07 November, 2009

Going to college? wait a year

An interesting point of view. I agree with the conclusion, but for different reasons. My reason is more the effect of: the vast majority of students attending universities are grossly unprepared and lack motivation. You can make up for lack of preparation if you are seriously motivated. Trouble is, most people fresh out of high school think that "motivation" means attending class and attempting to learn via osmosis.

Some of the most motivated students I have ever met are what we call "non-traditional students": adults who have spent a few years (or decades) in the real world and, whether for pride or profit, decide to go back for that Bachelor's Degree. Many told me explicitly that they were frustrated by the lack of options in a life without a college degree. Others merely feel as if they lack something, and are seeking it. Either way, they tend to be more motivated than the average eighteen year-old.

Of course, one does meet the occasional non-traditional student who acts as if an education is a terrible burden and obstacle, but in my experience this is more the exception than the rule. Nevertheless, I've read that universities are starting to realize the potential market in this group, and exploit it.

I've suggested to my department that we offer evening classes, and I've even offered to teach them; so far to no avail. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough.

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