Saturday, September 08, 2007

Leaving Junior College

Joanne (see blogroll at left) reports:

Most students start California community colleges with plans to transfer after two years and earn a four-year college degree. But 25 percent drop out by the end of the first semester and even more lower their academic sights, according to Beyond Access, a study by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE). Some 40 percent return for second semester with their college aspirations intact. Furthermore, only about 40 percent of students who persist for a full year in community college eventually transfer to a four-year institution.

Some people lament these data, and think perhaps there's something wrong, something to be fixed at our junior colleges. I'm not so sure. It's only one data point, but sometimes j.c. students leave for very good reasons.


Polski3 said...

Ah, the shock of finding out they are NOT academically prepared for college......

Ellen K said...

I am shocked that they are shocked. It has been a twenty year policy of deluding even the most slackerly of students that they should go to college. Walk into the Resource classes and all those kids think they are headed straight for Harvard or at the very least UT. That is the expected answer. And sadly, the concept is doing a grave disservice to these students and to our nation. Right now, we as a nation are short of skilled trades workers. We need experienced machinists, electricians, plumbers, and many other trades that are honorable except in the eyes of the public education systems. Why should we force a kid who has little aptitude for math into Pre-Cal when what he needs is Business Math and Accounting. Why should we have all kids take two or three years of foreign language when many of them cannot write legibly in the language they speak at home? Our students and our nation would be far better served by a system that would allow students who desire vocational skills to lead to immediate work options after high school to have the necessary background from the schools. The idea of sending every kid to college is noble, but not every kid needs or even wants to go. Instead, let's prepare kids for whatever future they desire and not judge the kid who wants to be a plumber for not taking AP classes. My cousin never went to college. He got his plumber's license. He makes five times what I make in a year. Who is to judge? The only thing I can figure is that this idea is from the same people who think that we can eliminate all special education students simply by placing them in regular education classes.