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Old 04-21-2022, 12:04 PM
 
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College is more than just about partying. Its about teaching students to be able to write, learn, and think critically. Traditionally you get a lot of this in the first two years of university.

I know trade schools are hot today. I think people are looking at it as a less expensive and less time commitment than a traditional college education. That's perfectly fine.

One can do do a lot on learning on your own. But seriously how many people that just graduated from high school and are interested in becoming a machinist are going to sit down and write a 2000 word essay? It matters. We often hear that public education (up to 12th grade) in our country is in the crapper. So, they aren't going to learn the skills there. You will learn how to write, do math, think critically in college classes. Its important to have these skills.

All that said, if some wants to be a welder or plumber more power to you. If my kids go this route I'd be fine with it. However, I would highly advise that they combine it with an AA or AS program so that they can get some of these fundamental courses down. A two year degree (AA, AS, AAS) that can be tied together with a program for a trade is the way to go if you want to go in the trades. A local two year/ tech trade school should have these programs, correct? Being able to think and write is important-- for the blue collar worker, just as much as it is for the white collar worker.

Is this a good idea? Or am I off my rocker? Thoughts?

If you know more about the trades, about the programs and how/if they can be tied together with a degree program (AA/AS, AAS) please educate me
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Old 04-21-2022, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
6,518 posts, read 5,724,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeminoleTom View Post
Being able to think and write is important-- for the blue collar worker, just as much as it is for the white collar worker.
I am a white collar professional who flunked out of college after one year back in the 70's. Yet I think and write just fine. In fact I think and write better than most people who finished college and even grad school.

Sorry, I'm just one of those people who will never buy into "the magic of college". FWIW my wife has a Master's degree and both of our kids are college graduates. Don't get me wrong, I am not against college; in fact I'd probably stay in if given a second chance. I just don't see a degree as the be-all, end-all that some folks do.
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Old 04-21-2022, 01:52 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
30,436 posts, read 50,679,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
I am a white collar professional who flunked out of college after one year back in the 70's. Yet I think and write just fine. In fact I think and write better than most people who finished college and even grad school.

Sorry, I'm just one of those people who will never buy into "the magic of college". ....
Agree... College is about 4-6 yrs too late to learn how to write.

The college grads (Engineers) we hire are extremely poor at writing (and worse at spelling). Less than 8th grade level.

Lifelong learners are not formed in college. Ages 4-6 are a good time to start that quest.

Think... That depends on the college / and engagement opportunities. Some profs are miserable at nurturing a collaborative and intellectual learning environment. Equally, the current social levels of college students is far different than the days of 'engagement / debates / supported arguments / proofs'... They really don't know how to critically think anymore. Nor are they interested in learning, and see little to no value in critical / analytical discussions / thought. Why should they, having been spoon fed with everything (including thinking) for 12 previous yrs. There are a few exceptions, but it is not the 'average' student who has just been graduated (?) from a USA k-12 program. Continuing to a USA College (HS #2).

And parents PAY for that!

Having Jr spend some time running a shovel or a hammer, or pulling 12 hr shifts in the salt mines might be of more benefit, and establish reasoning and incentive for a 'continuing education'. (And provide the dough for Jr to cover their own college expenses)
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Old 04-21-2022, 02:57 PM
 
978 posts, read 482,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Agree... College is about 4-6 yrs too late to learn how to write.

The college grads (Engineers) we hire are extremely poor at writing (and worse at spelling). Less than 8th grade level.
The engineers needed to pass a few milestones that required 2,000 word essays. I'm not sure I'm following. I don't think 8th graders, from our dismal school system that we here so often about could do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Lifelong learners are not formed in college. Ages 4-6 are a good time to start that quest.
Actually I think learning does come later for many people. Myself included. I didn't really start enjoying to learn and read until my late teens/early 20's. I doubt many people in public schools at the required age really have an interest in learning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Think... That depends on the college / and engagement opportunities. Some profs are miserable at nurturing a collaborative and intellectual learning environment. Equally, the current social levels of college students is far different than the days of 'engagement / debates / supported arguments / proofs'... They really don't know how to critically think anymore. Nor are they interested in learning, and see little to no value in critical / analytical discussions / thought. Why should they, having been spoon fed with everything (including thinking) for 12 previous yrs. There are a few exceptions, but it is not the 'average' student who has just been graduated (?) from a USA k-12 program. Continuing to a USA College (HS #2).
Regardless of debates, would you say the math or science required at the 1st or 2nd years of an AA program require one to think? I certainly do. We know they aren't challenged or given the opportunity in high school-- or shall I say they probably squander it (if given at all).

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Having Jr spend some time running a shovel or a hammer, or pulling 12 hr shifts in the salt mines might be of more benefit, and establish reasoning and incentive for a 'continuing education'. (And provide the dough for Jr to cover their own college expenses)
I can agree with this for sure. Working with a shovel and being on your hands/knees everyday will change the way you want your future to play out. I was scrubbing toilets and stocking shelves at 2am at grocery stores. Its then I realized how important a college education is.


I think there is a stigma about college education today that its watered down. I don't get this at all. 1/3 of the kids on my street flunked out or couldn't hack college and didn't return after their first year. We hear how bad public education is on the primary level, the results speak to it perfectly when these kids go off to college. They aren't prepared, and/or are used to mom and dad doing everything for them. They can't really think on their own. You should watch a college course on youtube. Its not as easy as its made out today.

Thus, I for one who calls up a plumber to fix my drain had better be able to communicate and read, or he/she is not lasting long. They aren't learning this at the primary school level.

So what I'm hearing so far is, screw it: "if Johnny wants to be a plumber its better for him to just get a certificate that doesn't teach literature, math, science and history as part of the curriculum. Those classes don't do anything for him but waste his time and money." Is that accurate?

Good conversation.
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Old 04-22-2022, 03:46 PM
 
11,282 posts, read 15,226,143 times
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Advancement to management in blue collar trades requires a different type/blend of interpersonal skills.

Without going into specifics, getting an English degree from Swarthmore isn't going to help your cause that much.

I've worked with blue collar/trades people my whole career. You need to be able to communicate in a certain style when you're talking to a backhoe operator.
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Old 04-23-2022, 05:59 AM
 
13,139 posts, read 31,602,221 times
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What about Career and Technical Schools? If one of my kids didn't show an inclination towards a career that required a college degree, I would have steered them towards our Career and Technical School while they were in high school. I know the quality probably varies widely across the US, but the one in my area is very nice and offers majors in everything from HVAC to welding to computer networking to cosmetology to carpentry and electromechanical engineering. Kids can take their core classes at their home school, if their home school is a good one, or they can do a full day at the CTE, taking their academics there too. There is also the opportunity to take classes at the adjacent community colleges to knock off some general courses there. Our community college has articulation agreements with at least a dozen colleges so it's a seamless path.

I think our schools are changing and if you are a parent, it's important to make sure you know all of the different paths. The biggest stumbling block, IMO is our mindset about college being the best or maybe only path.
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Old 04-29-2022, 09:08 AM
 
688 posts, read 216,006 times
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I don't know that I care if my plumber can write a coherent 2,000-word essay. As someone with a college degree who works with other people who have college degrees, I will say I've been mortified by some of their lack of communication skills. I can definitely pick out a few people on my team who often write emails that don't make a whole lot of sense... I have no idea how they passed English Composition 101, but they apparently did. I don't agree that young adults who are getting into the trades need to be able to write thesis papers. They do need to be able to get through the material needed to perform the job they're training to do, so reading comprehension is important.
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Old 04-29-2022, 10:16 AM
 
689 posts, read 651,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeminoleTom View Post
College is more than just about partying. Its about teaching students to be able to write, learn, and think critically. Traditionally you get a lot of this in the first two years of university.
College is too late. The seeds of critical thinking begin at an early age as does an interest in learning. Learning is not about formalized curriculums, it's being curious about the world around you and wanting to know who, what, when, where, why and how. Kids today have so many ways to learn and explore and that should be encouraged.

That "first two years of college" idea is totally out of place in the modern world.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeminoleTom View Post
One can do do a lot on learning on your own. But seriously how many people that just graduated from high school and are interested in becoming a machinist are going to sit down and write a 2000 word essay? It matters. We often hear that public education (up to 12th grade) in our country is in the crapper. So, they aren't going to learn the skills there. You will learn how to write, do math, think critically in college classes. Its important to have these skills.

All that said, if some wants to be a welder or plumber more power to you. If my kids go this route I'd be fine with it. However, I would highly advise that they combine it with an AA or AS program so that they can get some of these fundamental courses down. A two year degree (AA, AS, AAS) that can be tied together with a program for a trade is the way to go if you want to go in the trades. A local two year/ tech trade school should have these programs, correct? Being able to think and write is important-- for the blue collar worker, just as much as it is for the white collar worker.
The problem here is you're putting the cart before the horse and ending up in the same trap so many college graduates end up in. They have a degree in a field they don't want to work in. The major benefit of the Trades is a person can see if they enjoy the work before they spend thousands of dollars on formal training.

Success in any field requires a great work ethic, conscientiousness, and a certain level of enjoyment of the work itself. A program like you are suggesting would be appropriate for someone with several years of experience in the trades. The ideal candidate would be someone that has applied themselves and understands all the practical aspects of their job but is now more mature and ready to go back to school to learn some of that math, science and writing which they didn't care for when they were younger. Those skills will now allow them to move into management or start their own business.
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Old 04-29-2022, 11:49 AM
 
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I have a college degree, a year of law school and an MBA and I would say the traditional college education is probably obsolete and a waste of time for most people. Sure it's nice, but not all that relevant. In undergraduate liberal arts classes I learned Latin, Literature, Political Science, History, Psychology, Biology, Art History. All interesting but pretty much totally irrelevant for the rest of my life. The only thing that was relevant was the diploma which was a passport to job interviews.

I completed the first year of law school and studied Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure. I learned I didn't want to be a lawyer and though I passed everything I decided not to return for the second and third years. Once again, interesting stuff but totally irrelevant to the rest of my life.

I got an MBA at company expense, going nights and weekends and studied accounting, finance, management, calculus, statistics. The only thing that stuck with me is statistics.

People learn to communicate these days on their iphones and computers and in conversation with others. If you need to learn anything it is on youtube.

To be honest, I learned more by working my way through college in a slew of menial jobs (gardener, kitchen help, janitor, usher, banquet waiter, inventory taker, clerk) and by being on the crew and fencing teams, than in any of my classes. The main thing I learned in college was just to stick it out and get it done. Very valuable in the work world as well.

About 10 years after I graduated I got a job writing procedure manuals. I was sent to a clear and concise business writing course and basically learned to abandon everything I learned about writing in college, to write with plain words, in the clearest and briefest way possible, because in business you don't want to waste people's time reading flowery, blown out prose like you are encouraged to write in college.

I did many jobs just to bring home a paycheck, bill adjustor, bad check collector, liquor store, credit authorizer, procedure manual writer, trainer, auditor and audit manager. None of these had much to do with what I learned in college (other than knowing what a valid statistical sample was for auditing) but the diploma no doubt helped in getting the jobs. I just sort of drifted into what was available.

In my early 40's I finally got into the IT field, which I really loved, by an odd set of circumstances. And I did that work until I retired. When I attended undergraduate classes in the 60's, the computers I worked on hadn't even been invented yet, and computer science wasn't even a recognized course of study.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeminoleTom View Post
The engineers needed to pass a few milestones that required 2,000 word essays. I'm not sure I'm following. I don't think 8th graders, from our dismal school system that we here so often about could do this.



Actually I think learning does come later for many people. Myself included. I didn't really start enjoying to learn and read until my late teens/early 20's. I doubt many people in public schools at the required age really have an interest in learning.


Regardless of debates, would you say the math or science required at the 1st or 2nd years of an AA program require one to think? I certainly do. We know they aren't challenged or given the opportunity in high school-- or shall I say they probably squander it (if given at all).



I can agree with this for sure. Working with a shovel and being on your hands/knees everyday will change the way you want your future to play out. I was scrubbing toilets and stocking shelves at 2am at grocery stores. Its then I realized how important a college education is.


I think there is a stigma about college education today that its watered down. I don't get this at all. 1/3 of the kids on my street flunked out or couldn't hack college and didn't return after their first year. We hear how bad public education is on the primary level, the results speak to it perfectly when these kids go off to college. They aren't prepared, and/or are used to mom and dad doing everything for them. They can't really think on their own. You should watch a college course on youtube. Its not as easy as its made out today.

Thus, I for one who calls up a plumber to fix my drain had better be able to communicate and read, or he/she is not lasting long. They aren't learning this at the primary school level.

So what I'm hearing so far is, screw it: "if Johnny wants to be a plumber its better for him to just get a certificate that doesn't teach literature, math, science and history as part of the curriculum. Those classes don't do anything for him but waste his time and money." Is that accurate?

Good conversation.

Last edited by bobspez; 04-29-2022 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 04-30-2022, 05:08 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
30,436 posts, read 50,679,622 times
Reputation: 38052
Quote:
...A two year degree (AA, AS, AAS) that can be tied together with a program for a trade is the way to go if you want to go in the trades. A local two year/ tech trade school should have these programs, correct?...
My 4 yr technical apprenticeship REQUIRED successful completion of a 'pre-engineering' AAS.

Subsequent programs dropped the Calculus based Physics and Math, so 'special minority applicants' could pass the courses. Then... the program was cancelled (in 1980) because the 'graduates' were no longer capable of performing the higher math requirements of our trade. Glad I had achieved my journeyman certs by 1976. I went on to get a few engineering degrees (free) and went back and forth from skilled positions to engineering (5x) depending on the company needs and my personal schedule (I was farming, volunteering with public schools, hospitals, and seniors, building homes and commercial buildings, + caregiving + homeschooling my own kids, and doing every international assignment I could find). For me, Skilled trades was far more rewarding, demanding, interesting, and better pay! (OT), and much better hours (nights!)

I was able to cross many disciplines (farm kid (experienced), and not afraid to take on challenges, and always anxious to learn new things). I did a lot of IT & CNC interfacing, IT customization for manufacturing and machine efficiency, and inventory and costing, PCL programming, Macro customization for CAD systems, and staff and supplier training. Tho I was never trained in any of that stuff.

Sure, Get your AA / AAS (with a guaranteed transfer matriculation contract) then you will have some options of you can't hack the skilled trades, get old, or get injured.
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