I also don't believe that everyone needs to attend a university. It's educational malpractice to tell students that the path to success goes through a university; higher education is merely one possible path to success.
Joanne Jacobs has three consecutive posts on vocational training:
Kentucky gets real about career readiness
Kentucky has gotten real about career readiness, writes Hechinger’s Emmanuel Felton. High schools get the same reward for preparing graduates for “middle-skill” jobs as they do for preparing them for college...Job training doesn’t require college skills
“When the Obama administration made some federal funding contingent on the adoption of college- and career-ready standards, most states decided college and career readiness were one and the same,” he writes.
In Kentucky, however, schools are encouraged to create direct-to-career paths with expectations “focused on technical skills and the ability to find and parse informational texts and apply math in occupational situations.”
Students don’t need college-level academic skills to learn marketable job skills, write Northwestern researchers James Rosenbaum and Caitlin Ahearn.From special ed to the workforce
Occupational certificates require 8th to 10th grade-level math and English, according to community college faculty in California and Illinois.
After years of “inclusion,” only two-thirds of special-ed students earn a regular high school diploma. Those with intellectual or developmental disabilities are even less likely to complete high school. As adults, most are unemployed or underemployed.If nothing else, these programs are more honest, and humane, than telling students who don't go to college that essentially they're failures.
Now, “specialized workforce academies for students with intellectual/developmental disabilities are growing in popularity,” reports Alia Wong in The Atlantic...
Workforce academies are controversial, writes Wong. Some critics value inclusion above all. Others complain “the programs pigeonhole severely disabled students into a vocational path and as a result never encourage them to consider college.”
Some colleges offer special programs for intellectually disabled students, she writes. However, these focus on social skills, not preparing students for jobs they might be able to do as well as anyone.