Trade School Enrollment Increases As College Drops In Pennsylvania
EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — College enrollment numbers across the nation are slipping, but in Pennsylvania, the numbers of college enrollments is the lowest the state has seen in years while trade school enrollment increases?
Not only are college enrollments as a whole on the decline, but there is also an especially steep decline in state-owned universities as well.
In Pennsylvania for example, young minds are being put to work at Monroe County Technical Institute near Stroudsburg.
Justin Amoruso is a sophomore at Pleasant Valley High School and a tech student studying carpentry.
“I was always hands-on. I like to work with my hands. I am skilled in mathematics, and so I figured let me try a tech school,” Amoruso said.
According to administrators at the tech school in Pocono Township, enrollment is up about 15 percent since 2014, and the need for trade workers is in high demand.
“One thing that we take pride in is that we give kids options,” said MCTI director Dennis Virga. “If they want to enter the workforce through credentials or certifications or if they want to go to post-secondary, we do advocate for them to go to post-secondary, but it’s important that they have those options.”
At Houredu.com we share a similar sentiment. Through polling on our social media channels and reviewing our internal analytics from content distributed through our site, we have seen a big shift in the mindset of today’s youth.
Many are feeling like traditional college is a complete rip off that leaves them with little prospects of getting a job and the burden of lifelong debt.
In fact, we had many people reach out to us through social media boasting the high paying careers they have as a result of attending trade school.
Many of our followers have shared their yearly income in excess of $150,000 a year for jobs like electricians, welders, HVAC tech, mechanics and more. Some have even shared their entrepreneurial success stories going from trade school to multi-millionaire.
“It’s important that the youth of today are aware of the alternative education options available to them. Not only should they be aware of the options available they should understand the career impacts these options will have. I know electricians who enjoy working with their hands who have larger salaries than some of my friends on WallStreet, who hate their jobs!” – Quintin Ford (founder at Houredu.com)
With Trade School Enrollment Increases College Decreases.
Administrators at East Stroudsburg University say colleges across the state are feeling a pinch when it comes to meeting enrollment numbers.
Since 2010, enrollment at ESU is down 16 percent, and it’s the same at other state-owned universities.
- Bloomsburg is down 14 percent,
- Lock Haven is down 42 percent,
- Mansfield is down 51 percent.
At East Stroudsburg, the shift is forcing educators to create more avenues for students.
“I think it certainly has helped us take a real hard look at our programs and do a real self-evaluation of what the best things we can do to help move students forward and make them give them the opportunity for the best potential for success,” said Bill Cheetham, ESU enrollment management.
“We are recognizing that our students are changing, that more and more the types of students we have are going into the area that is nontraditional,” said associate provost Jeff Weber.
“The shift, it’s not a crisis. It’s a population shift that you’re supposed to be providing a service to. That is all we are really doing. It’s one of the main things we are doing on the academic side.”
For students at ESU, enrollment decline across the state does not come as a shock. And while some students question if their degree is worth the tuition, they understand some careers come with a price tag.
“It’s a little bit frustrating, but if it’s what interests you and that is what is going to make you happy in the end, then you do need to do to be happy, in my opinion, no matter the debt,” said senior Allyson Stitzer.
“I was never really a person to work with my hands, physical stuff. I have always been really good with academics and intellectual stuff. For me, it was easier for me to go to college, learn the information and then apply it to what I want to do,” said grad student Dominique Di Cola.
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, officials say one area of focus is student retention. Officials are looking into how they can improve academic advising and help students in danger of dropping out.
The major thing we see in from the past and current youth is that they aren’t being properly informed about their educational options.
Many high schools and parents alike are stuck in the mind frame that college is the only pathway to success therefore, the only thing kids are learning is that they need to go to college.
And the college advisors are used to the cookie-cutter approach of presenting only “traditional college” options. How many college advisors out there are brave enough to pitch the idea of trade school to students and parents?
The options just not being revealed and that’s part of our mission here at Houredu.com. We are driven o make this information available!
Our tagline on our home page is “College options you never knew existed” and we that by presenting alternative options as “college options” we can create a connection and immediate understanding with our audience who are seeking post-secondary education alternatives.