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Instead Of Encouraging Students To Skip College, How About If We Help Them Get There & Graduate?

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Plan B: Skip College was just published in The New York Times, and suggested that more students be encouraged to explore alternatives to going to college.

I found it interesting that all the people quoted in the article had graduated from college.

Others have posted much better reflections on this move that — whether deliberately or inadvertently — is aimed at low income students. I’d encourage you to read:

Should We Give Up on College? by Claus von Zastrow

___________ Shouldn’t Attend College by Corey Bunje Bower

I’d also like to direct you to one of my previous posts, titled Encouraging Low-Income Students To Go To College which, among other things, highlights a study demonstrating that low-income students benefit the most from attending college.

It’s often not easy to get our students and their families to think about college.

And it would probably be expensive to develop the kinds of support many would need to successfully graduate.

I’m just always wary of people who are enjoying the benefits of doing something trying to tell others that the benefits aren’t worth it to them.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. I think you make a great point about how the ones who value a college education LEAST seem to always be college graduates!

    I also really do think it’s different for low-income and middle-class kids. I do everything I can to make college sound fun and exciting for my impoverished, low-income kids, because college is the only way many of them are not going to have a miserable life of manual labor. But I really do think that too many immature middle-class kids are going to college right after HS because they think there’s nothing else out there for them. I know a lot of people who assumed massive debt and took additional years to graduate (or, worse, didn’t make it to the end), all because they started too young on a path that wasn’t right for them.

    I guess that all I’m saying is that college is a means, not an end, and we should be encouraging students to form concrete career goals. If college is a necessary means to get there, then great! But if a student really wants to be a chef or own a record store, it will be impossible for him to realize his dream if he allows himself to be pushed into “a good school” that he can’t afford and that won’t prepare him.

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