Sunday, April 29, 2007

Gap years

I propose that all college students take a mandatory Gap year travelling around the world before starting, or even applying, to colleges.

Think about it, a gap year would not only ensure that Universities got well rounded students, but a certain number of kids who weren't cut out to survive in the real world would be weeded out of precious admittance slots.

Some of you might point out that low income students won't have the same resources to pay for the trips, but if a smart resourceful 18 year old can't find the money to travel, then the probably won't make it in school in anyway.

Hell, if we made the made the gap year requirement three years, colleges wouldn't have to worry about underage drinking either.

Note: This comment was made is entirely tongue in cheek.


Liz said...

It's Liz from I Speak of Dreams

I think gap year community service/language fluency has real value for some kids.

I did want Jumper Girl to do a gap year, but she told me off properly, relative to her choice of college (Clark, in Worcester, MA)

JG said, "Mom! I've never lived outside of X county, where it never snows! I've never lived outside of California--I'm going to Massachusetts! I've never lived in a city! All the stuff you think is cool on a gap year, like community service, is fly-in, fly-out. At Clark I can commit over a couple of years!"

She has a point.

rightwingprof said...

Pick a university, any university, and do a simple experiment. Ask faculty at random who are better students: kids out of high school or adults (the euphemism is "continuing" or "returning" students). I'll bet that 99% of the faculty will not only pick the adults, but start ranting about it. Forget traveling. Send students to work for a living for a few years before packing them off to the university.

Parentalcation said...

Amazingly professor, my sister and I have had discussions about this. She much prefers her evening classes to her day classes. Her evening classes are way more likely to have adult non-traditional students who are eager to learn and discuss. She says her day classes are full of young students doing nothing more than filling a block.

I am assuming you agree.

rightwingprof said...

I do agree, and I'm not at all surprised. I've heard way too many faculty say the same thing for too long now.