Myths…

February 4, 2012

I was looking over a local private school’s web site recently and found their “Career Development” page. Interested in what is being said, I clicked on the link. What I found summarized the situation are region currently is facing. To spare any embarrassment to the school or its individuals, I will not post the exact link, so you will have to take my word. However, from what I have gathered from other professionals in Economic and Workforce Development, this mind set is very common within the region.

The presentation as I found was designed for 8th grade students and their parents. This is a very important age and grade as these students are transitioning to high school, planning classes and considering options. It should be an exciting time and a fantastic way of reaching out and invigorating families. Sadly, the presentation was geared for only one thing, college. No options of any other possible career pathways were given to these eager (and anxious) students. There was little mention of a path that did not include college, most specifically a four year degree. To add to the overwhelming nature of this process, a curriculum guide was given to the families as well. This guide listed the courses recommended…a “Fast Track” and a “Super Fast Track” to college…or, “how to get out of the area as fast as possible…”

My point in bringing this up is that the myth that college is the ONLY option is so prevalent, so engrained, that we do not bring up any other scenarios to students. We assume that indeed college is the only option to the point of mass batching students at such young ages. We know, based on everything we’ve been hearing, that this is the wrong approach, that the process is much more dynamic then a one size fits all mentality.

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