Opinion: It’s Time To Cut College Years Short 

It’s time to cut college’s Pathways courses and start career readiness early on, Jada Simon opines./OECD

By Jada Simon

 

   Every conversation I’ve ever had with a college student has always diverted to the topic of, why? Why is college so long? To that I always answer, “it’s those Pathways classes.”

   For anyone that is unaware of what Pathways are, think of them as classes that you take while you figure out yourself and what you want to do with your life. While that seems like a great idea, Pathways are practically a repeat of courses that you likely already took in high school, so why repeat that again? Why not prepare students for their career earlier, maybe even as early as their later years in high school?

   College can easily be cut in half if core courses are focused on earlier in a student’s academic career, or if students are allowed professional career prep from junior year of high school to senior year of college. That means an associate’s should be one year, a bachelor’s two years, a master’s a maximum of three years and so forth.

   Just cut ‘em all down.

   Speaking from personal experience, college can fly by fast and students tend to arrive near the finish line with their major already chosen and still left unsure about their future.

   One important motto of the U.S. is that good citizens must be made and everyone has to play

their part. It was Gordon B. Hinckley, a renowned religious leader, who said, “Every good citizen adds to the strength of a nation.”

   We need career readiness courses for students in high school and we need to stop wasting their time by making them take liberal arts courses twice. What students need is a certainty on what they want to do with their life, and though that feat is hard for anyone, it’s near impossible

without proper guidance.

   Without proper educational measures, who can have a fair shot in finding and playing their part in society? What will become our nation’s backbone? As the saying goes, “The children are our future.” Why aren’t we working to give every student all we can so they can have a brighter future?

   Allowing all highschoolers the opportunity to experience AP classes and college counseling, affords them skills they can put to use in pursuit of their potential career, according to an article in Edutopia, an educational foundation. Students need to be able to hone particular skills that can land them good jobs that can make them good money. It’s the only way they’ll survive because, in the framework of our society, money equals survival.

   If some students are deemed stupid by a made up curriculum and no one sees the need to give them equal opportunity, that’s essentially setting them up to fail. A study found that 81% of highschool dropouts reported that ‘seeing the connection between school and getting a job’ would have convinced them to stay enrolled, according to the EAB, a consulting firm for educational institutions. 

   I decided to test this theory. I spoke with Shariyanna Gordon, a former high school

classmate of mine, who had a career readiness program in her school in Texas before transferring schools to Brooklyn. She said that being allowed to explore different career paths helped her to pursue a career in biology.

   “My high school in Texas had classes pertaining to careers that students could possibly want to go into in the future,” Gordon said, noting she was offered courses related to business, engineering, the medical field, and others. “It helped me in knowing what I wanted to pursue in college and make that career my future.”

   A little can go a long way. Implementing career-based classes in high schools gives students the time they need to decide what they really want to do with their life. That kind of decision is not easy.

   It takes a while for someone to find their groove, and leaving them to feel forced to choose a major and graduate from college leaves them with wasted time and nothing to go on. Essentially, what we need is to give students the preparation they need ahead of time so they can stop wondering what they want to be and actually know what they want to be.

   That way, they can enter college, major in something they actually enjoy, and have a higher

likelihood of a successful career. Instead of having their life amount to a 9 to 5 or living miserably at a job they hate.

   It’s time to cut the Pathways in college, and get careers in motion as early as high school.

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