Concerns have been raised about the quality of education produced in the United States. In order to maintain this status, the US is one of the economic giants in the world and requires skilled labor. However, in order to meet their economic needs, the country imports skilled labor every year. President Barack Obama, on the other hand, holds a different viewpoint and proposes that this problem be solved through extended learning. He suggests that all students are engaged in a compulsory community college upon completion of 12th grade to further improve their abilities (The Whitehouse). The US president embraces this suggestion, believing that the scheme is built to offer a successful stepping-stone into the future for the US community. For this reason, this type of education seeks to provide students with skills and possibilities that they would not have accomplished by 12th grade and to provide them with measurable differentiated skills.
Joe Bidden and her wife Jill Biden have been mandated with the task of raising awareness about community colleges as the program is set to start early in 2015 (By Marc Parry). However, there are those that have different opinions concerning the president’s move and are sighting possible cases of the system’s failure even before it begins.
Challenges of Extended Education
The United States is already undergoing a financial crisis, and implementing a proposed compulsory two-year schooling scheme would entail a large amount of financial aid, possibly contributing to the country’s already fragile financial condition. Indeed, by 2012, the actual US debt stood at $487.2 billion, according to the CIA factbook and the National Bureau of Economic Analysis. In contrast to the rest of the world’s economies, the US debt is the worst in the world (Indexmundi). The nation is consuming more products and services than it is exporting, according to this figure. The nation still has heavy external debt and a greater degree of consumer debt. If this happens, the value of the currency would depreciate, and investors would not be able to participate in a nation experiencing a financial crisis of this size. This is because, in contrast to community colleges that involve an individual’s presence, most online organizations are readily available, effective, and less costly. As a consequence, rather than spending two important years of community college, I propose that students enroll in higher education institutions such as universities and invest in further education and training. This is expected to have a detrimental effect on the job sector, since skilled labor would have to remain in position for two years prior to jobs. Policymakers have refused to address how to fill the void that would be left until the mechanism is started by these organizations.
The introduction of expanded education is being disrupted by increasing tuition costs, especially in higher education. The majority of community colleges are facing budget shortages, and the deteriorating standard of higher education is contributing to the difficulties of rolling expanded education.
Extended schooling is unlikely to appeal to a highly dynamic market that wants its employees to be well trained and qualified. For this reason, there is need for students or the labor force to have an associate degree in order to project its economic growth. Despite Obama’s projection of having additional 5 million graduates by 2020, this population is unlikely to be skilled if community colleges have to be rolled (Nelson). According to the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act requires $2 billion for the next four years, which is likely to influence the economy of the country.
I would suggest that the country invest this amount in technical colleges and Universities by working with business associates. This kind of partnership is likely to bridge the gap of unemployment as workers will earn new credentials and promotions after building their education programs that build essential skills.
Although online courses have been discouraged, they have played vital role in acquisition of skills and knowledge. For this reason, instead of boosting community colleges, most of these institutions should be upgraded to universities or institutions of higher education. This will help in boosting remedial and adult education programs and accelerate students’ progress through an integration of developmental and vocational classes. Online institution offering degrees and masters courses have helped in production of skilled labor due to its efficiency, reliability, and cost. It is now easy for students to engage in learning as they work hence this helps in practical application of obtained knowledge.
Although extended education is viewed as one of the ways of reducing America’s labor shortages, it is also one way of contributing to the country’s education woes. Extended education will not only create a wider employment gap but also contribute to the country’s financial and economic crisis. This is because there will be need for investing billions of dollars in the system as well as educating and training more education professionals to serve in the community colleges. This will not be easy for the parents who will have to part with higher costs as payments for the 2 year extended education. Adjustments will have to be done to incorporate this curriculum into the US education system and this is likely to take longer even though President Obama require the system to roll by 2015.
- By Marc Parry, Kelly Field, and Beckie Supiano. The Gates Effect. 14 July 2013. 2013 <http://chronicle.com/article/The-Gates-Effect/140323/>.
- Index Mundi. United States Current Account Balance. 2013. 2013 <http://www.indexmundi.com/united_states/current_account_balance.html>.
- Jeff Zeleny. Obama Calls for Overhaul of Education System. 10 March 2009. 2013 <http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/obama-calls-for-overhaul-of-education-system/?_r=0>.
- Nelson, Libby. To Reach Obama’s 2020 Goal, Colleges Need to Support Adult Students, Panelists Say. 19 January 2010. 2013 <http://chronicle.com/article/To-Reach-Obamas-2020-Goal/63646/>.
- The Whitehouse. Building American Skills Through Community Colleges. 6 April 2013. 2013 <http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/building-american-skills-through-community-colleges>.