Common Questions: the 4 year myth

Q. Because I am not getting the classes I need, I don't think I am going to be able to graduate in 4 years, what should I do?

A; Relax! According to a 2014 report  by Complete College America only  19% of undergraduates at a public institution (non-research) graduate in 4 years. it is definitely the exception these days.  Unfortunately many parents (and our current culture) seem to believe if a student takes longer to earn a Bachelor’s degree they are just slacking off or not taking school seriously. When in reality, according to the same report, the reasons are because of lack of planning, students transfers, and extra course credits. What does this mean? That we are the ones to blame. We are not teaching students about the many types of careers and jobs available with an earned college degree. This needs to start in middle school and high school Strengths should be identified and encouraged with more courses encouraging job shadowing and informational interviews. Additionally, many students don’t even understand how many majors exist let alone how they translate into a daily work schedule. We should be encouraging students to work.Every college student should work! Part time or on campus is a great option, but working provides students with common knowledge on life after college and the interviewing/hiring process that is essential, and it is NOT a requirement for graduation. Employers want to see you have work experience, so get after it.  Additionally, college has also changed. Many majors require internships, practicums or co-ops which make it difficult for many students to find time within four years to balance it all, especially those that have to work while attending school. So the easy answer is to think about who is more worried about you not graduating in 4 years, you or your parents? Just remember if you don’t rely on your parents for support you don’t have to dwell on their apparent disapproval.