Just to pull a comment discussion into the main blog area (Hume-anities--comment), I will elaborate on the impetus of my specific students in going to college. They are, sadly, there to "think big thoughts." For the most part they have heard or feel that advancement only comes through the degree. This quote is typical (posted today, actually):
I notice that a lot of us are experiencing the same thing, a difficult time advancing in our careers without a degree. I too have managed all my life without a degree, but now am finding that if I desire to advance any further, I "must" have a degree. There have been positions open that I have been experienced and qualified to do, but without a degree, I was over-looked. So I decided that this is something that I can control and it was time to do something about it, so here I am!And so here I am...not pushing the notion of big thoughts, but out of exigency, teaching the basic skills.