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Can Vocational High Schools Be a Viable Alternative to College?

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Published on Mar 3, 2016

U.S. high schools see it as their mission to prepare young people for college. But many students who enroll in college never make it through, leaving them with crushing debt and no degree. Vocational high schools, such as Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in South Easton, Mass., provide an alternative path.

In addition to traditional academic courses, students receive instruction in careers including carpentry, culinary arts, metal fabrication, and video production, with the idea that they can jump straight into well-paying jobs, if they choose to delay or forgo college.

Correspondent John Tulenko takes us inside the school, speaks with students and teachers, and discusses the strengths and drawbacks of this career-focused curriculum.

This video segment appeared on PBS NewsHour on January 27, 2016. ____________________

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Education Week is America’s most trusted source of independent K-12 education news, analysis, and opinion. Our work serves to raise the level of understanding and discourse about education among school and district leaders, policymakers, researchers, teachers, and the public. Published by the nonprofit organization Editorial Projects in Education, Education Week has been providing award-winning coverage of the field for over 35 years.

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