It has become painfully evident that the American college system is bankrupting students while not preparing them for a successful future. The average cost for four years of college in the United States is $35,720. Private colleges, the average tuition is $37,200 per year. The typical cost for four years of a college education is no doubt expensive. Add the cost to live during the college years, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that the student loan debt in America is now approaching $1.7 trillion.
The money is one concern, but it is the fact that colleges are producing graduates not ready or prepared to enter the workforce in a productive manner. The average cost is increasing at about 8% a year, meaning the price of a college education doubles every nine years. Unacceptable for a failing system.
There is now an option, and it is long overdue. The newly created College of St. Joseph the Worker in Ohio offers affordable vocational studies degrees and will prepare graduates to enter the workplace with a trade.
The following from their website sums it up:
The College of St. Joseph the Worker forms students into effective and committed members of their communities by teaching them the Catholic intellectual tradition while training them in skilled and dignified labor. We teach our students to think, but also to pray, to love, and to build.
Beginning in the Book of Genesis, the dignity of human work has long been celebrated as a participation in God’s creative work. By work, humankind fulfills the command in Genesis to care for the earth (Gn 2:15) and be productive in their labors. Saint Joseph, the carpenter and foster father of Jesus, is but one example of the holiness of human work. Jesus, too, was a carpenter. He learned the trade from Saint Joseph and spent his early adult years working side-by-side in Joseph’s carpentry shop before leaving to pursue his ministry as preacher and healer.
College of St. Joseph the Worker fills a void that has been widening for nearly fifty years. After the Vietnam War, the educational community began a crusade to get every student into a four-year college or university. This plan was successful at the expense of the trades, which remain a noble and necessary career. Not every student is right for college; we know that college is not right for every child.
A college that prepares a young person for a trade is a welcome option to the indoctrination centers disguised as liberal think tanks that have strapped millions with loans due to spiraling costs. A person with a trade is on a fast track to a fulfilling life of prosperity as opposed to someone exiting a college with a useless degree in some obscure liberal arts field.
There are other colleges around the country like St. Joseph the Worker, and these institutions have to be promoted as productive entities for the American economy. God knows we need more electricians, plumbers, and welders than we do unemployed college grads with a Political Science degree and a $200,000 student loan.
We thank those who thought outside the box and conceived St. Joseph the Worker College. Not only are you offering a welcome alternative to a useless traditional college degree, but you are enhancing the spiritual side of your students. In one swipe, you have done two beautiful things. You have given your students a proud future and restored God in their minds and hearts. For that, you have earned your spot in today’s Sunday Spotlight.