Is College Right for Everyone?

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In the United
States we have a completely unexamined, knee-jerk belief that college i
s the
most desirable path for all young people after high school graduation. In
actual fact, this is not true. A recent article in the Los Angles Times points
out although six out of ten high school students get into a college and attend
college, more than 50% of them drop out. Only two out of every ten high school
students completes college!

 

Of the students
who don’t go to college or drop out, there are some who don’t have the skills
to maintain the necessary grades to successfully complete their course work.
However, we have seen that many students go to college because they think they
are “supposed to”, and when they don’t have their own reasons for going, they
don’t have an anchor to hold them in place when the inevitable storms of daily
student life hit.

 

It seems to us
that your job as a parent is to help your children know what their strengths,
talents, interests, and goals are–to help them find out what contribution is
uniquely theirs to make. If, in the pursuit of their own interests, goals, and
the development of their gifts they decide to go to college, they will have
their own reasons for being there and will be among the two out of ten high
school students who weather the academic storms and graduate from college.

 

Maybe your
children, as many we have known, will want to take another route, such as
developing their mechanical reasoning skills and pursuing auto mechanics. Or,
perhaps you have a child who loves to invent and wants to become a chef. Some
of our students have gone on to successful, fulfilling careers in cosmetology,
body work, photography, and dance. Still others have started businesses of their
own training horses, grooming dogs, teaching yoga, selling real estate,
creating websites.

 

By believing in
your children’s unique gifts and encouraging them to pursue them, you make sure
that whatever your children do after high school will have meaning to them,
that they will be passionate about it and will stick with it when it gets
difficult, and they will have a 99.9% chance of success. Isn’t that a great
deal better than having less than a 50% chance of succeeding in college?

copyright 2010 by Willis & Hodson, Reflective Educational Perspectives, LLC

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