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ERIC Number: EJ907610
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Beyond One-Size-Fits-All College Dreams: Alternative Pathways to Desirable Careers
Rosenbaum, James E.; Stephan, Jennifer L.; Rosenbaum, Janet E.
American Educator, v34 n3 p2-8, 10-13 Fall 2010
The vast majority of high school students plan to attend college--and believe that a bachelor's degree all but guarantees them a high-paying job. What many of them don't know is that those who are not well prepared are not likely to graduate. They also don't realize that plenty of career-focused certificates and associate's degrees lead to satisfying careers that pay just as well as, and sometimes better than, careers that require a bachelor's degree. If detailed information on the broad array of higher education and career options were made available to them, students would have more incentive to work hard in high school and a better chance of achieving their dreams. This paper aims to identify three elements of the BA-for-all movement that are potentially harmful: (1) the idealization of the BA degree, which results in ignoring excellent options like an applied associate's degree in mechanical design technology, graphic communication technologies, dental hygiene, or computer networking; (2) the promise of college access, which results in high school students seeing their slightly older peers go off to college, but not seeing the trouble many have once on campus; and (3) the cultivation of stigma-free remediation, which results in many "college" students not even knowing that they are in remedial, noncredit courses. The authors discuss each of these issues and call for three simple remedies: (1) realizing that many good jobs do not require a BA; (2) fully informing students about their options; and (3) honestly telling them what it will take to succeed. (Contains 60 endnotes.)
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED557072