Dear Future President,
Next Spring, many students, including me, will be graduating from high school and getting ready to choose their major. However, when asked what they are thinking about majoring in, many juniors and seniors will say they have no clue. Then in their freshman year of college they will be studying a major that they just chose due to being required to. In the United States, eighty percent of students end up switching their major, most of these student probably picked a major due to having to have one so when they started studying that certain major they realized it was not for them. When having to switch majors comes with more courses that need to be taken, when a students has to take more courses this will delay their graduation time. Based on Dana Goldstein, author of Should all Kids Go to College?, “fifty-three percent of students who enter a four-year college will graduate within six years.” With workforce training in high school it will expand a student's knowledge in a career field before going to college which will help them figure out what is right for them.
Southeastern Regional Vocational-Technical High School in Easton, Massachusetts, is using the idea of workforce training programs. David Wheeler, principal of Southeastern, explains that during a student's first semester at the school they will participate in all twenty professions the high school offers then during the rest of their time at the high school they will focus on that certain profession. This allows the students to really find out what is right for them, so when asked they actually have a answer for what their major will be in high school or to be able to go straight into the career field of their choice. The students gets hands on learning with real life situations, in each program the high school has the student’s will work with real clients which Wheeler describes as “live-work.” The graduation rate for southeastern is ninety-three percent which is above the average in the state of Massachusetts, and Wheeler states “when we do follow up studies, generally speaking, we hit the ninety, high ninety percent range of students who are in the workforce.” These programs will help seniors get ready and excited for graduation and the next step in their life, therefore, more students will want to graduate, which will increase the graduation rate for many high schools. In the long run, the students who attended these high schools are more successful in life and generally enjoy their career.
There are students who will go to college knowing what major they want to major in and that program they would like to study in requires them to take a graduate program for that career. With that comes with more schooling which means more money that students needs to pay. “The average debt for students graduating in 2012 was $29,400,” Andy Warner states in his article, Is College Worth the Cost. Physical therapy being one of these fields, which is what I want to study, ever since I tore ligaments in my ankle and needed to attend physical therapy, I started to looking into this career and it has seemed like I would enjoy it however most colleges do not offer a major in physical therapy, they offer pre-physical therapy.
In order for me to become a physical therapist after college I will need to attend a graduate program for physical therapy which will take at least three more years to complete. If high schools would put the workforce training programs, many students will not need the extra schooling that many field require and many student might not even need college right after high school due to being able to take all the courses they need to take during their high school career. These programs will allow students to be more prepared and get ready for the outside world where they will need to find a job and start being able to provide for themselves.
On the other hand, “It's easier to put children with learning disabilities or behavior issues in training programs rather than pushing them academically,” Carol Burris, Executive Director of the Network for Public Education, states in the video, Should more kids skip college for workforce training. This may be true that it is easier for these students with behavior issues and who have trouble learning to go to these types of schools and get the training they need to be able to go into a field. However, by going to these schools they have a better chance of succeeding after high school because if they have not done so well in high school, it will be hard for them to get accepted to a college. If they have learning difficulties in high school, for sure they will have some in college so the programs will allow them to skip that step and get the training they will need and that they would get in college if they got accepted, they would be able to get a job that they would enjoy and be successful in.
High schools should join Southeastern Regional Vocational-Technical High School and start putting in programs that would help students get workforce training when attending their last few years of school. This would help students figure out what is right for them so when asked they know exactly what they would like to major in, the average debt for a college student will decrease due to not having to switch majors and taking extra classes after college, and it will help the kids with learning disabilities and behavior issues be more successful in life even if they are just “placed” at these types of schools, it will still help them in the long run.
- Ramos, Yuritzy. "College Students Tend to Change Majors When They Find the One They Really Love - Borderzine." Borderzine. N.p., 15 Mar. 2013. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
- Goldstein, Dana. "Should All Kids Go to College?" The Nation. N.p., 29 June 2015. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
- Warner, Andy. "Is College Worth the Cost? An Illustrated Explainer." The Lowdown. N.p., 16 May 2016. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
- "Should More Kids Skip College for Workforce Training?" PBS. PBS, 26 Jan. 2016. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.