The Importance of College | Community Spirit

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The Importance of College
The Importance of College

The recent “Jacksonville Goes To College” event at the Prime Osborn Convention Center shows the
serious interest of students to attend a higher education institution. The attendance this year increased to
approximately 7000 youth and their families compared to 2011 where it was recorded approximately 5000 were
in attendance.
The seriousness of a college education can be seen as
college recruiters talked to students and their families
about the process and procedures for applying to colleges
and universities. Parents listened intently about the wide
range of academic majors, enrollment qualifications, testing
criteria for SAT/ACT and even FCAT scores influence in
college admittance.  

Importantly the financial responsibilities parents will face
and how to offset the costs of college/university with grants,
scholarships, loans and other financial gifts that will help
students attend the college of their choice.

During the many one on one discussions, parents were
consistently told why college is valuable. Students without
an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or even a Master’s degree can
automatically mean being thrown out of an
employer’s search for the right employee. The Bureau of Labor
Statistics, in 2009, shows unemployment rates were
more than twice as high for persons without a high school
diploma than for persons with a Bachelors degree.  Even with a
Bachelor’s many that are hired are given three to four years to
seek a Masters degree before they will be given leadership
positions that will lead to more responsibility and higher salaries.

Minorities and women,  even more vital to obtain a college degree to
be able to compete in a global economy. Shared by Ale'ta Turner 16 Percent In Jax a
Communications Professional and respected Blogger in
Jacksonville,  Florida; in 2010 only 15.5% of African Americans
in Jacksonville obtained their Bachelor's degree
or higher, from the Journal of African American Males
Journal of African American Males the lack of a higher
degree can mean financial stability or economic hardships.

This is significant if minorities and women are to compete and obtain
careers that allow them to earn advanced degrees and provide
a middle class lifestyle for their families.

It is not too early for high school students to consider career goals
now before they are enrolled in higher education.  Establishing
goals provides a plan to achieve, something to work towards. Students
with goals and a plan are more likely to be successful than students
that still need time to “make up their minds.” There is more pressure
to attend and graduate from college so the need to establish a plan is
vital to academic success and financial stability. Students must realize
that a parent’s responsibility will extend into the students 20’s, requiring
parents to make challenging decisions that affect the lifestyle of the
family for years as they work to put one or more children through college.

Student’s academic performance throughout high school will determine
the difference between receiving a scholarship, applying for loans that  
will have to be paid back and working as they go to school. Students
cannot wait until their senior year to “get serious” about having a high
GPA, a high SAT score and rising ACT scores. The process for college
can start as early as elementary school, but traditionally is considered in
middle school in the 8th grade. Elementary schools such as Andrew
Robinson Elementary, Duval County Public Schools, Duval County Public Schools
are work to plant the seeds of higher education
in minds of students as young as Pre-K, this is being done in elementary
education throughout Duval County.

Stated in Population Reference Bureau,
PRB 2012,
“the importance of a college education from parents and teachers beginning
in elementary school is important to creating a mindset on attending and
graduating college. ”Parent’s attempts to explain the value of a college
or even a vocational education sometimes fall on deaf ears of their children.
Published in College View:
"College View" a good explanation is, “the U.S. has been transformed from a
manufacturing based economy to an economy based on knowledge, and the
importance of a college education today can be compared to that of a high
school education forty years ago. It serves as the gateway to better options
and more opportunity.”  

In this era of technological change information is valuable, the collection
of data, analysis of statistics, development of content and management of
information are important and what drive economies, politics, salaries and
influences the economic prosperity of families.

In real life terms information from the U.S. Census Bureau illustrates the
financial value of completing higher education. In 2008, a man with a
professional degree, typically in law or medicine, earned about $100,000,
in education 40,000 compared to about $31,000 for a male high school
graduate if they were able to find professional employment which is not
possible as technical and knowledge skill related careers grow.

“Jacksonville Goes To College” opened many students and parents
eyes to the importance of high GPA’s, consistant high test scores,
involvement in the community by volunteering and how internships can
assist in important ways for future careers and jobs.

Pictures at:
Jacksonville Goes To College
Taken by Wm Jackson

For more information on Jacksonville Goes to College Week activities,
please contact Cedric Cruse, Program Manager, Education Initiatives,
at 630-7258 or

Duval County Public Schools - Duval Schools
City of Jacksonville  - City of Jacksonville

William Jackson, M.Ed.
A teacher in public education over 20 years, past higher education
instructor with Edward Waters College, NASA and the Florida Department
of Education.
STEM teacher at Andrew Robinson Elementary of DCPS and national and
syndicated Blogger at
My Quest To Teach

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