Have you ever encouraged a student NOT to go on to college?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Mathemagician, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Aug 18, 2012

    I will be teaching in a very affluent area where well over 90% of the students will move on to 4 year schools. What would you tell a student who was sure he/she wanted to go into a trade or some other career that doesn't involve a 4 year university provided the parent was pushy about the student going to a 4 year school? Tell the student to follow his or her dreams despite pissing off the parents? Tell the student leave his or her options open?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 18, 2012

    I'd say to go visit the career center and check out all of the post high-school options.
     
  4. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I always tells students that college isn't for everyone, but that if you don't go to college, than do something cool. Don't just sit around and work at McDonalds. Learn about yourself, the world and what you're interested in.
     
  5. MissApple

    MissApple Companion

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    I've never encouraged a student not to go to college, but I have supported them in their decision not to. The fact is that college isn't for everyone. I had a kid who was a 3rd time 9th grader, but a whiz with cars. We found a program at our state college for mechanics that was designed for people who didn't graduate or get a GED and it was perfect for him.

    As for a situation where the parent is pushing for college, I'd try to keep my comments neutral before the kids is telling their parents "Mr or Mrs So-And-So told me I don't have to go." That could be a real mess.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    In my opinion college is not for everyone, and not every profession requires a 4 year university. But I do believe everyone should continue their education in some type of school, training so that they will be skilled at something, and will be able to work at places other than entry level positions for low wages.
    For example if someone wants to be an auto mechanic, he doesn't need a 4 year degree, but but does need to go to a school / apprenticeship etc. where he learns the profession, and he'll be able to make good money.

    I often say this to my students, because I'm sure a lot of them heard the speech 'go to college' and they feel that they'll never make it there so why even bother? why even worry about a high school diploma? I want them to know they have other options.

    However, if this was a battle between student and parent no way would I want to be caught up in it. I would make a neutral statement, refer them to the guidance counselor, career center, etc. The last thing I would want is to have my words twisted around, and then the parent complain because the student told them "my teacher agrees with me, she said I don't need to go to college!"
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2012

    This would be my suggestion to them as well.

    I had a student that graduated this past year that was like this. He was sooooooooo low, in resource English and Math. But that boy was great with cars and computers. He could rebuild a computer faster than I can type....and he could tell you what was wrong with your car within minutes. No, he's not going to college, but he'll find a good job somewhere doing one of these things.
     
  8. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Any profession needs enhancement from at least a trade school.
    It builds credibility and increasing income.
     
  9. paperlabs

    paperlabs Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2012

    My own kid. Encouraged him to go in the Air Force. He was all joined up with Civil Air Patrol for a year or two and then found out he couldn't qualify for any branch of the military because he has slight asthma.
    My sister's kid was president of his class. We thought he was going to go off to college, but he became a millionaire by starting out working hard in construction. He never went to college and really to me he has always seemed to be smarter than most of the other college graduates.
     
  10. Luke8Ball

    Luke8Ball Rookie

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    I find that students feel very judged if they're constantly pushed to go to college. Even if you feel that the students' vocational plans are far-fetched and aren't what's truly best, it's not necessarily your place to say that your opinion has more value.
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2012

    I taught at an open-admissions community college. I've had this conversation hundreds of times. I have never encouraged a student to quit school, but I have encouraged a few hundred students to pursue trade school or apprenticeships.

    I just had a conversation the other day with a man that is a site manager for a major construction company. He was lamenting the fact that it's so very difficult for him to find skilled construction workers these days. All of the older workers are retiring, and there's not many younger people coming up to fill in the gaps. Those that do show up are woefully under-educated, both from a "basic k-12" standpoint and from a skilled trades standpoint. Something tells me if I talked to people who ran plumbing or auto repair businesses, I'd hear much the same thing.

    In short, I think by creating a culture where the only "good" thing to do after HS is to go to university, we've created a shortage of good tradesmen. This has already driven up wages, which drives up overall cost, which means that you and I pay the price when our cars break down or a pipe bursts in our homes, or even when we just want to buy a new home.

    So, in short, yes. I would absolutely encourage a student to consider alternatives other than university, and yes, I would absolutely stand by the side of the student in a confrontation with his or her parents. Of course I would not be unprofessional, but I would absolutely support my student.
     
  12. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2012

    While college isn't for everyone, it's going to be pretty difficult to get a job these days without a degree. It's become practically the equivalent of a high school diploma. Most jobs require that paper just to even be considered for an interview and get your food in the door. That's what I tell my students.
     
  13. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I just haven't found that to be true. Around here, many people work in the natural gas or oil industry. These men and women make easily twice what I make and many of them never finished high school. It is tough physical work, and somewhat dangerous, but there are chances for promotion. There are plenty of good paying jobs that don't require a college degree. It is just not realistic to expect every, or even many, students to go to college. What's wrong with taking an entry level position and working your way up? Trying out a few jobs until you find one that you could make a career? If you're looking for a cushy office job, then go to college, but that's no longer a guarantee of finding a good job, or a job at all.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2012

    .
     
  15. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Aug 19, 2012

    I've had this conversation with a tiny handful of kids who have been really interested in the fine arts. If you want to be an artist, go pursue your art in areas where it's sought out and valued (NY, LA). No one is going to tell you that you can't get a Grammy until you take your "basics" at community college...
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Alice~I had a similiar discussion with my daughter. She wants to be a fashion designer with her own 'fashion house' in Paris. I told her that it would be a good idea for her to double major in business and fashion design.

    This all came about after talking about her taking French in HS so she could go with the school to Paris.
     
  17. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I had a student last year who wanted to be a real estate agent. I told her to take some classes to help get her real estate license and then take the test. She did that, and is doing find now, selling houses, and going part time at a community college majoring in business just to learn more about her career. This is a girl who was in all honors classes, by the way.
     

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