Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
Is the college-for-all push setting up students for failure?
Also on Community College Spotlight: Completion rates are improving at community colleges.
If “college-for-all” is just a way of saying “college-dumbed-down-for-all”, then yes, it’s setting kids up for failure.
Of course, if they got a quality education before matriculating, it wouldn’t be as big an issue since they’d be equipped to go into the world without needing college.
Trades schools and apprentiships are just as much a path to the middle class. They are just no recognized because they are not as sexy as college. However, electricians and plumbers can’t be outsourced. And there are certain task that a do-it-yourselfer should really get help with.
The k-12 system is setting too many kids up for failure; they “graduate” with neither the academic knowledge and skills nor the behaviors and habits (self-control, diligence, good manners etc) that enable success in college, voc ed or the work world. What they have acquired, much too often, is a sense of entitlement and a need to be entertained.
In the freshman class at Enormous State University when I went, many classes for freshmen were HUGE.
So a prof taught a class of, say, a hundred, which is to say, a hundred times the tuition for that class. There was an econ class that must have had two hundred fifty.
Profs who taught those classes must have been real gold mines.
So run the unqualified chumps through the first year at such ratios and let them fail, reducing the number of students taking classes with lower student/instructor ratio.
Now, I don’t insist that a result of an action is the always and inevitably the intent of the actor, but that’s the way to bet.
Back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in college (60s), colleges expected to weed out a third of the freshman class and the freshman sciences and English (lit-based composition) were the usual, designated culprits. If you couldn’t do the science (math-based) or write decent, grammatically correct, compositions explaining some aspect of a specified literary work, you flunked. Engineering schools expected that only one third of entering freshmen would graduate.
MN Mom; no question that trades are valuable, as are the skills taught in the military, but they require decent math and literacy. Too many kids don’t have that.
I agree. Research projects have gotten dumbed down with posters and powerpoint slides rather than written communication or oral report. Good machinists are hard to find because lack of math skills.
College-for-all is a failing concept when high school-for-all has not been accomplished all that well.
wrt ex-military, we have a chicken-egg issue. Are they good prospective employees because they learned how to learn and work and solve problems in the military? Not to mention applicable skills like, say, aviation mechanics.
Or are they good prospective employees because they are in the top third of their age cohort in terms of mental, moral and physical issues, or they wouldn’t have been in the military in the first place?
In either case, I’d think they’d be in demand, since, among other things, they have learned how to learn.
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