Monday, March 02, 2009

The First Year Out

I just finished reading The First Year Out  by Tim Clydesdale .  Clydesdale is a sociology professor at the College of New Jersey.  This book is the result of a research project he had completed with high school graduates.  He meet the subjects while in their senior year at a New Jersey high school and followed them through the first year after graduations.

This book represents wonderful research in an important area. It tends to read a bit like a research book, I guess, since that's what it is. Not really ready for a mom or dad to pick up as they prepare for jr. to go off to college. Still, I really like the information Clydesdale presents. His implications for parents may have made the whole book worthwhile for me...(reworded)

  1. parents should partner with their children in the post-high school planning process.
  2. look beyond college. The career that follows will be a much bigger part of their life and the "best" college isn't always what is right for the right career path.
    1. many children need a year off to evaluate what is right. Give it too them. I particularly like the idea of volunteering. In the church, I could come up with a million ways to make that worthwhile.
  3. While parents are partners in the planning process, the child must make the final call. No more, "mom wants me to be a ____, so I'm going to be."

That's good advice for students. I wish Clydesdale would have given better help for the church. I'll be working on trying to apply what he deems a spiritual lockbox and how we can help students avoid setting their faith aside for a period after high school.