Last night, I went to a presentation at school for parents about post high school plans that aren’t necessarily four-year colleges. It was a packed room. The speakers hadn’t expected so many people and had to run out to make more hand-outs for the parents.
Like most middle class parents, I know how to get my kid on the right road to middle class, if not upper middle class, life. I know what colleges are the best. I know how to help a kid construct an amusing, thoughtful college essay. I know how many times a kid should take the SATs to get the best score. I know which majors are best to choose at these schools that funnel kids into careers that will provide them with the means to afford a comfortable lifestyle.
I have no idea what kids, who can’t handle college, should do. What’s the difference between a vocational school and a community college? What careers are possible? Do any of these careers lead to a real job with benefits? How successful are vocational college in preparing kids for jobs that still exist today?
I’m embarrassed to say that I know very few people who did not attend a four-year college. I have no role models. There seems to be very few books on the topic.
While Ian is very gifted at music and computers, a liberal arts college would make him miserable. He would hate campus life. He would hate classwork that was outside his strengths. He would hate the lack of structure. He just wants to sit in front of a computer or a keyboard for fifteen hours a day and just do his stuff.
So, I’m figuring it out and relying, as always, on MY strengths, which are research and networking. I’m actually having a lot of fun, because it’s terra incognita. Exploration is exciting.
That packed room of parents was fascinating. I wonder if there is growing acceptance in parents like myself to look beyond college for options for their kids. I wonder if they are hearing stories about kids who are forced to go to college, because everybody does it, but then end up back in the parents’ house after a year of F’s. Lots of food for thought.