I’ve got some highfalutin’ friends — pretentious wannabees — who think their kids are too high and mighty to attend Pasadena City College.
Uh, no, these darlings weren’t accepted at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford or any of the other top universities in the country. In fact, they didn’t bother to send in applications because they had neither the grades nor the study habits that would have put them in line for admission.
I fortunately don’t know a lot of parents with this foolish attitude of finding their place on the social ladder based on what institution of higher learning their offspring attend.
These few families seem to believe the mighty social connections they have will — and they actually have, in several instances — get their kids through the Ivy League gates by a special circuitous route.
But what my snobby associates have overlooked is the major component of bragging rights, which is not getting into the prestigious institution of higher learning, but getting out — not dropping out — with a degree.
Most of the social-climbing parents I know never endured the rigors of obtaining an undergraduate or graduate degree. Will it matter to them that recently California’s community college chancellor released scorecards for all 112 two-year schools in the state measuring how often students complete an associate degree or certificate, or transfer to four-year schools? Will it matter that the scorecard showed Pasadena City College with the highest completion rate in the San Gabriel Valley?
Curiosity, OK, being nosy, got the best of me and I made a call to just one mother who, some years ago, said she would never let her son attend the local college.
She was troubled with my call and didn’t want to talk about a scorecard, her son, PCC and especially this thing I was on, as she called it, “a mission about.”
She had a point — a very strong one. She and the others who don’t see the importance of kids getting a head start after high school, and before university, must know something I don’t. By suiting up at a place that will acclimate them for the rigors of academia, seems to me they get that head start.
I suspect I got left out of that mom’s thinking because I’m so bullheaded and opinionated that she didn’t think her side of the issue would be heard.
It is true, I am bullheaded when it comes to attending Pasadena City College. I’m a little bullheaded when it comes to talking about the multitude of resources available for students who are enrolled. And I’m a lot bullheaded when it comes to my black friends who never saw to it that their kids acquired good study habits, got good grades, and never really got prepared for higher learning, but now aren’t willing to have them utilize what’s offered at our highly ranked junior college that’s here close to home.