I grew up without a doubt in my mind that I would go to college, get a Masters and probably get a PhD. That’s what everyone did, right? When my younger sister was showing early signs of her brilliant business acumen, a jewelry store owner tried to hire her out of High School to manage his store. Her response was “But I haven’t gone to College yet!” We didn’t question why, we just did it.
Now, I don’t regret a single moment of my childhood or my college education, but over the past 30 years, my view of college has gotten some clarity.
There is currently a debate on whether a college education is a right (or should be mandatory) or some such thing, and I think that needs to be better examined.
Having gone through the college application process with each of my kids and seeing how the landscape of education has changed over the past 30 years, especially with college applications, I question that there is one best way for the kids.
I tutor math on occasion and I had a student who was enrolled at MassBay College. I was surprised that he was taking a class in algebra, a class typically taught in High School. My surprise was not that he did not have a good grasp of this concept, but that this class was considered a college course.
Maybe I’m simply advocating for there to be more diversity in the way colleges teach/impart knowledge. I’m not sure that a tradesman, say a plumber, is going to be better for spending hours sitting in a classroom than from spending hours on site working alongside other experienced plumbers. I had coffee with a friend of mine who is a carpenter who has the critical visual knowledge of geometry as only an experienced carpenter could, and he tells me how he failed out of geometry class. How can that be?
So, I ask … What does College mean to you? What should it entail? I think the degree should actually mean some common standard of learning. I think a High School Diploma should actually mean some common standard of learning too. What do you think?