up dictating pay.

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