Mrs. Obama: High school diploma not enough First lady Michelle Obama cheers as she arrives for a town hall meeting at Howard University in Washington. The first lady visited as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment
Mrs. Obama: High school diploma not enough
Lexile

It may be a few years before the first daughters head to college, but Michelle Obama is already brainstorming a dorm room checklist while encouraging high school students to dream big about their education beyond graduation.

The first lady told a group of students Thursday that a high school diploma is not enough in today's global economy.

"No longer is high school the bar. That is not enough," Mrs. Obama told the crowd. "You have got to go to college or get some kind of professional training."

Before her remarks, the first lady toured a Howard University residence hall with high school juniors and seniors from her hometown of Chicago. "How do you get a single room," Mrs. Obama asked the tour guide, as the students chuckled. He replied: "There is a slight price difference."

The campus visit is a part of Mrs. Obama's push to promote higher education, especially President Barack Obama's "North Star" goal. By 2020, America would once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

After the tour, the first lady led a discussion moderated by rapper and TV host Bow Wow in a university cafeteria, the Punch Out. Mrs. Obama shared her own college experience and said she wanted to support the high school students because "this transition for some of you may be a little scary."

"The only reason I saw a dorm was because I visited my brother once when he was in college," she said. "That was the only exposure."

Mrs. Obama added that she had applied to Howard, "one of the finest universities in the country," along with Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison when she was considering higher education. She went on to attend Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

"We have to have a hunger for education like we had when our parents and grandparents were fighting for us to have a right to come to these schools and get the education," she said. "So now it's up to you all to take that baton and do the very best you can with it."

The high school students will also attend classes with their hosts and meet with university officials as part of their four-day visit.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is a high school diploma alone no longer sufficient in a global economy? A generation ago, did American workers compete with workers in other countries? What do American workers do best? Here's a hint: Think Apple, Pixar, Tesla

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COMMENTS (38)
  • jessicawmawd
    4/21/2014 - 10:26 a.m.

    A high school diploma is no longer sufficient in the global economy because the jobs of this time take more requirements and expierence. You aren't qualified for anything with just a diploma.

  • kf24smile
    4/21/2014 - 01:04 p.m.

    I agree students should want to do more to try and succeed. they should want more than a high school diploma for their futures. They should try their best to reach their goal.

  • Donnie Rockholt
    4/21/2014 - 01:15 p.m.

    I think it is good how Michelle Obama takes the time out of her day to let high schoolers know that it is more important to go to college instead of keeping a high school diploma

  • keylanmurry
    4/21/2014 - 02:56 p.m.

    I think it is great that she is supporting students to go the extra step and go to college. But some people are not as fortunate and might not be able to. i think going into the Army and serving our country is just as important as college.

  • raegannestell
    4/21/2014 - 03:13 p.m.

    That's cool that she is giving a tour and helping out the high school kids. I find it pretty cool that she is a first lady who goes to small towns to help out I think she is an amazing first lady!

  • LaurenM-1
    4/21/2014 - 10:47 p.m.

    First Lady Michelle Obama visited Howard University in Washington for a town hall meeting. She told a group of students that a high school diploma is not enough and they need to go to college or get professional training of some kind. The visit to the campus was partly to promote Mrs. Obama's push for a higher education. It also was to promote the president's "North Star" goal which is to have America have the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020. The first lady also shared her own college experience, she applied to Howard, Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin- Madison then later attended Harvard and Princeton for a higher education. I think it is great the First Lady is encouraging students to go beyond the average student.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    4/22/2014 - 12:45 a.m.

    I think First Lady Michelle Obama is right and crazy because she goes around to people saying that "you need more education" or "Let's go on a field trip to Princeton University, then UCLA, then USC, then etc. I think visiting universities before you go to college is important because if a student got accepted to a certain university, then that person would know what it looks like, where it is, what classes there are, etc. I kind of agree with the First Lady that getting a high school diplomat is not enough because after graduating high school, you need to seek a job you want to get.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why is a high school diploma alone no longer sufficient in a global economy? A generation ago, did American workers compete with workers in other countries? What do American workers do best? Here's a hint: Think Apple, Pixar, Tesla
    Answer: A high school diplomat is no longer sufficient because you still need to go attend 4 years of college. American workers do best on engineering because almost each modern thing they make is better than the previous model like the Galaxy S5.

  • Haley34333
    4/22/2014 - 09:38 a.m.

    It's great a person can take the time to show us younger kids that you need better than a high school diploma If I could tell her one thing I would say she should be proud of herself

  • Hailey33301
    4/22/2014 - 09:54 a.m.

    I think its a good idea to go to collage, because you can't really make it with just a high school degree. I also think it's nice of the first lady to go talk about it, because it needs to be addressed.

  • nnj28girlgamer
    4/23/2014 - 08:47 a.m.

    i think that the bar is a little to high for highschoolers. they may not wqant to even finish highschool but they do and they graduate. my thinking is that not every one has the money and time to make it to such a high bar.i myself want to go to colledge but i have no idea how im going to find the money i dont even have a job yet.i have set my eye for many colledges such as princeton and boston university, but i do not know what will happen with my future learning whether i make it in to the such schooling ,whether i hasve the money and even if i dont get accepted. what im saying is that this is a bar to high for many people.

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