Guest editorial: Student’s PCCAPS criticism disappointing, unprofessional
I read with dismay the 10/24/14 guest editorial regarding PCCAPS a program I wish had been available when I was a high school student.
I do not live in Park City, and am neither a parent nor an educator. I bring a business perspective from a business owner who has significant experience in the hiring process. In the interest of disclosure, I know the program director, and have followed the launch of PCCAPS with interest, hoping that similar programs might become available throughout the country.
I was disappointed to see a young person write with such vitriol, and am not sure that a high school student is qualified to second-guess school board decisions, review a district budget, set compensation, or determine that PCCAPS is a "questionable endeavor." His/her attacks on the program director are like criticizing a CEO for one’s own failure to thrive within a company. Not a winning strategy.
The student resents "enduring" presentations on professionalism. In my own career as an attorney, executive recruiter, and now small business owner, I can state without hesitation that professionalism is a requisite skill set, one we would all do well to brush up on. I certainly didn’t learn it in the 14 hours that the author complains about, much less in the only 15 minutes that s/he thinks is required.
Introduction and orientation are a critical part of any job. A young person I know recently landed a six-figure job at a major consulting firm which required a full week orientation. She understood that this time was an opportunity to learn the structure and modus operandi of the company. PCCAPS offers that orientation and that opportunity an early look at the structure and operation of the business world.
The author also takes umbrage with the fact that students enrolled in PCCAPS cannot drop out. In the real world, commitment drives achievement, perseverance leads to accomplishment, and experts are made, not born. Enrolling in military service requires time pledged in return for education and opportunity, college or graduate school is valuable only if you graduate, an Olympic athlete is made only of a dedication that doesn’t permit quitting, even if the going gets tough. Many of us land in jobs that we don’t necessarily like at the outset. What is important is that we understand that sticking to it results in the knowledge and experience that can take us to the next step.
As a business owner, I can unequivocally say that I would hire a PCCAPS student over another student. As a former recruiter responsible for selecting candidates, I can also say that I would choose to interview a student with PCCAPS on their resume over one who does not. The same is likely true of college admissions, which get tougher every year. These are the criteria by which the program should be judged, not the personal opinion of one resentful student whose letter belies a different agenda.
If PCCAPS students are more likely to get jobs — good jobs that place them on a career path, or if they are more likely to get into a college that will do the same, the program is of inestimable value.
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