“We have to stop telling young people that they can either go to a four-year college or fail. Instead, we must work harder and earlier to let students know that there are multiple career pathways to success.”
The signs are all around us that students need more than a high school diploma to be successful in the 21st Century. Unfortunately, many authority figures have translated that to students as simply a need to attain a four-year degree. But parents and educators know college might not be the path to success for every student.
The right career pathways provide students the best opportunity to pursue their American Dream. The choice is theirs — an immediate career, military service, apprenticeship, skills training at community college, or going to college.
We need to transform our education system to provide the training our students need in the 21st century by empowering students to make informed decisions early in their scholastic careers about their chosen path. Every student should, and must, have the opportunity to go to a four-year institution if that's what they want – but it's not the only pathway to success.
We are working on expanding career and technical education programs, providing an easier path to military service, and making sure students know that federal and state educational aid programs can be used for a variety of programs after high school – not just four-year college.
Just as importantly, we are committed to helping educators start the career conversation earlier than high school. Students should know what options are available to them early enough to make decisions that will put them on their chosen path.