“Don’t believe the hype”—from the rap song Don’t Believe the Hype by Public Enemy (1988); appliquéd on the back of one of boxer Mike Tyson’s jackets
Millions of dollars are spent each year to convince potential students where to study, train, or otherwise prepare for the future. It seems that every day we are bombarded with slick ads; commercials with voices that sound like students and teachers, but are really trained actors; and sometimes even real students testifying that where they attended changed their lives. Some student’s mail boxes are full of brochures that have been market tested to make sure they appeal to the people colleges, schools and training programs want to attract. And Internet search results, that give some places more exposure than others, come to pages on our computers along with pop-up ads whether we want them or not. Some places make it sound as if they are prestigious, not just anyone can attend. Some talk about their athletic teams, their histories, their traditions, and their graduates. Some promise jobs after graduation. Some say their graduates are sought by prestigious firms, hospitals, companies, or other colleges and universities. Some even talk about their party atmosphere and the fun students will have if they attend. Some make it sound as if all a student has to do is show up, and he or she will be guaranteed success.
In reality no school or training program can guarantee a student much, because so much of students’ success depends upon the students themselves. How prepared they are to pass the classes needed. Whether, and to what extent, they take advantage of the resources a school, college, or training program offers. How much they, the students, will study. How prepared they are to solve the problems they will be faced with. How mature they are. All, and more, will be factors in whether a student is successful or not. Maybe all college, school or training program publicity should have a warning label that says:
The result of your investment, including but not limited to your energy, money and time, will depend not just on what we teach. What you learn and your job or career possibilities will also depend upon your preparedness, how much money you have to spend on your education or training, the effort you put into your studies and your ability to solve the problems (such as class scheduling, competing demands on your time and energy, conflicts and rising costs) that may arise while you are attending our school or program.