The dropout plan

A participation award for attending college won’t substitute for a bachelor’s degree. But that’s how the Ohio Board of Regents sees its coveted program that will frivolously pass out one-year readiness certificates and associate degrees in lieu of a four-year degree.

Giving students a chance to take a partial degree and jump into the workforce early will only result in lower paying jobs for Ohio, but that’s what Gov. John Kasich, Jim Petro and the board of regents have been pushing for since day one.

JobsOhio and Teach for America, to name a couple of ill-advised programs, are a precursor to the board of regents new plan. These two programs provide lower paying jobs for undereducated employees from out of the state.

Petro, chancellor of the board of regents, touts that the new program will incentivize students to stay on course and finish their four-year degrees by, get this, offering them an option to enter the workforce early?

Youngstown State University’s Cherie Ruth, a sophomore and dental hygiene major, poignantly sums it up.

“It gives them more leniency to not go for all four years,” Ruth told The Jambar.

We agree. 

Students will drop out. They already do, and this plan only enables them to continue their apathetic ways. YSU retained only 61.9 percent of first-time undergraduates from 2010 to 2011.

According to YSU institutional research, only 13.3 percent of full-time students who first enrolled in 2004 graduated in four years. In six years, 36.8 percent of those students graduated. The rest are jotting down their failed college career as an educational experience on job applications.

The employers know they went to college. They also know they never finished. So how will a certificate for trying make a difference? 

It won’t.