Of the more than 3 million high school graduates this month, fewer than 40 percent enrolling in a four-year college will graduate in four years (“Too many kids are dropping out of college – here’s how to fix it,” New York Post, Jun. 11). As pressure mounts on colleges to improve this dismal picture, some are implementing what amounts to remedial education.
But I question if four-year colleges should be doing this at all. When high schools fail to teach students the necessary knowledge and skills, then the proper place for remediation should be community colleges. Four-year institutions were never meant for that. The truth is that not everyone is college material. So many students would be far better served by a solid vocational education, combined with concurrent apprenticeships.
The widely cited wage premium attached to possession of a bachelor’s degree over a high school diploma fails to take into account the major. I doubt that a degree in art history, for example, is more valuable in the marketplace than a certificate in, say, plumbing. That’s before even considering onerous student debt.
Only in this country has college been so wildly oversold. It’s little wonder that many students are dropping out. They have been the victims of inept counseling and societal pressure.
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