There is always that person that is more mature and advanced than their peers at any level. All people have different drives as well as ways of thinking. High school kids are no different; in fact the high school environment is a great location to view these differences between our young men and women. While many students take there high school learning opportunity differently, all students should have to go the recommended four year plan instead of opting out for a quick two year diploma which will leave them unprepared for life. Students take a lot out of their high school experiences, ranging from the chemistry experiments to after school activities such as high school rodeo or Friday night football games. According to Jayson “You have to look at the whole four-year experience, of the National Association of Secondary School Principals” Young men and women that choose to load themselves down assignment wise for a two year graduation tend to miss out on other valuable learning experiences. For example, if you’re constantly doing work, work, work, you miss out on things like communicating well with peers, the teamwork learned that goes with sports or any after school program. There is so much more to learn throughout high school that can be learned by opting out with a quick two year degree. Another thing four year students get out of high school that a two year student might not get is elective classes. While it’s unanimously agreed the core subjects are more vital than electives such as forestry, auto shop, etc. these are still places for valuable lessons and problem solving skills as well. According to The Practitioner “adjustments to post high school life can be difficult.” Four year students will be more prepared for the real world having taken some information from their high school experience that two year degree programs won’t have the opportunity to learn from. High school students who chose to graduate in two years average the age of sixteen years old. The average four year high school graduate averages eighteen years of age. While two years may not seem like much it is legally as well as socially in the community. While they may receive the same diploma the students may not receive equal respect. It will be significantly harder for a sixteen year old boy to find a job than an eighteen year old man. Adults view a sixteen year old as a young care free kid and often are not taken seriously, especially in the work place. With two more years in school the student would have been given the opportunity to grow and mature more. This would further prepare them to work with adults.
Many people argue that an early high school graduation will result in earlier job opportunities. However, these people often don’t take into consideration that the early graduates are still under the legal age of eighteen. With them being young they also will be inexperienced which will deter many businesses away from their assistance if possible. Young people also tend to be a safety hazard on the job site do to their lack of experience. Another problem is adolescents that work long hours tend to develop substance abuse at higher rates. According to Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson “ Of particular concern is the constant finding across panel studies that adolescents who spend greater time in paid work report higher levels of substance use.” Turning a child into the adult world to premature often results in negative effects for the young person as well as society.
One main point always brought up early graduate supporters is that the student will be able to start their secondary education sooner. However this can be accomplished without ever leaving the high school campus. According to Nancy Hoffman, “Students in dual enrollment programs remain formally enrolled in high school but take college courses, taught by either high school or college faculty, in classrooms located either at their high school or on a college campus.” A growing number of high schools now offer college creditable courses to their students after completing their high school curriculum. Present day students are presented with a great opportunity to farther their education without dealing with the pressures of being on a college campus away from home for the first time.
Author. The Practitioner. Arlington Virginia, 1975
Jason, Sharon. We need cure for 'senioritis. USA Today, 2005
Johnson, Monicka. “Further Evidence on Adolescent Employment and Substance Use”
Journal of health and Social Behavior, 2004, Vol 45 June
Hoffman, Nancy. “College Credit in High School: Increasing College Attainment Rates
For Underrepresented Students.” January 2004