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Steph,
You're speaking as an Ontarian, I understand, but you're representing Canadians and I have to say that in BC, our colleges, albeit that we're playing around with such new terms as university-college (my own, for example), are not all the same as Ontario's. We offer numerous degrees, have many students go directly from us to Law school, library school, veterinary programs, med school, and all kinds of graduate work. In fact, I did my undergrad at our college, and then went on to do my M.A. and my doc at "real universities." And here in BC, at least, we've seen some very aggressive advertising by universities aimed at our students (and I mean that quite literally since ads have even appeared in our student newspapers), especially those students who might traditionally have gone to "community college." I agree with some of the distinctions you seem to favour, but I think that some of the assumptions about what colleges do have been ill-founded and it sounds as if perhaps this campaign is trying to change that.

How strange and remarkable. In the States, nearly everyone goes to college or some sort of higher education. I went a prestigious and cut-throat university but was considered odd in my mother's family as one of the few who didn't go to art school. One of my professors even corresponded with my Aunt on her work, independent of me! Of course, one's normal is another's odd, but it still stuns me that people infer so much about an education acquired so young. What on earth can we know about ourselves at 18?

I so agree that a range of options should be available to late teens. Here the pressure is on virtually everyone to go to university, and we are starting to have serious trade shortages as a result. Also, there are a group of students at this university (not very capable ones) who seem to think that a degree is something you get for enrolling. One of the engineering lecturers said to me that he thinks some of his students should really be doing mechanic's apprenticeships - what they really want to do is fix things, but they've been channelled into university. Some people are combining university and trade training successfully - my electrician has a business degree, which he did part-time alongside his apprenticeship. But it's becoming a real problem. I think a lot of the kids in this group are first-generation Aussies, and their parents (quite naturally) want to see them get on. However, they are seeing university as a kind of holy grail, guaranteeing future success, rather than looking at at what their offspring are really best suited to.

Perhaps what's saddest about this is what it reveals about the fairly wholesale adoption of a business model, agressive advertising and all, by universities and colleges both. This push for "bums in seats" has ramifications at every level and in every area of our educational system and that's true internationally.

maybe the point is:

"get an education, realize your ReichWing Oblivion parents are comfortable pandering with fascists... & get involved in politics to fix the mess we're in..."


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BlueBerry Pick'n
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"We, two, form a Multitude" ~ Ovid.
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materfamilias

obviously, you aren't aware of what colleges are about in Ontario.

Ontario colleges have similar affiliations.

It would be nice if Canadians were more aware & more respectful of each other & other regions.

Why? because if we want to be mean to one another, we stand no chance of standing up against American corruption & corporate malfeasance that oozes over our Border at ever turn.

~~~
~~~
Spread Love...

BlueBerry Pick'n
can be found @
ThisCanadian
~~~
"We, two, form a Multitude" ~ Ovid.
~~~
"Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced"

Kind of interesting. And I've met a few students in my career whose parents I would like to have strangled for pushing their children into a "good" university instead of helping them do the course they wanted at a less prestigious institution.

And prestige is what it boils down to because heaven knows we are going to need plumbers. And that many university students are interested in something directly related to a job and not the kind of education that a degree should be.

And yes, materfamilias, there are degree programs in Ontario colleges, too. And the kind of arrangements between colleges and universities that you have in BC where kids can start a degree at college and do the last two years at university.

But for me, the issue is why are we pushing DEGREES on everyone instead of providing the kinds of education that they need. IN this I agree with the engineering prof that M-H refers to.

Here in the States, a community college is a two-year school awarding an Associate of Arts degree. Often the students then transfer to a four-year school ... can be a collete or a university ... to finish a Bachelor of Science (or Arts) degree. The costs are lower at the community college because it is supported by tax dollars in that community or district. Many counselors in high school advise students to do the first two years of their higher education at such a school just for that reason. It also gives a student an opportunity to find out if higher education really is what they want to do.

In my local area, we also have some colleges which specialize in what I suppose you would call vocational education. These are the schools which train people to do various things like becoming a respiratory therapist or office manager/administrative assistant or something else. Those programs can vary in length.

Then the trade unions sometimes have schools where they teach people interested in learning a trade like carpentry, electrical, plumbing, etc.

I'm attending a University College to return to nursing. I had a diploma from a hospital. Then I will do two years at my own University College to get my nursing degree. How confusing is that in BC?
I don't like the advertising that one option is "better" than another. Each option has to be considered for the individual. My son will be graduating next year and needs to go to a school where he can explore what it is about architecture that really interests him. No prestige about it. I'm going to encourage him to get a broad (Canadian) arts and science degree because he'll probably change his career after 10 years anyway.

What I find lacking in the whole Obay thing is that it doesn't address the peer-pressure thing at all. I was chatting a few weeks ago with a 19-year-old who is a role-model for my son. He's at George Brown College studying a trade, and his peers in high school couldn't believe that anyone could find fulfillment not being a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. I hope the next stage of the campaign addresses that. Somehow I doubt it, though.

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