Types, Returning , Debt and Demographics.

Lauren Brush Heidi Dillon

Back to Basics and Foreign Education

Starting out in poverty in Calcutta I fell into fortune by going to the prestigious Loreto Boarding School in India while Mother Teresa dropped in and visited. I lived here for two years from 4-6 years of age before I was sent to America, specifically Corvallis. Those two years instilled the pillars of my life that are in bold in the quote below. Anyone that knows me can attest to this. I didn't realize that I had learned this from the school until I looked up their website and found this on the schools website under the history tab.
I came to Corvallis at 6 to a new family I had never met. They instilled the importance of school in me. My parents had my IQ tested to find out what kind of child they had just adopted and my mom was so happy that I was so smart! Intellect was extremely important to my father who was a physicist and my mother who had three degrees and taught school. They wanted me to live out the typical Asian dream of being a doctor even though they were white. I never lived up to their dream. I went to Oregon State but when I was a senior I had a melt down about my adoption and couldn't focus on school. My grades suffered and I couldn't cope with my issues. I quit. I know they were super sad and let down by my choice. I lost all confidence in myself and thought I could never be anything without my degree and that I was just a college drop out. I based my self esteem and value on this. After I finally got my daughter who is now a senior in college to get her AA in high school a month before her high school graduation I decided I too needed to finish. It was embarrassing for me and I beat myself up for years that I had not finished. It means so much to me now that I came from such a great education in the Loreto boarding school in India as even a child while speaking four languages to now finally finishing my degree this coming year. The Loreto Catholic boarding school taught me to believe in more than math and science but also how we are as a human being in our world.

I have lived with the following as the foundation of my life, the bold words being my pillars of my life.

"The pupils of this institution are set ideals that expect them to put in selfless service for the betterment of the world and its people, and for their own character formation. They are encouraged to guide their lives and deeds, motivated by ethical and moral values. The school aims to provide the best of Indian and Western values, as well as the timeless ancient and the progressive modern. It endeavors to put into its daily living the ever inspiring maxim of its foundress Mary Ward,-'Do good and do it well'."-Loreto House Kolkata

According to the interactionist perspective, people use symbols and "attach social meanings to words, objects, events, or people. This perspective focuses on the social interaction between teacher and student in the classroom and recognizes that social expectations and social meanings are apart of that interaction and play a powerful role in what students learn and accomplish in school as well as how they feel about themselves"(Sullivan 127). As a student I learned to attach social meaning to the words quoted above from the school I attended and made it became a foundation as to how I socially connect and work with others. My interaction with teachers was based on respect because they were nuns.

At Loreto there was a strong core curriculum and a "back to basics" approach. I was required to have more demanding course work than a student in the United States would have had at my age. Catholic schools such as Loreto "have more effective discipline, with more emphasis on obedience and respect for authority"(Sullivan 145) which lead to corporal punishment with a ruler. I was not allowed to speak any other language but English even though that was my fourth language that I learned. I learned this through getting hit with a ruler if I spoke another language.

After attending Loreto, I came to the United States and was so far ahead of all of my classmates, would it be possible that the curriculum in some foreign schools would allow for greater education or was my education more advanced because I was in a private school that was based on a "back to basics" approach with discipline?

Sullivan, T. (2016). Introduction to social problems (10th ed.). New York: Pearson.

Finland's Revolutionary Education System

Science and Technology in Education

Although there are plenty of problems that come along with science and technology in the realm of education, they are actually the driving forces that keep education growing and developing. Coming from a science and technology major (mechanical engineering) I know I have a slightly biased opinion towards innovation and technological advances. According to the book, Science is the process of using systematic observation to gain knowledge about the physical and social world. Technology is the knowledge, tools, and practices that use scientific or other organized knowledge to achieve some practical goal. The words "knowledge to achieve some practical goal" are what should stand out, technology is the force that brings scientists, mathematicians, doctors, and inventors together to better our world of education and communication. The functionalist perspective sees the intertwining of science and technology within education as the cause of a cultural lag, or the gap between the point at which one part of the social system changes and the point at which other parts adjust to compensate for those changes. On the other hand, the interactionist perspective sees the relationships between teachers and students, inventor and product user. Because they view these advances on a case-by-case basis, the interactive perspective views the relationship as much more of a positive advancement. Supporters of advancement say it best when they explain, "without [agricultural] technology, we would not be able to produce nearly the amount of food that we do... we also need modern technology to help us cope with the waste products of a large population". Technology in a world growing as quickly as ours is essential to survival.

Fortunately enough, I was able to go to a high school that had a STEM program which stands for Science Technology Engineering and Media. Because of this, I was able to pursue my interests at a much younger age than most. Being able to take mechanical and shop classes in high school cemented the idea that I wanted to become a mechanical engineer long before I started college. For students who go to what the book calls “back to the basics” schools, they may miss this opportunity completely and begin college with no previous background of what career they want to pursue. Although many view technology as the source of some unemployment and alienation, I believe that if used correctly, technology is the only way to advance but also maintain our quickly growing society. One way to make sure our available and future technology is used correctly is to have technology assessments, a research that studies the impact of technology on our physical, social, and ethical environments and seeks solutions that arise from technological advances. This is exactly what the principle of my high school did; he saw that many student graduating would go on to college with no guidance in what major they wanted to pursue so he thought he would give us a head-start sort of speak with the STEM program. Science and technology can be scary, but if it is used appropriately it will be the key to our future.

-Lauren Brush

Continuing Education...credentials race or wise investment?

Growing up in my household, college was not required or expected. However it was known that if you do choose to continue your education you will have more opportunities provided to you. However, evidence exists that the minimum educational requirements for many jobs today are higher than are actually necessary to do the job (Sulilvan, pg. 128-129)

I would agree in most of my working career that experience is far better than knowledge gained from schooling. I think that continuing your education and receiving a degree proves that you are dedicated and willing to do the work. While your degree may not help assist in your day to day activities of your job, it shows your employer that you can do what it takes to accomplish a major task, stay dedicated and meet the requirements that are asked of you. From an employer perspective it may be wise to go with the candidate that has proven themselves by earning a degree and may help to select specific candidates for the job.

Another important consideration is access to education. If earning a degree helps you get a job than education needs to be available to anyone who chooses to pursue it. It has been said that education is only available to affluent communities. In my own personal experience, I would agree to an extent. However, I was able to obtain scholarships and grants and also had access to barrow the money needed to earn my degree even though I do not consider myself part of the affluent community.

The reality is that a degree will set you apart from other candidates and may help you obtain employment even if you don't use your degree in everyday life. Because employers elevate degree requirements for jobs, people who have earned their degrees, or who are in a position to earn them, protect their own positions and the position of their offspring by restricting the competition (Sullivan, pg. 129). It is also important to note that there are programs out there that can help make education affordable to anyone who chooses to pursue it.

Heidi Dillon

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Suli Breaks - Why I Hate School But Love Education [Official Spoken Word Video]

A Degree For Me

I came from a household where one parent had a high school education and the other a college degree. Throughout high school I was a straight A+ student and had a 2-year scholarship waiting for me when I graduated because I was in the top 1% of my class. Sounds great but I didn't know the value of an education and being the rebellious and board student that I was dropped out of high school with less than 3 months left till graduation. I was even taking calculus and physics as my electives but I had this idea that the piece of paper was not what made me smart nor could it measure my intelligence.

Two kids and several years later I received my GED. After scoring perfect in more than one area on the test I was once again encouraged to go to college but I still didn't see the value in paying for an education. College didn't seem worth the debt and I was uninformed about the grant and scholarship opportunities available.

A few years after that, my family and I moved from Arizona to Oregon so that our children could have a better life away from the crime and racial tension in Phoenix. We came here with almost nothing; no jobs, no home and very little savings. Instead of accepting Food Stamps and TANF checks I was offered a job through the Jobs Plus program. That is when I got my first job at The Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) answering phones.

It was there that I leaned about all of the grant and scholarship opportunities available. All I needed to do was apply. I didn't get any scholarships the first year that I applied but I did get some grants and enough encouragement to give college a try. My second year of college I did not have to take any student loans after receiving several OSAC scholarships.

Now, here I am at Oregon State University completing my BS in economics after already receiving an AS in business at Lane Community College. My story goes to show you that sometimes even the smart kids need some extra assistance to understand the value of an education. -- Kristin Vreeland

Who is OSU?

Did you know that Oregon State University publishes the demographics of their students? You can find out how diverse your school really is. Check out the link below to look at the student demographics for this term.

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission Seeks to Diminish Gap Between Teacher and Student Demographics in the K-12 System

Programs to promote school integration are controversial because many majority white schools might not offer support for minority culture or teaches of color to serve as positive role models (Sullivan 133). There is some concern that this is happening in schools all over Oregon. Check out the report released by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission about the race and ethnicity of students and teachers.

Sullivan, T. (2016). Introduction to social problems (10th ed.). New York: Pearsons

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Grant & Scholarship Resources

The Free Application For Federal Student Aid or FAFSA

"Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation...providing more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 13 million students paying for college or career school.",. (2015). About Us | Federal Student Aid. Retrieved 13 November 2015, from

The Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) is a great resource for Oregon students. OSAC administers several grants and has one application for over 500 scholarships for Oregon residents. Check them out! The application deadline is March 1st.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your parent's level of education and how did that effect your decision to go to college? Are any of you first generation students?
  2. How do you feel about student loan debt and other types of financial aid available?
  3. Do you discriminate based on level of education of others?
  4. What was your positive or negative defining moment with education?