As the article below verifies, almost half of the 3 million students who start their first year of college this month will drop out before they earn their degrees. While there are several culprits of the drop out crisis, one of the most pressing is inadequate preparation of students in high school to prepare them for college level work.
Thomas Freidmanâ€™s book, The World is Flat, describes how many countries around the world are doing top-rate jobs of educating their emerging â€œtalentâ€ in the students coming through their institutions. Many of those students live in underdeveloped countries like India , Russia and China , but they have overdeveloped minds compared to students right now in the United States . They are also hungrier to do work and to learn.
Because of technology and the ways in which people now learn and do business all over the world, we are more interdependent than ever. Jobs that use to exist for Americans solely in America are now outsourced to people in other countries. So, todayâ€™s students are competing for jobs with people from all over the world, not just people in the U.S . It has never been more critical to be a student who is committed, tenacious, has faith in their self and believes that they can continue to learn and grow.
In order for high schools to do their job of creating a college-bound culture, they need student success and transition programs in place for incoming 9th graders and subsequent programs for each grade level through 12th grade. The aim of LifeBound’s programs, and my life work, is to help students understand the realities of the world in which they live so that they will be able to command every advantage that life has to offer. We assume that every student can succeed, and they will succeed once they know what the world expects of themâ€”where the bar isâ€”so they can have the motivation to go over that bar with competence and self-assuredness. If teachers and students are both aware of this reality, they can work together to best prepare students for the world they will enter after college.
Many students struggle with the basic disciplines that help them face their challenges with a relentless dedication. There are strategies students can learn, however, if these qualities are not already innate within the student. We need to examine answers to these questions:
How can high schools do a better job of promoting 21st Century Skills for all types of learners?
What are some of the biggest challenges to implementing these programs starting in 9th grade?
How can we marshall resources to make sure every student has equal access to a quality education?
U.S. News & World Report
by Mike Bowler
Higher education officials cheered this summer when President Barack Obama pledged to boost the U.S. college graduation rate to first in the worldâ€”after years of stagnationâ€”and announced a $12 billion plan to produce 5 million more community college grads by 2020. Currently, community colleges enroll more than 6 million students in the United States.
It will be a huge challenge. Thirty percent of college and university students drop out after their first year. Half never graduate, and college completion rates in the United States have been stalled for more than three decades. “The overall record is quite bad, especially for African-Americans and other minorities,” says Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust, a nonprofit group in Washington that works to close achievement gaps. “The colleges want us to think everyone graduates, but in fact a huge number don’t, and many leave with significant loan debts and job skills totally inadequate in the 21st century.”
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