If you were to go out and ask a person on the street why they think some people take a few college classes, but do not get their college degree, you might hear a lot of different answers. Some may say that people who do not get their degree probably don’t have the time to finish college while working or supporting a family.
Others may say that people who don’t finish college may not have the money to pay for higher education. Both of those may be legitimate reasons, however there are myths that circulate about why a person may start college, but not finish.
Here is an excerpt from an article entitled, “Why Don’t Students Finish College and What Can We Do to Help?” that dispels a myth about why students don’t graduate from college and what can be done to help them:
“Myth No. 4: Students who don’t graduate understand fully the value of a college degree and the consequences and trade-offs of leaving school without one.
Reality No. 4: Students who leave college realize that a diploma is an asset, but they may not fully recognize the impact dropping out of school will have on their future.
In high school, fewer of the college dropouts thought that they’d attend college than the college graduates. Fewer dropouts thought that their teachers believed they’d attend college. They didn’t have their family’s support, either. The dropouts’ families didn’t value a college education as much as those of college graduates.
Our mission as teachers is clear: we need to communicate the importance of higher education. The students who drop out of college don’t have a strong push from their families to finish their education. We need to provide that push while the students are still in secondary school. Just talking about possible careers and the career paths in our disciplines can help students visualize the steps they need to take to find a job in a field they love. The research shows that students who do not graduate from college didn’t have as clear of an idea of what career they were aiming for as those students who did graduate. Teachers can easily supply the information and support students as they develop their career goals.
The study also found that students want to take classes in the evenings and on weekends. They’d like more financial aid for part-time students who are trying to work and go to school. Many students would like access to affordable day care options while they take classes. These are important changes, but not really changes that teachers can make.
However, we can support our students, especially first-generation potential college students. Their families aren’t pushing college and they don’t have the home support to work, go to class, and eat Ramen noodles for four years. It’s a struggle for any kid, but it’s really hard for students who have a hard time picturing themselves in a collegiate cap and gown.”
Step Up to Your Dreams – Step Up to Higher Education
If you are someone who started college, but for whatever reason did not complete you degree, what is the reason that you didn’t finish college?
It is important to understand the real obstacles that might be in the way of completing your college education. When you know what stands in your way, you can talk with a mentor or counselor who can help you break through those obstacles and provide resources and information for you. We encourage you to find help today so you can get back on track with completing your higher education.