Dropouts Loom Large for Schools– My Critique

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Dropouts Loom Large for Schools
Community colleges are a bright spot—and focal point—in this economy. But despite high enrollment, they fight to keep students [Since Community Colleges accept nearly everyone, a lot of these students should not be there. They barely got through high school.]

By Mike Bowler
Posted August 19, 2009


“Higher education officials cheered this summer when President Barack Obama pledged to boost the U.S. college graduation rate to first in the world—after years of stagnation—and announced a $12 billion plan to produce 5 million more community college grads by 2020. Currently, community colleges enroll more than 6 million students in the United States.”

Yeah right. Pledges (goals) are meaningless. In 1989, former President Bush (the first) and the governors of the various states planned several things, among them were to increase high school graduation rates and make the US number 1 in both Mathematics and Science, by the year 2000. The graduation rate is about the same and not only are we not number 1 in either, mathematics and science, we have dropped to below 20th in both out of 30 countries measured, even 10 years later. Great, 5 million more Associate degrees for retail sales positions.  This is just another Obama promise that won’t be kept. A college degree is one thing a job is another.

“”The colleges want us to think everyone graduates, but in fact a huge number don’t, and many leave with significant loan debts and job skills totally inadequate in the 21st century.””

I would disagree with this one. College is not necessary especially 4-6-8 year degrees. Most of these jobs have gone overseas. There will be some yes, but not as much as we are told or believe. We may need two-year degrees and trade schools more than anything else. Again, retail sales are the main jobs and they do not really even require a high school diploma. So, even the ones that do graduate have even more debt and a job that is not good enough to repay the loan. Now, 2014, Student debt is the single biggest public debt in the US, surpassing even credit debt.

“Changing tradition. Enrollment is booming in community colleges as laid-off, middle-age professionals who are changing careers rub elbows with first-generation students in their late teens. Fully 15 percent of Colorado community college students have bachelor’s degrees, and enrollment is up 32 percent, according to Nancy McCallin, president of the 13-college system that serves more than 107,000 students annually.”

What do you mean changing. I went to school in the 1980-2000, in my 30s and early 40s.  It was common back then to see people over 30 and even some 50s, getting their first bachelor’s degree. So, this is not a recent phenomenon. Also, it probably will not help as the jobs out there that you are going for only require an Associate’s degree and you will be considered over-qualified if you already possess a bachelor’s degree or higher. Also, age discrimination is rampant. Jobs are not as plentiful in many fields for which they say there are many openings. Or you have to have 3-5 years of experience.

At the undergraduate level you will take mostly courses that are NOT in your major or even minor. For a Bachelor’s degree they want you well rounded. It is when you go for your Master’s that you concentrate on more ‘interesting’ stuff and even more so in the PhD programs. The undergraduate want people who are interested in learning in general, or at least can learn subjects that really do not interest them, so they can be well rounded.

“The truly responsible student succeeds because he or she knows that without a degree it is impossible to support a family in the 21sy century and the great contributions to society that they can make require that become educated.” I would disagree with this one. Even a degree is NO guarantee of employment and being able to support your family. There are plenty of couples out there with college degrees and both have to work. This is because they are probably not in jobs that require a college degree, as about 55% of all college graduates in the US.

“Students aren’t ready. [Most are not. They were given the information but did not learn. Why do you want these people going to college?]

I’m in my first semester teaching at a Community College and I’m stunned at the lack of interest, discipline and desire.

High School has NOT prepared them for college. In my classes, students are barely literate, have no knowledge or interest in anything outside of their own recreational plans.

They think nothing of sleeping in class, missing assignments or chatting with one another. Most lack basic manners and think nothing of burping, yawning and stretching as if the classroom was a substitute for their bathroom at home.

While I don’t let them get away with it, I came to teach not raise them.“

This is why not all people should go to college. Yet the powers that be keep pushing this agenda. To me, high school is an end in itself, hence the diploma. You do not get a diploma when you ‘graduated’ Elementary or Junior High/Middle School because you are expected to go on. In High School you are not expected to go on. You can but college is for the best students, or rather should be. It should be for the best and brightest scholars.


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