Editorial: Higher education advocated

May. 15, 2014 @ 11:13 PM

Mortarboards are the norm, test results are raising anxieties, and somewhere in the mix are a lot of young faces wondering what comes next.

Welcome to spring? In the education world, yes indeed.

College graduations are in full swing, including another in our front yard when Vance-Granville Community College turns tassels. These are exciting times.

The road to college graduations, whether for a two-year school or a four-year institution, is long and winding. Decision after decision was required outside of the lectures and instruction just to get to this point. Going into the classroom, in some cases, just might have been the easiest part.

We strongly advocate for the college degree. We remain convinced there are many advantages beyond the diploma and what job prospects can evolve with the diploma and knowledge.

College life includes an environment. There is a community within, be it through a residence area, the fellow students within a particular discipline or perhaps a campus organization or athletics team.

Just as in adult life later, when members of the community come together, there is an exchange of ideas. Usually there is a degree of fellowship. And indirectly or directly, each member goes away taking a measure of knowledge absent of any books or lectures.

Thoughts are shaped and beliefs are defined. All are subject to change as we increase our knowledge. But whatever foundation was built as youngsters in the home of our parents, another layer is in place and often it could just be an entirely new foundation.

We believe the growth pattern with education as a centered component will help improve our communities and our society at large.

The individual benefits — call it selfish, even — are easily distinguishable.

Compensation for those with a college degree is estimated, on average, at twice that of those without post-secondary education. While the price is steep for most colleges and universities, the payoff does indeed come. And community colleges have become an even more attractive opening act.

Expertise in a chosen field puts us in unique positions. Our chance to make a difference, to deliver impact, is increased.

For each of our graduates at all levels, we offer sincerest congratulations. All deserve the very best and brightest the future has to offer.