NETCAT NorthEast Texas Career and Technical Consortium


January 2010

Editorial - Changing the Way we Talk about College…

In our role as educators do we use the word “college” in such a way that many students believe that if they aren’t headed toward at least 4 full years of college, they are not really a part of the conversation?  The country, the state, educators and parents are inclined to talk about college to the exclusion of all other forms of post-secondary education.  What would happen if we educated students about what the term “post-secondary education” means?  If they knew that it could mean an associate’s degree, a one-year licensure or certification program, on the job training, apprenticeships, internships, etc. , would more students listen when we talk about furthering their education.   Would changing that language carry any risks?  Would those students bound for university still go?  Would some students who are willing to go for shorter term post-secondary  options complete those and then go further?  Would those students who start college only to drop out after year one go on and complete a shorter term program and be able to enter the workforce in high need areas.  Do we need and value people to do meaningful work that does not require 4 years of college?

This is the U.S. data from Career Infonet, on the 10 highest paying jobs requiring less than 4 years of college.  To see the remaining 40 and other data of this kind, go to


Computer Specialists, All Other




Radiation Therapists




Nuclear Medicine Technologists




Dental Hygienists




Nuclear Technicians




Commercial Pilots




Fashion Designers




Registered Nurses




Diagnostic Medical Sonographers




Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay




The development of “soft skills” lead to productivity and self respect, both vital for student success.  Each month LifeDraft will share websites or other resources to help teachers introduce or reinforce soft skills.

Websites to help teach teamwork:

Rubric  for assessing teamwork -

Numerous activities for teaching teamwork -


People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”   Vince Lombardi

 NETCAT - NorthEast Texas Career and Technical Consortium

Mary Park, Director…… #903 00,

email:  mary.park@commerceisd.orgsite.