Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves A Second Chance at Education

Overview


It’s a statistic that’s sure to surprise: close to 45 percent of postsecondary students in the United States today do not enroll in college directly out of high school and many attend part-time. Following a tradition of self-improvement as old as the Republic, the “nontraditional” college student is becoming the norm. Back to School is the first book to look at the schools that serve a growing population of “second-chancers,” exploring what higher education—in the fullest sense of the term—can offer our rapidly ...
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Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves A Second Chance at Education

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Overview


It’s a statistic that’s sure to surprise: close to 45 percent of postsecondary students in the United States today do not enroll in college directly out of high school and many attend part-time. Following a tradition of self-improvement as old as the Republic, the “nontraditional” college student is becoming the norm. Back to School is the first book to look at the schools that serve a growing population of “second-chancers,” exploring what higher education—in the fullest sense of the term—can offer our rapidly changing society and why it is so critical to support the institutions that make it possible for millions of Americans to better their lot in life.

In the anecdotal style of his bestselling Possible Lives, Rose crafts rich and moving vignettes of people in tough circumstances who find their way; who get a second . . . or third . . . or even fourth chance; and who, in a surprising number of cases, reinvent themselves as educated, engaged citizens. Rose reminds us that our nation’s economic and civic future rests heavily on the health of the institutions that serve millions of everyday people—not simply the top twenty universities in U.S. News and World Report—and paints a vivid picture of the community colleges and adult education programs that give so many a shot at reaching their aspirations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At a time when more and more are flocking back to the hallowed halls of the university in search of re-training and more substantial resumes, famed educator and professor Rose (Possible Lives) rethinks the role of college in American social and political life, proffering moving arguments for higher education reform. As enrollment rosters grow longer, government funding becomes harder to come by, and in keeping with the effects of the ongoing recession, it's the have-nots that are being hit the hardest. Rose himself was a rebellious student who was given, years ago, a second chance by a dedicated teacher, and he packs his newest with similarly triumphant case studies of pupils who made good—as he writes in the preface, "This is a book about people in tough circumstances who find their way." While telling these individuals' stories, Rose explores highly practical areas for improvement in higher ed., such as orientation programs, occupational schools, physical campus layouts, and pedagogical training for new teachers. Those working in secondary education would be remiss to ignore these crucial lessons. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

"Mike Rose shines a light on institutions that are teaching students, young and old, how to rebuild our economy and put America back to work."
President Bill Clinton

"Mike Rose gets it. We either close the monstrous gap between academic study and skilled trades, or we fall into it. Back to School is a second chance not just for those individuals who need one, but for civilized life as we know it."
Mike Rowe, creator and executive producer of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs

"At a time when more and more are flocking back to the hallowed halls of the university in search of re-training and more substantial resumes, famed educator and professor Rose (Possible Lives) rethinks the role of college in American social and political life, proffering moving arguments for higher education reform.... Those working in secondary education would be remiss to ignore these crucial lessons."
Publishers Weekly

"Whether the students Rose interviews are attending school for retraining, for the social interaction, or for a second chance at a better life, his prose pulls readers into becoming cheerleaders for them as they struggle to master basic reading and writing skills or learn the complexities of welding."
Kirkus

"Rose's idealism is the best kind: informed, tough-minded, self-aware. Those of us who inhabit lives on the cushier side of the educational boundary should honor, and act upon, his profoundly democratic spirit."
The Cutting Edge News

"Thoughtful and surprising."
The Washington Post

"Rose is a natural storyteller [with] an inclusive vision...A very important book."
The Daily Kos

"Impassioned, compelling...[Rose] has the knack of an experienced news writer for placing you on the scene."
Education Review

"Rose insists eloquently that every productive adult in our society needs an education that fully engages the mind and heart."
Hedgehog Review

"We see what Rose sees, and hear what he hears, in deep and sustained ways as he travels alongside students he accompanies to class in a range of 'second chance' programs…We get to know those students."
The Journal of Higher Education

"Back to School makes its argument with Rose's usual intellectual thoroughness, low-key eloquence, and keen journalistic eye."
Erin Aubry Kaplan, KCET-TV

Kirkus Reviews
In a series of up-close stories, Rose (Education and Information Studies/UCLA; Why School?: Reclaiming Education for All of Us, 2009, etc.) explains the necessity of secondary education for nontraditional students. The author supports second-chance education programs, believing that "when well executed they develop the skills and build knowledge that can lead to employment but also provide a number of other personal, social, and civic benefits." Whether the students Rose interviews are attending school for retraining, for the social interaction or for a second chance at a better life, his prose pulls readers into becoming cheerleaders for them as they struggle to master basic reading and writing skills or learn the complexities of welding. From adult education programs to community colleges, Rose explores the need for a reassessment of the post–K-12 educational system, noting that growing sectors of the labor market require a four- or even two-year degree. The author calls for a system that allows for a wide variety of students: single parents, workers who can only attend school part-time, those coming from rehab programs or jail, and those just interested in learning something new or in need of a social life. These are the students who often fall through the cracks in the traditional straight-from-high-school-to-college system, and it is to these students that Rose's book will ring true. Even though they "carry more than their fair share of hardship and sorrow," they have the same hopes and aspirations as those fortunate enough to attend one of the top universities in the country and should not be neglected or looked upon unfavorably because of their circumstances. Inspiring stories of older Americans attending secondary schools.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595587862
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 288,274
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Mike Rose, a professor at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, is the author of many books, including Lives on the Boundary, The Mind at Work, and Possible Lives. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Grawemeyer Award in Education, and the Commonwealth Club of California Award for Literary Excellence in Nonfiction. He lives in Santa Monica.
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Table of Contents

Preface: Second Chances xiii

Introduction: Why Going Back to School Matters 1

1 Adult Education and the Landscape of Opportunity 33

2 Who Should Go to College? Unpacking the College-for-All Versus Occupational Training Debate 57

3 Full Cognitive Throttle: When Education for Work Ignites the Mind 67

4 Who We Are: Portraits from an Urban Community College 81

5 Overcoming Bad Ideas: Toward Success with Remedial Education and Bridging the Academic-Vocational Divide 115

6 Improving the People's College 143

Conclusion: A Learning Society 183

Acknowledgments 193

Notes 197

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