Now More than Ever, Put Education First
Through my conversations with other college presidents, industry experts and numerous
colleagues in the field of higher education, it is clear that many college students
are continuing to hold off on enrolling for fall semester classes. With so much that
has happened recently—the surge in COVID–19 cases, the tragic death of George Floyd,
the impact of climate change, a faltering economy as well as a political landscape
that threatens to further divide our nation—it is no wonder students across the country
are taking a moment to stop and think about their future and the direction they want
their life to take.
This is certainly understandable. With the college years often cited as a time for self-reflection and discovery, it is natural that today’s students are pausing to consider their options. And faced with the challenges of a rapidly changing world brought on by global pandemic, extreme weather events, and social and racial injustice, many students are now left questioning their priorities as well. Suddenly, taking a year off seems more worthwhile than the thought of spending a year, two years or four years in school when everything else in life seems to be moving so fast.
But is it? Taking time off for reflection and to pursue other interests might seem like the right thing to do, but it won’t help students make progress toward achieving their goals. Instead, it is much better—and smarter—to stay in school, either by returning to campus for class or enrolling in online courses.
Nelson Mandala once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is worth noting that he spoke these words to a group of U.S. high school students just 132 days after he was released from a South African prison where he spent 27 years of his life—a life committed to the pursuit of equality, racial justice and freedom from apartheid.
Today, more than ever, we need scientists, researchers, educators and reformers of all kinds. We need community and business leaders, chemists, biologists, virologists, epidemiologists, environmental engineers, climatologists, entrepreneurs, cultural anthropologists, economists, teachers, inventors, doctors, lawyers, health and social workers, manufacturers, peacekeepers—we need all the smart, capable, positive change makers the world can produce.
If we’re ever going to be the just, inclusive and vibrant society we truly want and deserve to be, we need to make learning a priority. As a society and as a country, we need to value knowledge, skills, talent, new ideas and innovation, and new ways of doing things. We need to embrace change that improves the lives of us all. And all of this starts with education.
If you haven’t yet had an opportunity to see how CCAC can help you achieve your academic and career goals, I invite you to take part in one of our upcoming open houses—you can even do so virtually, all from the safety of your own home.
CCAC offers nearly 160 academic programs across a wide range of career fields. Registration for fall classes is now open, so there is still time to enroll. Some of our most popular programs include Nursing, Cybersecurity, Information Technology, Culinary Arts, and Mechatronics as well as our Commercial Driver’s License program, which can put you on the road to a new career in eight weeks. No matter where you may be in your educational journey, there is a place for you at CCAC this fall.
Dr. Quintin Bullock