Dec 08 2008

Two-Year Community College Students Outperform Four-Year University Geeks!



Following is one professor/management-trainer/business consultant’s opinion based on in-depth observations and lifelong association with thousands of community college and four-year university students in academic and work settings on five different campuses in three different States:


The ability to distinguish life and work performance reality from fantasy is far superior among older, more work-experienced, but lower academic-ranked 2-year community college students than it is with four-year university students. 

     What?  You’re crazy!  How’d you figure that?  It’s apples and oranges.  How can you compare some rinky-dink community college with Yale or Harvard?

     Actually, there is no comparison.  Rinky-dink community college students are far more accomplished in meeting and exceeding the demands of life and work reality than their Ivy League counterparts.

     How’s that possible?  Just think about it. 

     Joe and Theodore graduate high school together with approximately the same grades.  Theodore heads straight to Princeton with Dad’s money where he excels in English Literature and plays lacrosse.  Joe enlists in the army, is shipped to Iraq and earns quick frontline promotions for his heroics and leadership under fire. 

     Joe re-ups for another couple of years while Theodore, at age 22, graduates with a BA in English and a lacrosse trophy.  Theodore’s Dad rewards him with a summer on the beaches of the Caribbean, before heading off to graduate school (that Dad’s paid for) to get his master’s degree. 

     Joe returns home and takes a nights and weekends job on the loading platform of Ideal Computer Company while he takes daytime classes in programming.  Theodore spends every minute alternating between weekday studying and weekend partying.  Dad wires him money whenever expenses come up. 

     At 24, Theodore gets his master’s degree and decides he wants to teach.  Dad agrees to pay for doctoral studies and sends him off on another summer junket to the Caribbean before beginning his PhD program. 

     Joe gets promoted to a warehouse supervisor position , marries a childhood sweetheart and becomes the father of twins.  His wife’s father dies and Joe agrees to take on her two younger siblings until they get through high school.  Joe takes a second job on weekends to feed the extra mouths. 

     Joe’s wife helps him through enough independent study credits to qualify for admission to the local two-year community college (where 98% of fulltime students are fulltime employed and average student age is 30), where he enrolls in the computer design program. 

     Theodore earns his PhD degree and, at age 28 (he took time off to rest; guess where?), starts teaching English Lit at NYU.  Joe struggles with juggling his two jobs, family and studies.  In the next two years, Theodore has two years of professorship under his belt, but no real job experience, no steady relationships, except (still) with his Dad’s wallet. 

     Joe has completed his two-year degree, been promoted two more times and is a program design supervisor earning enough to support his family comfortably, help his wife start with her studies, and replace his weekend job with a new computer design company he’s launched, and been able to hire his wife and her younger brother and sister.  Joe earns three times as much as Theodore.

     Theodore gets caught in a campus-wide budget squeeze and is released before tenure time is accumulated.  His Dad sends him to the Caribbean to get rejuvenated.  Theoodore returns to the only job he can find, on the loading platform of the Ideal Computer Company.

     Sad, but true.  And, after working with more than 20,000 students, I can attest that this story is more the rule than the exception. 

Bottom line: You only appreciate what you work to earn, and life experience counts a whole lot more than academic experience when it comes to separating reality from fantasy, unless you’re an academic, and naturally will want to argue all this.  If that’s the case, go find a mirror, and have fun! 


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Hal@Businessworks.US  302.933.0116

  Open minds open doors.

 Thanks for visiting and God bless you.

   Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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