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Subject:

Article: No Jobs Without College as Employers Treat Degree as a Minimum

From:

Dan Kern <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 8 Apr 2009 07:03:33 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (165 lines)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

.         NNNlldldldNo Jobs Without College as Employers Treat Degree as a
Minimum

By Richard
<http://www.usnews.com/Topics/tag/Author/w/whitmire_richard/index.html>
Whitmire 

Posted March 27, 2009

Richard Whitmire, president of the National Education Writers Association,
blogs at whyboysfail.com <http://www.whyboysfail.com> 

One snowy February afternoon in 2007, I flew into St. Louis and ended up on
the Enterprise Rent-A-Car lot looking for my car. There, I was met by an
engaging young woman identified by her name tag as Lyndsay. St. Louis being
my hometown, I asked Lyndsay about her background and learned she had
recently graduated from a nearby university with a marketing degree
<http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/2009/03/27/no-jobs-without-college-a
s-employers-treat-degree-as-a-minimum_print.htm> .

Lyndsay competently completed all the basics that day, noting the mileage
and checking the car for damage. But her job required no advanced skills.
The entire transaction took only a minute or two, required no calculus, no
deconstruction of Hemingway. Nothing Lyndsay did that morning required a
college degree
<http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/2009/03/27/no-jobs-without-college-a
s-employers-treat-degree-as-a-minimum_print.htm> .

But I got something important out of that encounter, an early understanding
into why President Obama said this in a speech last month: "And so tonight,
I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher
education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year
school, vocational school or an apprenticeship."

Obama didn't come right out and say it, but the message is clear: College
has become the new high school. Soon after my St. Louis trip I called
Enterprise and learned that with a few exceptions for military it hires only
college graduates for Lyndsay's position. The ability to multitask and
communicate with customers, skills that years ago high schools supplied, are
now found almost solely among those with two- or four-year degrees.

To hammer that reality home to high school students
<http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/2009/03/27/no-jobs-without-college-a
s-employers-treat-degree-as-a-minimum_print.htm> , states such as Kentucky
and Michigan have moved to raise minimum dropout ages. If you don't make it
through high school you've got no chance of acquiring the post-high school
credentialing demanded by jobs of the future.

But, as a recent report by the Lumina Foundation summed up, "College
attainment rates are rising in almost every industrialized or
post-industrialized country in the world, except for the U.S." Lumina's
point was the same as Obama's: Eventually, our flat education levels will
hurt our international economic competitiveness.

That's true, but it doesn't quite capture the whole picture. Lyndsay renting
me a car isn't helping our international competitiveness. Whether your bank
teller has a high school degree or a Ph.D. says little about international
competitiveness, but it says a lot about economic survival, which is what
high school students should care about.

The college-as-high school phenomenon is picking up speed during the
recession, with employers having their pick of better-educated workers. A
recent Denver Post article captured that nicely: "If I had a light labor
job, I'd have a Ph.D. do it," explained a Denver employment agency staffer
who had just hired two people with B.A.s to pick up sticks from sidewalks.

So what's the best solution? In many states, 40 percent of high school
students entering college need remediation in math, reading, or both, which
cuts the odds of their earning that four-year degree.

Those with the smartest answers are the ones closest to the ground.
Foundations appear to be on the right track in funding "early college" for
high school students, where they take college classes as sort of dress
rehearsal for higher education. Brookings dubs this preparing students for
"middle skill" jobs. A new program at City University of New York,
Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), requires full-time study and
gives many of the students tuition waivers and all students books and
Metrocards for transportation. That hurry-up approach through college into a
career is proving successful, reports insidehighered.com.

Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts appears to have a prescient grasp of the
challenge. Two years ago, Patrick proposed free community college to
students, part of a broader plan to wrap students in an education cocoon
starting with pre-K and ending with an associate's degree
<http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/2009/03/27/no-jobs-without-college-a
s-employers-treat-degree-as-a-minimum_print.htm> .

While Patrick's plan ran into a recession slowdown, it's clear he "gets"
what other politicians have been slow to grasp; that the need to push
education beyond high school goes far beyond the somewhat esoteric
"international competitiveness" issue that think tankers extol.

All the best solutions focus on dangling bankable job skills before high
school graduates not likely to see themselves as college material. The
toughest nut to crack will be young men, who lag badly behind in earning
community college and four-year degrees. Too many guys remain oblivious to
the college-is-the-new-high school message: You may know about cars, but
unless you've got a college degree, the Lyndsays of the world are going to
get first dibs on those Enterprise jobs.

Tags: careers
<http://www.usnews.com/Topics/tag/Subject/c/careers/index.html>  | colleges
<http://www.usnews.com/Topics/tag/Subject/c/colleges/index.html>  |
employment
<http://www.usnews.com/Topics/tag/Subject/e/employment/index.html>  | high
<http://www.usnews.com/Topics/tag/Subject/h/high_schools/index.html>  school
| education
<http://www.usnews.com/Topics/tag/Subject/e/education/index.html>  

 

Source:
http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/2009/03/27/no-jobs-without-college-as
-employers-treat-degree-as-a-minimum_print.htm

Rootage:  http://www.nassp.org/s_nassp/index.asp?CID=1138
<http://www.nassp.org/s_nassp/index.asp?CID=1138&DID=54609> &DID=54609

  <http://space.sparklist.com/t/3201469/6589586/25083/0/> Opinion: Why a
College Degree Is the New High School Diploma
The need to push education beyond high school has far surpassed the
international competitiveness issue, said Richard Whitmere, president of the
National Education Writer's Association. In his editorial, Whitmere
described how a major U.S. car rental company requires its employees to have
college degrees, although the work itself demands few skills. "Whether your
bank teller has a high school degree or a Ph.D. says little about
international competitiveness, but it says a lot about economic survival,
which is what high school students should care about," he emphasized. U.S.
News and World Report, 3/27/09 

 

 

 

Dan Kern

AD21, Reading

East Central College

1964 Prairie Dell Road

Union, MO  63084-4344

Phone:  (636) 583-5195

Extension:  2426

Fax:  (636) 584-0513

Email:  [log in to unmask]

 


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