‘Equal Opportunity’ Doesn’t Mean a Traditional College Degree

Robert Reich argues that a four-year liberal arts college should not be the “only gateway to the American middle class.”

“For one thing, a four-year liberal arts degree is hugely expensive …And too many of them can’t find good jobs when they graduate … Others drop out of college because they’re either unprepared or unsuited for a four-year liberal arts curriculum.”

“Still, we have a foundation to build on. Community colleges offering two-year degree programs today enroll more than half of all college and university undergraduates.”

“Community colleges are great bargains. They avoid the fancy amenities four-year liberal arts colleges need in order to lure the children of the middle class.”

“Yet America isn’t educating the technicians we need. As our aspirations increasingly focus on four-year college degrees, we’ve allowed vocational and technical education to be downgraded and denigrated.”

“One option: Combine the last year of high school with the first year of community college into a curriculum to train technicians for the new economy.”

“Too often in modern America, we equate ‘equal opportunity’ with an opportunity to get a four-year liberal arts degree. It should mean an opportunity to learn what’s necessary to get a good job.”



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