At Saturday brunch not long ago, I sat down over pancakes and eggs to enjoy the company of an old friend and his recently graduated 22 year-old son. The son was on his way to graduate school on a full scholarship at a large university and his father was basking in the glow of his off-spring’s success.
We talked for time about the importance of education but when I lamented about high tuition costs and said two years at a local community college was a viable option, the graduate student looked at me in horror. (See blog 9/16/13) “Perhaps that was true in your day,” he said in an uffish tone. “But that’s no longer true. A person can’t get into a good 4 year school from a community college.”
“In my day?” Did this callow youth, think that after the age of 30 I’d closed my eyes and gone to sleep? Quite the reverse. After years and years as a teacher, I know the value of an education lies with the student, not the institution. Calculus taught at Santa Monica Community College is the same calculus found at Harvard. What’s more, most “good” colleges have figured out that an applicant smart enough to reduce the cost of a baccalaureate is probably worth admitting.
McMillan Cotton, a one-time recruiter of ITT Technical Institute, who now studies educational issues at the University of California-Davis, became so concerned about rising school costs, she not only left her job but called up “every one of the students she’d enrolled and gave them the phone number for the local community college.” (“Screw U” by Yasmeen Qureshi, Sarah Gross and Lisa Desal, Mother Jones, 9/10/13 pg. 10)
Elitism and snobbery has its price. The right credential from the right school may get a job applicant’s foot in the door for an interview, but it’s no guarantee of success. Worse, to embrace elitism and snobbery suggests that the scholar who values them has graduated without learning much.
(Courtesy of www.businessesgrow.com_