Last Friday, we joined a group of students and parents on a tour of Alaska’s Institute of Technology (AVTEC) in Seward. (https://www.avtec.edu) Our tour guide, Rachel, gave us a whirlwind tour of most of AVTEC’s programs, showed us the dorms, the cafeteria, and student recreational facilities. One common message heard from all the AVTEC personnel was the importance of being on time, and showing up ready to work. I think everyone was impressed and most thought how nice it was to have a facility like AVTEC as close as Seward.
The AVTEC experience made me think of a series of articles/reports I recently read, “The Path Least Taken” from The Center For Public Education. Greatly simplified, the takeaway from the reports is that high school graduates who complete rigorous high school math and science classes, and obtain a career certification, earn higher wages than four year college graduates. Click this link to read The Path Least Taken.
None of this is to say that college is not a good option. For many people, college is an appropriate step toward success. Still, the idea of “college for everyone,” might lead some to pass up great opportunities. Many people are successful without going to college. Plumbers, electricians, welders, and other skilled professionals, are always in demand and provide well for their families. Students should be encouraged to explore all their opportunities. Learning a skill, like the skills taught at AVTEC, can be a great path to success.