Padawan, meet master

Mentoring and apprenticeships may become a stairway to heaven for some students.

By Melinda Henricks, Staff Writer

The face of education should include a path of understanding aptitudes and defining a goal that makes sense for the student to pursue. If you do not know where you are going, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to get there.

College enrollment and dropout rates are alarming: 30 percent of all college students drop out after one year and fewer than 50 percent ever complete their education. Two of the main reasons, according to, are that students are “academically unprepared” and they have “no identified goals.” The clock is ticking on them to figure it out: After passing a certain number of units, they lose their priority standing in class registration.

Many students embark upon a major only to find out that they are not well-suited or are not interested in the targeted field. According to the Association of American Colleges, 80 percent of all students will change their major. This is discouraging for the student, which contributes to a high dropout rate. If we were able to counsel and assist these students before these problems occur, we would produce better outcomes.

History demonstrates that mentorships and apprenticeships are strategies used as tools that build confidence, assist students in defining abilities, and promote well-being. Students who serve internships have the ability to work in the field they chose to study and get valuable experience. In addition, the student can discover if he/she likes the field and make an informed decision if they want to continuing pursuing a particular career path.

The United States Department of Labor currently offers over 400,000 registered apprenticeships, which can be accessed through their website. One of the defined paths to creating meaning and enjoyment in life is doing what you love, and exploring internships is one way to find your dream job.

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