TED Conversations

Leo  Taylor

Socrates Club

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What are some ideas for continuing education after High School?

Several of the TED talks and debates revolve around education and reform. Well at the moment I am in a very practical application of these ideas as my daughter is a senior in high school and we are exploring options. To that end I wanted to pull some ideas from people in this community. One of the reasons for still looking at a College of some sort is the accreditation. Unfortunately, the colleges still hold the cards in that regard.

I believe this topic could easily be opened up to our youth in general. Do we do a disservice to our youth by telling them they need to go to college after HS in order to explore their options for life? Are there better ways to explore life and get an education that we should be obligated to tell them?

Here are some interesting things we are looking at.

1. Online school such as U of Phoenix or more probably WGU. I am not sure how well these are perceived in the job market.

2. 2 years community college then flip to a 4 year so she would get the 4 year schools accreditation.

3. A hybrid of 1 & 2. online then flip to a 4 year

4. Joining the military where she could train in a job related to civilian life, get college credit for training, earn an AA by the time she get out then flip to a 4 year college using the GI bill money. As well as having job experience in a field of her choosing. (her Asvabs are 91 so her options are open)

5. Vocational schools that would train in a specific job with the downside of not being generally accredited with a BA or something.

Some of our concerns are cost, relevance of education, proper training and mostly I just hate the idea of spending a fortune on some piece of paper that is meaning less and less, but is still important enough that she may need it.

I also do value education and believe that after HS she needs to explore life, the world, education, etc to see what she would like to do. At the moment she is in flux and does not know what she wants.

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  • Oct 30 2011: I recently graduated from High School, and my entire focus throughout my schooling had been on getting good marks and getting into a good University. I thought I had 'won' at High School as I got good marks for minimal effort. Now two years later, after a gap year and my first year at university I realise how stupid that was. If your daughter is after a good job, then I would say College is the way to go, as a degree looks good for any prospective employers. If she is after a good education, or to find something she is passionate about, I'm not sure whether you can find that at college, I guess it depends on which college.
    One of the best things I have ever done (though I recognize it is not for everyone and not possible for everyone) is take to a gap year between school and university and go travelling and work, it broadened my mind to so many possibilities. While I have come back to go to university, my focus is not on passing and getting a degree but rather on learning. I hope this helps a bit.
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    Oct 27 2011: I've started a conversation on education within HS, but frankly career experience is a primary factor. I intend to take a year after high school to do several internships in fields that I am interested in to see if I have a true passion in any one of them before I go to college and decide on classes that are expensive and vastly time consuming. College is (sadly) just too expensive today to go to for the sake of finding a passion. It's for pursuing in the most efficient way possible whatever specific field you have chosen.
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    Oct 27 2011: If the future major/career is unclear (or even if it is), I would take a couple of years off from school, and spend the time working, volunteering, or doing internships. I would also recommend meeting with mentors on regular basis (private lessons/discussions/projects). Finally, a local college bookstore should offer endless inspiration for topics for individual study.
  • Oct 27 2011: I think it may depend on your daughter. If she is a good student, focused and knows what she wants, I would say college is the way to go.If she is going after a BA, I would caution against borrowing more than she will likely make and reasonably pay back in her career choice. Perhaps it would be better to have some sort of "pay as you go plan" where college was supplemented by work. If she is an average student or even a good student but not sure what she wants, the two year community college followed by a four year school is a good plan. In both of these options, i would look for opportunities to Co-op or intern in the field she thinks she wants to get into. If she is a good student and wants a break, or a marginal student that is not sure what she wants, the military or other similar service might be a good way to go, Coast Guard, Public health, Peace corps, National guard, or similar activities is a neat way to get some training and experience. Some will help pay for college, some offer advancement if you get a college degree, most offer health care and useful life skill training that is an immediate marketable skill.

    Talking to recent graduates, students in the program she likes, and professors might be good reference points for making a decision.

    I have two kids,one just finished a maters in education, one is in engineering. One went public school, one went private school. Both spent about 50% more than tuition costs on assorted transportation issues, housing issues, fees, activities, etc.

    Whatever she picks, it should be her choice as most programs are difficult and at some point you need to draw on your passion for the subject to help get you through and be competitive.

    Good Luck!
  • Oct 31 2011: Continuing education can take the form of workshops, seminars, home-study or online courses, conferences, or hands-on training. There is no specific format or length for a continuing education program: some may take a weekend, while others can span weeks or even months. In the case of continuing education for personal advancement only, students usually don't receive college credits, as the courses are not considered part of the standard educational system. A common characteristic to all continuing education programs is a registration process. Attending a conference or cultural event that is open to the general public does not give attendants any type of education credits, and cannot be considered formal training.

    http:buymodavigil.com
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    Oct 30 2011: If you are talking about Education than I am with Ed Schulte as expressed below.

    If it is certification for job, better to try for universities / colleges with good name considering the strength of purse........

    Good thoughts from Sophie McAllister as well so agreed......
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    Oct 27 2011: Thanks, It is so nice to get input from like minded people. While diversity is great, I have had enough of the "you must go to college if you want to be successful" mentality. As TED is about ideas I appreciate a lot of the ideas you share. I did not mention internships as an option but we have thought about it. The peace corp would be great as well for some, but she did not express interest in that option. I also like the idea of possibly taking a year off and doing interns or something, as long as that is balanced with actual work and not just staying at home, sleeping till noon and sponging off of mom and dad.