Kennesaw- Are we preparing our high school students for success in the 21st century? When dreaming about the perfect job, not everyone wants to become an engineer and help design the next space shuttle for NASA. A classical Liberal Arts and Sciences education is, of course, great to have but a paying career in a field where you can be passionately engaged is the ultimate goal for most Americans. The latest edition of Wilson Quarterly (wilsonquarterly.com/article.cfm?AID=2012) dives into this area with some thought provoking observations.
The first glaring issue facing the American education system today is the horrendous dropout rate of high school students. Should we be focusing on preparing our students for college when they are dropping out of high school at sixty percent (60%)? My hope is that high school students should be able to learn about real world careers, and pursue technical internships such as IT operations, or business administration where skills can be applied immediately to the real world where most new jobs are found in the small business sector. Entrepreneurs are the creative drive in the new economy.
Creative educators have to prepare our students to succeed without having them go into student loan debt that will saddle them for years beyond graduation. My hope would be to give students the ability to try jobs that they might like before they go to college as undecided and have to change majors three or four times before settling onto a career path where they will be starting out at an entry level position and barely making ends meet before finding their passion and taking risks to peruse the American dream.
Mentorships are as necessary as scholarships. If we could match up people with real world skills to mentor young people who would like to learn about the new skilled trades in today’s economy, they could then learn whether or not they would like to pursue technical careers or even liberal arts careers BEFORE they spend thousands of dollars drifting along taking core classes in colleges. I hope that you take the time to read the article that I referenced above in the Wilson Quarterly and drop me a note or email. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can change the world together.