College Ready: A Different Perspective

I have been meaning to write this post for the last year and keep putting it on the back burner. Yesterday coming home and listening to NPR there was another mention to the common perception that Public Schools are not preparing their students for college. This perspective keeps bugging me and I hope you will take a moment to look at why it actually makes me mad when I hear it.

For a second, I’d like to ask you to look at it from a different perspective. That of “Colleges are not providing the incoming students with the support they need to succeed”. I ask this because I do believe that perhaps we have been putting the blame for incoming freshman doing so poorly on the the shoulders of the wrong institution.

Some point to ponder in seeing it a different way are:

  • Who benefits from making students take non-credit courses so they can be at a ‘college level’?
  • Why is it many colleges try and some even force you to declare a major when they know most students change their major at least once and many of the courses will not transfer?
  • Who benefits from a student taking 5-6 years for a 4 year degree?
  • Should everyone be made to be ‘college ready’? I’m hearing that our trades and skilled production work force are currently unable to keep up with our countries needs and yet we have a glut of lawyers.
  • Have student loans become the new method of our society to make our children a new type of indentured servant?
  • How ready are the products of colleges/universities for the ‘real’ world of work? Many accounts I see suggest employers feel college graduate students are NOT ready for the labor market.

So maybe…just maybe we should stop exclusively blaming our public schools and start looking at fixing the ENTIRE system (Public schools, Parents, Colleges, Government and Employers). Working together we can fix this issue and stop putting our students (our future) through more work, stress and debt then they need to succeed.


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