Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hooray For Community Colleges

Take a look at the story below ("DHS Graduation Is May 17") and you will see a high percentage of this year's DHS graduates plan to further their education by going to community college.  

Good for them!

In the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, many high school students were told that chasing a four-year degree was the only pathway to success.  As a result, our country and state have become too dependent on the service sector.  You'll find graduates of four-year institutions working at fast food joints and retail outlets for $8 an hour.  Put simply, there's more supply than demand for folks with a four-year liberal arts degree.  

Many four-year college students end up not completing their degree and/or are saddled with thousands of dollars of debt for years (decades) into the future.  In the U.S., one in five young people ages 25-32 currently live with their parents; many of them have a four-year degree.

Meanwhile, manufacturing, agriculture, construction and other skilled trades are hurting for workers because our nation lacks employees who know how to use both their heads and hands.  

Bloomberg has just published an interesting story about the growing trend across the nation to align the curriculum of America’s community colleges with the needs of employers. The article cites several examples of how community colleges have aligned with local industries to teach usable skills, including those needed for advanced manufacturing jobs.  

The article calls community colleges "a vital linchpin connecting the world of learning and the world of doing."

We agree.  And we hope Dorchester Public Schools' faculty are giving community colleges a good sales pitch to DHS (and junior high) students.  

Chances are, many DHS students will have a brighter future -- financially and occupationally -- if they at least start their higher education at a community college.

1 comment:

  1. Knows-It-All in OmahaMay 8, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    The price of college is skyrocketing — the average cost of tuition and fees at public four-year colleges jumped 27% from the 2008 to the 2013 school years, according to the College Board — and with it, the amount of debt students face. According to a February report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt increased $114 billion in 2013 alone to $1.08 trillion. Now, fully 71% of college seniors who graduated in 2012 had debt, compared with 68% in 2008, and the average debt load was $29,400, up roughly 6% a year since 2008, according to the Institute for College Access & Success .

    What’s more, these debt burdens are so high that many students can’t pay: 11.5% of student loan balances are more than 90 days delinquent (this is the highest rate of delinquency among credit cards, mortgages, auto loans and home-equity loans), according to Federal Reserve Bank of New York .


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