Our View: Not everyone is cut out for college

Graduation is around the corner, and high school seniors are anxiously waiting to move on to the next stage of their lives.

For many, that means enrolling in an institution of higher learning.

Despite our nation's emphasis on education as a building block for success, some students simply aren't cut out for college. They may lack the foundation or the desire to continue going to school or their personalities simply may not be suited for a mainstream learning environment.

One-size-fits-all education doesn't fit all, Moffat County High School teacher Rose Siminoe said.

That doesn't mean teens can't be successful or find happiness by taking a different path. And thankfully, our local school system recognizes that education is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

The Alternative Cooperative Education program at Moffat County High School is a great example of how the school district looks out for the needs of all students -- not just those who show the greatest academic promise.

ACE helps students get a taste of the "real world" and prepares them to jump into a job straight out of high school if that's their career plan.

The program makes sure students have jobs during the school year (for which they earn credits toward graduating), it teaches them important life skills, such as work behavior, attitude, ethics, customer service, how to find a job and consumer topics such as budgeting, banking and handling taxes.

Most important, it frames the work experience in a positive light. Rather than making students feel like failures for not having college aspirations, the program teaches them that there are other ways to succeed -- and gives them a realistic view of the kind of work they're likely to find without a degree.

A college education is the best investment a young person can make in his or her life. College graduates earn more money than workers who never went to college and most parents would prefer to see their children give college a shot before trying something else.

But for the sake of students such as Bryce Schell who "would rather be working than going to school," it's refreshing to know that our school district isn't defining success entirely by the number of students it sends to college.

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