Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rethinking higher education

After waxing poetic about University life yesterday, it may come as a surprise that I am quite happy my son is (probably) going to spend the first two years of higher education at the junior college.

There are many reasons for going this route. First is the obvious financial considerations. Even though the junior college has raised their fees along with universities, they continue to be a financial bargain. Especially if they care enough to employee well qualified instructors (which ours does). I was very pleased with the instructors and administrators we dealt with when my son was taking an advanced math class last semester.

Second, in our junior college, there is a far greater instructor-student ratio than one gets at the University (where Freshman classes are known to be hundreds...and hundreds...of students and probably taught by graduate students rather than full professors).

Third, the junior college has already worked with my son's ADD symptoms by letting him take his tests in a separate room. My husband and I believe this will help immensely as he goes through his first two years of college.

Now, here is where my change in thinking gets more controversial. I hope you don't leave comments blasting my thinking but...I don't believe a college education is in God's will for every teenager. I don't believe it is written in some Parent's Legal Document that we are required to pay for higher education. I don't believe it is the best way to go for every person, either.

There is a young man building a house near where we live. He's in the process of cutting down the trees and clearing the land. He's going to build a small house first (as did his father and his grandfather). His father offered both of his sons either a college education or the money for land and a small house. His brother chose to become an engineer and went to a four year engineering college (and is doing quite well). This young man made the decision to work in a factory with his father while becoming trained as an auto mechanic. He loves cars. He was delighted to help my husband work on our car.

Two brothers who are both successful in their parent's eyes but going in two directions.

Don't get me wrong, I believe it is still necessary to have an advanced degree if God is calling a young person into a profession where one is needed. However, are we sending our kids to college for the "experience" or a real education? I've known a lot of young people who came out of college deeply in debt (or their parents in debt) who have had a delightful experience and a lot of fun but no real training for real life.

Okay, end of my ranting and off my soapbox...back to tea and books. :)

8 comments:

lady laura said...

You'll get no blasting from me as I concur with your "controversial" thoughts. :)

Haus Frau said...

In my humble opinion, you are **right on** with your beliefs concerning college or not. Our daughter will attend junior college. We're open to her transferring to Bible college or learning a trade. We want what the Lord would have for her, not what is expected by society. Amen to your post!

deb said...

Brenda, I agree with you! And our family is probably even more controversial because we think our daughters' place is in the home learning how to be future wives and homemakers and helping their families rather than out in the workplace and/or college. So...you're not so controversial after all! LOL!

smilnsigh said...

First of all... My Dear, this is YOUR journal/blog. And YOU have the RIGHT to post any thoughts you wish to, in it!

::::Why in the world would you pre-apologize for any words you enter here?!?::::Mmmmm, can you see the steam escaping from my ears???::::At you even considering anyone else's opinion, of your thoughts::::

There, I let off steam. It is your blog/on-line-journal and you do have the right to your opinion.

Mmm, guess the steam is still tryng to get out. OK, I'll now resume lady-like composure. {hehhh!}

Of course not all people were born for a college degree. My total view on what anyone does-for-life, is Joseph Campbell's view... 'Follow your bliss.'

If each person were allowed to take the time to really listen to their gut feelings about what vocation would make them the most joyful, there would be more contented people in the world. IMHO.

And my humble opinion totally meshes with your views.

But even if our views did not mesh! And many do not. It is still your journal and you can put them here. {Oooops, I nearly started letting off steam again!} ,-)))))

Mari-Nanci

Anonymous said...

I was going to say what Deb did-we're not planning for our girls to attend college either.
Our boys, on the other hand, we'd like to have a college degree. Probably done online.
My dh has come up against bias in his computer line of work because he doesn't have a college education. This is limiting his ability to earn more money. He's been told this. It's been very frustrating so we're planning for the boys to get degrees.
Joanna

G.L.H. said...

My dh's family is one who thinks that everyone needs a degree. My answer to them is, who then would fix your cars, plumb your house, repair your appliances? Or for that matter, BUILD your home?

Love your thoughts!

(my brother,by the way,has a master's degree, and makes a living as a plumber!)

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Our daughter did go to college although she paid for most of it herself. She also worked hard in high school so she'd get scholarships (which she did). She met our son-in-law there so that was a good thing. :)

She studied Interior Design, knowing she could use it at home if she ever needed to bring in income. So many people told her (to her face and mine) that she was wasting her brains by getting such a degree.

Heather said...

Hi Brenda - we are of the same mind concerning our children's education. We have funds set aside for them for college if that is where God leads them, but we will not pay the 'full ride' - they will have to work their way through, like we did, and if they don't use it for college, they can buy a home/land. We are looking a bit down the road here, since they are 6 and 9, but we are already praying and seeking God's direction. We want the children to live at home during college and we are willing to move to their college town if the local colleges don't meet their needs. We've been told we're a bit overprotective ... can you guess why?