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Hilary Harrington Susan Wood English 100 June 16, Career Colleges: Do they Take Advantage of Low- Income Career colleges better postulated as for- profit colleges have greatly influenced the education of low- income students in the society. The institutions have provided a wide- ranging educational opportunities to low- income students unlike the traditional non- profit colleges that offered fewer disciplines. In the contemporary times, educational qualification has become a potent requirement to secure not only a paying occupation, but also a means to lead a better and fulfilling life. However, critiques amass numerous castigations in order to taint career colleges towards low- income students though the following exposition embarks on the merits and counter arguments from the critiques in order to clear the debacle.
Career colleges have increased the number of institutions offering higher education thereby enabling many low- income students to select their career path. The increased number of career colleges has augmented the number of courses offered thereby enabling students from low- income household to undertake their convenient courses that will not burden their pockets. The increased career colleges have led to the development of numerous learning techniques such as on- line learning and flexible hours that have enabled low- income students to access quality education. The increased flexible learning techniques have led to a decrease in the transportation and accommodation cost that otherwise strain the lives of low- income students (Holmes 6). In addition, the notion brings about a strong correlation between training and job requirement, which appeals to a host of scholars.
Critiques argue that the career colleges are profit- oriented institutions that do not care on the quality of education they offer as long as they enrich the proprietors. The notion is not true because an increased number of low- income students are graduating from career colleges and upon employment in the various sectors of the economy, they are performing well (Holmes 4). The numerous legislations and lobbying that have occurred in the United States hindering for- profit colleges from exploiting students dismiss the critique that the institutions are profit- oriented. The career colleges are competing with public institutions for quality education rather than profits since public institutions have recently adopted numerous and flexible learning techniques such as on- line learning.
Career colleges provide a tangible learning experience that helps in augmenting the connection between training and job requirement thereby motivating the low- income students to continue with their studies since hopes of securing a job is heightened. Lack of such encouragement may lead to frustrations and loss of interest from low- income students in their education, which, therefore, solidify the fact that career colleges have worked to the advantages of low- income students.
Individuals in dispute with the fact that career colleges have led to many advantages argue that the career colleges are neglecting the theoretical aspect of education, which may lead to poor foundation in the practical aspects. Critiques with such a viewpoint should and must learn that career colleges’ courses are purposefully and efficiently structured in order to enable students develop a conceptual approach towards a particular job position, which eventually enhances their competence. The trend enables students to be better placed in a competitive employment sector thus benefiting the low- income students in raising their financial status.
Career College provides a short time to earn a degree, which is a critical consideration for low-income students because of their limited resources. In addition, a short time taken to complete the degree enables low- income students who operate under the educational loan to reduce their loan accumulation period thereby managing to service their loan once employed without many constrains. With the increased economic times in the nation, the short time taken in career colleges enables low- income students in attaining the educational requirement that will help bolster the economic status of the students and the entire country.
Opponents view the short time taken in career colleges as a demerit arguing that it does not provide the required time for a student to gain the required expertise in his or her field of study. It is worthwhile to reaffirm that career college education do not emphasize more on the theories but focuses more on the tangible concepts involved in a particular discipline, which eventually reduces the time taken in course work.
The role played by the career colleges in disseminating higher education is often underappreciated, as in the case of the community colleges in California. The community colleges have made significant contribution in creating a competent workforce in California by providing help in the form of job assistance and family support. They have added to the technical competence of the workforce through its wide range of career-oriented degree programs and certificates. They have helped students at different stages of their careers and having different capacities by designing specific programs that fulfill the existing needs of the labour market. Such programs are especially beneficial for the “recent high school graduates, under-employed and unemployed adults, incumbent workers looking for career advancement, and college graduates seeking retraining”. (Shulock, 2012, p. 1) The CCI program provides them a short-term training and stronger credentials to help them build their long-term career perspectives.
A similar approach has been adopted by many other organizations across the globe. The James Irvine Foundation in California has taken a major step in this direction through its Concurrent Courses Initiative (CCI). This initiative is in the form of collaboration amongst eight secondary/postsecondary institutions in California that offer dual enrolment programs along with a well-organized student support system. Ever since its inception in the year 2008, this program has helped millions of underprivileged students, who would have otherwise lost all hopes of getting access to education. It not only allowed such students to get access to higher education and better social identity, but also gifted them a well-planned and career focused life. The success of this initiative is evident in the figures that were revealed by the data of the students who had enrolled for the program from 2008 to 2010. “Relative to comparison students, CCI dual enrollees had similar GPAs but higher graduation rates in high school. CCI dual enrollees entered college at similar rates to the comparison group, but entered four-year institutions and persisted at higher rates… CCI dual enrollees had accumulated 20 percent more credits than their district peers.” (Rodríguez, 2012, p. 3)
The for-profit or career colleges are often accused with the allegation that they burden their already poor students with such high levels of education loans that they are hardly able to repay. The critics of the career colleges often point out the fact these colleges provide cater to the “older students, parents, career switchers, high school dropouts, veterans, the learning disabled and the homeless”. (Webley, 2011, p. 2) But if viewed from an objective point of view there is nothing wrong with doing that. Rather such a practice should be encouraged by extending whole-hearted support to such colleges which provide a second opportunity for studies and career to those wretched ones who have been deprived of it for very long due to their own myriad reasons. Completing their education in these colleges helps them to build a career or at least be capable of earning a livelihood in today’s fiercely competitive job arena where education is used as a powerful tool.
In conclusion, it is more telling that the career colleges have led to more attributes that are advantageous especially to the low- income students who have managed to attain higher education thus securing jobs that are more fulfilling and enjoyable. Individuals who refute with the fact that career colleges are more advantageous to low- income students should learn that federal government and lobby groups are there to ensure equal treatment in the educational sector regardless of the student’s background.
Work Cited
Holmes, Alja. Career Colleges: Do They Take Advantage of Low- Income Students? CQ Researcher, 2014.
Rodríguez, Olga, Katherine Lee Hughes, and Clive Belfield. "Bridging college and careers: Using dual enrollment to enhance career and technical education pathways." (2012).
Shulock, Nancy and Jeremy Offenstein. “Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda”. (2012).
Webley, Kayla. “Are For-Profit Colleges Targeting Low-Income Students?”. (2011) Read More
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