A recent article in U.S. News mentions that 1 out of every 14 community college students already holds a four-year degree. At some community colleges, the ratio is as high as 1 in 5. This is certainly a bit dispiriting, particularly to the students and their parents who forked over small fortunes for the first degree, only to later decide that a low-cost community college education is what they needed all along.
During my years on a college faculty, it was clear to me that most incoming students really don’t know what they want to do just a few years later. More depth by faculty advisors, earlier student engagement by career services counselors, and better communication of higher education alternatives at the high school college guidance office, are all needed to address this. Students need experienced help figuring these things out, and to wait too long is to risk a very expensive mistake.