U.S. high schools see it as their mission to prepare young people for college. But many students who enroll in college never make it through, leaving them with crushing debt and no degree. Vocational high schools, such as Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in South Easton, Mass., provide an alternative path. In addition to traditional academic courses, students receive instruction in careers including carpentry, culinary arts, metal fabrication, and video production, with the idea that they can jump straight into well-paying jobs, if they choose to delay or forgo college. Correspondent John Tulenko takes us inside the school, speaks with students and teachers, and discusses the strengths and drawbacks of this career-focused curriculum. This video segment appeared on PBS NewsHour on January 27, 2016.
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