Mathematics Grade 8

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1 Why College? Lemnique s Experience Teacher Version Grade level: 8 Suggested Duration: 1 hour or class period Target Audience: Students who have not considered the impact of higher education on lifetime wages Mathematics Grade 8 (14) Underlying processes and mathematical tools. The student applies Grade 8 mathematics to solve problems connected to everyday experiences, investigations in other disciplines, and activities in and outside of school. The student is expected to (A) identify and apply mathematics to everyday experiences, to activities in and outside of school, with other disciplines, and with other mathematical topics Background for students. (The teacher may use this background to start discussion before handing it to students as part of the Think/Pair/Share problem.) As you could tell from the video, Lemnique is doing what she loves to do, and she s known what she wanted to do for some time. It s also fortunate, or good planning, that her career pays well. Did you know that the median annual wage for veterinarians was $84,460 in May 2012? (The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $51,530, and the top 10 percent earned more than $144,100.) A college education is a big investment, but over a person s working lifetime, it can really pay off both financially and in terms of enjoyment in one s profession. This holds true across professions not just for veterinarians. According to the National Center for Education Statistics Teacher presents and explains the following. Students Students may need some reminders here about how percentages are determined. For young adults ages who Students listen and take notes, ask worked fulltime, year round, higher questions. educational attainment was associated with higher median earnings; this pattern was consistent for 1995, 2000, 2002, and 2005 through For

2 example, in 2012 the median of earnings for young adults with a bachelor's degree was $46,900, while the median was $22,900 for those without a high school credential and $30,000 for those with a high school credential. In other words, young adults with a bachelor's degree earned more than twice as much as those without a high school credential (105 percent more) and 57 percent more than young adult high school completers. Additionally, in 2012 the median of earnings for young adults with a master's degree or higher was $59,600, some 27 percent more than the median for young adults with a bachelor's degree*. Or to look at it another way: Teacher presents these statistics to the students on board or slide: Median income, HS diploma, no college degree $22,900 $30,000 $46,900 $59,600 Assignment. Teacher hands out the student version below. Think/Pair/Share: In groups of two, determine by what percentage Lemnique s salary (assuming the median of $84,460) exceeds the medians in all four categories above. Use your math skills to determine this. Key Median income, HS diploma, no college degree $22,900/Lemnique: 268% higher $30,000/Lemnique: 182% higher $46,900/Lemnique: 80% higher $59,600/Lemnique: 41% higher 2

3 Keep in mind also that veterinary school is typically four years beyond undergraduate degrees, as opposed to a typical Master s degree (at two or three years, depending on the program). Still, the median numbers tell us a lot about the value of a college education in general. What conclusions did you draw in your Pair group? Is college worth it? Why or why not? *U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2014). The Condition of Education 2014 (NCES ), Annual Earnings of Young Adults. Side Note: This is the advice Penn State University gives to high school students wishing to be a veterinarian. Teacher may wish to present this to the students as well. In high school: Start preparing as early as you can Take all the mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics courses that are available to you in middle and high school; they will open up many career opportunities in college, including veterinary medicine. In college: Undergraduate degree program Choose a degree program that will provide you a strong grounding in the biological and physical sciences. Make a list of degree programs at various universities and colleges and visit them individually. Find a program that will suit your needs the best. There are various undergraduate pathways to study prior to being admitted to vet schools. 3

4 Why College? Lemnique s Experience Student Version As you could tell from the video, Lemnique is doing what she loves to do, and she s known what she wanted to do for some time. It s also fortunate, or good planning, that her career pays well. Did you know that the median annual wage for veterinarians was $84,460 in May 2012? (The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $51,530, and the top 10 percent earned more than $144,100.) A college education is a big investment, but over a person s working lifetime, it can really pay off both financially and in terms of enjoyment in one s profession. This holds true across professions not just for veterinarians. According to the National Center for Education Statistics For young adults ages who worked fulltime, year round, higher educational attainment was associated with higher median earnings; this pattern was consistent for 1995, 2000, 2002, and 2005 through For example, in 2012 the median of earnings for young adults with a bachelor's degree was $46,900, while the median was $22,900 for those without a high school credential and $30,000 for those with a high school credential. In other words, young adults with a bachelor's degree earned more than twice as much as those without a high school credential (105 percent more) and 57 percent more than young adult high school completers. Additionally, in 2012 the median of earnings for young adults with a master's degree or higher was $59,600, some 27 percent more than the median for young adults with a bachelor's degree*. Or to look at it another way: Median income, HS diploma, no college degree $22,900 $30,000 $46,900 $59,600 Think/Pair/Share: In groups of two, determine by what percentage Lemnique s salary (assuming the median of $84,460) exceeds the medians in all four categories above. Use your math skills to determine this. Keep in mind also that veterinary school is typically four years beyond undergraduate degrees, as opposed to a typical Master s degree (at two or three

5 years, depending on the program). Still, the median numbers tell us a lot about the value of a college education in general. What conclusions did you draw in your Pair group? Is college worth it? Why or why not? *U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2014). The Condition of Education 2014 (NCES ), Annual Earnings of Young Adults. 2

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