With the Winter 2018 Semester under way at Glen Oaks, it is timely to reinforce the value added to the region by the College. More than 1,600 students complete course work at Glen Oaks each year, a number that has been growing. These students range in age from 14 to 60+ and pursue studies across all fields. Almost half are in high school building credits to matriculate on to Glen Oaks or any institutions they choose.
One would assume that this investment of time, resources, and intellectual energy is well worthwhile for the participants. The data on the value of college truly supports this assumption. A large study report, “America’s Divided Recovery: College Have and Have-Nots,” published by the Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University, 2016, affirms this. At the time of this study, 11.6 million jobs had been added since the darkest days of the great recession and 11.5 million (99 percent) went to those with at least some college credit. By contrast, workers with a high school diploma or less, have not fared well. The jobs they have regained do not pay nearly as well as before the recession. The collapse drove wages down for unskilled workers and the days of life supporting, low-skilled work pay were gone. Even with increase in the minimum wage — this is still true.
Using these data, one quickly realizes that enrollment at Glen Oaks is an excellent investment for all. The low tuition costs, and even free to high school students via dual enrollment, makes it all the more accessible for all the region’s citizens.
The types of courses to garner range from career/technical to core college studies to personal interest. The student need not necessarily complete a degree as technical skills in such areas as welding, machining and electrical technology prepares individuals for the local employers. A technical certificate in many career areas provides skilled positions with excellent wages.
If a bachelor’s degree is the student’s goal, Glen Oaks provides all the general core courses to transfer. Our partnerships with Trine University, Goshen College, Spring Arbor University and Michigan State University, provide bachelor’s and master’s opportunities right on our campus.
In all cases, the college provides opportunities to prepare for the high-skill, high-pay positions. The St. Joseph County citizens have for more than fifty-years provided the tax support which, in part, helps the college provide the needed educational offerings. Why Glen Oaks? – Why Now? The reasons are both obvious and powerful. The College is the first line of opportunity for all.