College Bound or No?

As someone who’s  been a part of the education system for almost 11 years now, I’ve begun to notice a trend on how the American society continues to “encourage” students to go to college in a specialized field and graduate with thousands of dollars in debt, only to possibly get a job in the field they majored in while at college.  At times, young men and women are coming out of college and are having difficulty with finding jobs in their fields of expertise.  Meanwhile, other young ladies and gentlemen are unsure of what their future lives may hold and may or may not have the skills needed to hold down a job, particularly one that may interest them.  The reality is that college may or may not be the best source of education and training for all young people.

Having been an Intervention Specialist (a Special Education teacher) has shown me over the years that not all students are college bound, whether they receive special education services or not.  Many students do not always have the skills or haven’t been taught how to manage their time wisely, while others struggle with pushing themselves to work for extended periods of time (2-4 hours) and maintain focus for that period of time.  Some of them may have difficulty with work ethic and motivation to keep their focus and drive going for extended periods of time.  Many young ladies and gentlemen have difficulty with sitting down at a computer for an extended period of time and require more hands-on activities, as they eventually enter the workforce.  Many students have extremely creative minds and require the training and discipline that college may not necessarily offer to create the things they desire.

Going to a technical school or training school potentially provides students with better opportunities to be more successful in their futures rather than sitting, reading, and being lectured in order to process information.  Some students benefit from apprenticeships where they’re able to spend a day or more with a mentor to observe and try out new or current skills.  Also, teaching employ-ability skills while students are young may increase their likelihood of going out into the world and becoming an asset to the common good of everyone and society.  They will enter the workforce better prepared to potentially be great employees and affect the world in a positive way.

Be sure to have discussions with your children or young family members about what might interest them.  College or university doesn’t have to be the only option; it may be a good option, but it doesn’t have to be the only option.


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