The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 6, 2014

Educational leaders rethink technical education

Vocational track gaining momentum

(Continued)

The discussion isn't confined to vocational programs. Some of the proposals call for more hands-on learning and career skills in classes offered at four-year campuses as well.

The new vocational tone has raised at least one concern.

Dane Smith, president of the St. Paul think tank Growth & Justice, said he supported the expansion of vocational education. But he cautioned against making it the default option for low-income and minority students, who often don't have the academic background of their middle- and upper-class white peers.

"We shouldn't consign, relegate or give up too easily on the four-year potential of a lot of these students," he said.

Minnesota Public Radio News can be heard in Mankato on 90.5 FM or at MPRnews.org.

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