Why Are You Going To College?

We spend years preparing our children to be competitive for college admission, but are we missing something else major? It seems the answer is “yes” – we are failing to prepare our children to persist and graduate from college.

It’s not new to those in the world of higher education, nonetheless, the sting doesn’t seem to subside each time I read something like is:

Although high school graduates are attending college in record numbers, four in 10 are not adequately prepared for the courseload that awaits them, and are thus forced into remedial classes when they start college. This fact contributes to a staggering number of students pursing a bachelor’s degree — 42 percent, according to the infographic — to drop out. This number is about 30 percent higher at the two-year or community college level.U.S. Graduation Rate, Unemployment Compared To Other Nations In Infographic

Those who have a vested interest talk about education all the time, we blog about it, advocate for better policies, programs and protocols, we watch documentaries, support innovative programs and yet the reality doesn’t seem to shift much from year to year. Though I’m intimately aware of the facts, as a college educated person, I, like many of my college-educated peers, sometimes forget the fact that not everyone goes to college.

In college-educated circles (or those presumed to be), one of the first questions is almost always, “where did you go to college” and in these same circles, people discus how a college degree is necessary in this global economy. But, are we the ones living in a bubble? I think sometimes, yes. There are plenty of jobs that need to be executed everyday that most college-educated people would never do, but certainly benefit from.

Truth be told (and this comes as no surprise), I do think the value of a college education can be transformative, but at the same time, I think it’s critically important for students to explore why a college education is important to them. Certainly many go to college “just because”, it’s not even a question, but others make a very deliberate decision to go and I wouldn’t be surprised if the latter group fights just a little harder to graduate because many weren’t always expected, allowed or able to go to college.

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