Seeing Hope for Flagging Economy, West Virginia Revamps Vocational Track

Vocational education is making a comeback – not as a fallback option for high school dropouts but as a means of boosting the economy. These schools simulate workplaces, from time cards, promotion opportunities, to random drug testing. Administrators believe that this structure will get future employers to take technical students as serious, competitive applicants. This article discusses the nation’s shift in focus from presenting college as the only respectable path after high school to demonstrating that a technical education provides a hands-on education and tools directly applicable to a thriving career.

Click here to read this article by Dana Goldstein.

Dropping Out of College Into Life

The beginning of college is a stressful time: students have to adapt to new teaching styles, social groups, and extra-curricular activities. Freshmen especially feel the pressure to gush about how much they love their new classes, friends, and experiences when in fact the pressure to excel in all these fields may be paralyzing. Some students are so anxious in this environment that they drop out of college, even though they may be hard-working individuals. This article describes the life of one such student – while college was not conducive to her personal growth, learning and working experiences outside of the classroom proved far more beneficial, and eventually resulted in a college diploma.

Click here to read this article by Rainesford Stauffer

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

The ACT is coming up. You think you’re ready. You’ve studied well, sharpened your pencils, and set three alarm clocks just to make sure you don’t oversleep. What could possibly go wrong?

Just to give you an idea, here’s an email that I received from a student after the ACT:

“Not to be a downer but the last 5 hours of my life honestly belong in an ACT from hell movie. Besides the proctor actually being moderately illiterate and no clock, just a time based off of his watch, a girl got the hiccups for the entire reading section, a janitor vacuumed the hallways, two girls actually had conversations throughout the test, half the room didn’t bring their admission tickets or pencils, and some boy kicked me every 5 minutes. It was definitely quite an experience. But, I did my best…”

This real email should serve as a warning. Not everything is in your control! Whatever you worry about going wrong probably won’t – but chances are, there is plenty that will. So add this tidbit to your test day preparation list: get ready to roll with the punches. Do your best and never give up, no matter what fate throws your way. And don’t get discouraged even if the test taker behind you is making awful noises or kicking you.

P.S. The student who wrote this email actually reached her target score! She handled the distractions with humor and refused to give up the fight.

So remember, stay focused, do your best, and don’t panic!

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