This morning I observed Mr. Cogdill's Construction class. I was reminded just how important it is to teach vocational skills to our students. We often here in National news the need for college preparation for students, what we don't hear is the need to teach other 'vocational' skills for students. This morning, students were working in individual construction modules where they end up fully remodeling a bathroom. At the beginning of the semester, modules are framed only, students must complete all of the electrical, plumbing, sheet rock, painting, etc. As many of us adults know, learning these skills can save a lot of money in later years as we become homeowners, whether we attempt a full remodel in our own homes or whether we need to fix a leak or do some minor repair work. Another obvious advantage to teaching these skills to students is to expose them to career opportunities. The need for skilled laborers is high and the opportunities for people to make good money in providing these services to growing communities can provide a life-long career that doesn't require a 4-year degree. I strongly believe that students need to be prepared for further education beyond high school, but specialized vocational education needs to be emphasized just as much as college preparation.