To The Editor:

Recent editorials in The Missourian have suggested that young people need to look to tech and the traditional trades as alternatives to a four-year college degree. Why not combine the two, with a four-year degree which provides both a liberal education and an employable skill?

A bachelor’s degree takes approximately 360 classroom hours. An associate degree is 180, and a technical certificate such as I hold in printing technology took me 128 hours in night school, since the university I attended would not mix and match academics and tech courses.

Why not? Missouri’s college general ed requirements are covered in 180 classroom hours (60 credit hours) by the associate degree. Add 128 hours of technical instruction in a trade or tech field, and you have 248 hours of classes. That leaves 112 hours (30.4 credit hours), which could be distributed amongst internships, a minor in another field, like business administration or a foreign language according to the student’s needs with an eye for employment or personal growth.

It might even be put into supervised work-study for the school, like College of the Ozarks does, to reduce a student’s loan debt.

I wish I could have had such an option, instead of having to cobble together my own education with a degree in writing, working in the real world, and a tech certificate while I worked. Are there educators listening?