Should Post-Secondary Education be More Integrated
In February 2009, at a Joint session of Congress, President Obama stressed on the importance of Post secondary Education and the need to integrate the American Education System. He emphasized on how education has become a pre-requisite and not just a mode to obtain an opportunity. Three-fourth of the developing job opportunities available to the new generation are based on specialized education. Only half of American citizens have a decent level of education. More than half of the students drop out of college, never to actually contribute to the American Intelligentsia. This highly unfortunate status of American education system is an open invitation to economic decline. As President Obama pointed out in his speech, the economies with education systems that out teach us today will be the countries that will out compete us tomorrow.
Surveys indicate that high school graduates are incompetent when it comes to work habits and employment skills.On one hand, their attendance records are dismal, while on the other they have a hard time when it comes to collaboration and teamwork.(National Association of Manufacturers, 2005; Peter D. Hart Research Associates, 2005).
Through an integrated education system, development practices and focused planning for students can be initiated. This would enable students to specialize and accommodate themselves with the career of their choice effectively. (Kohler & Field, 2003; National Council on Disability, 2007).Hart, Zimbrich, and Whelley (2002) recommend a student and family centered strategy; this will include case management of resources across disciplines. Their study also points out a need, to identify and address service gaps by interaction of the students with an expert.
However, an integrated post secondary system leads to an added cost of education. Not only the student, but colleges and universities also face the financial pressure. At a time when the American economy more than ever needs college- educated job applicants, the gap within the education system is just widening.
An integrated post-secondary education system has its merits and its demerits; although the merits outrun the demerits. One can easily derive that the most significant drawback of integrated education is the financial constraint. This is a major drawback as the majority of students, that drop out early, are due to financial constraints. American citizens will not only have to realize the importance of the extra years spent in post-secondary education but also the value of the integrated system. The money and time spend on education is an investment which will lead to gain in due time.
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