No Dropouts From This Camden, NJ, High School

“I don’t like work, no one does. But I like what is in work—the chance to find yourself.”
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Students at MetEast High School in Camden, New Jersey are beating the inner-city success odds by studying their passions, giving and receiving peer feedback and making presentations to students and adults four times a year. MetEast is one of sixty schools nationwide designed to help students figure out their interests and abilities, linking those to careers, colleges and fields of interest. This initiative is made possible by Big Picture Learning, which is a non-profit which works with “advisors” instead of “teachers” who coach, motivate and hold accountable their students whom they work with closely for four years.

Students learn follow-through, a crucial life skill. Angelo Drummond, a MetEast student, has come to know and value himself better by committing himself to improving his SAT scores for college. He is proud that for the first time in his life he has learned to be a finisher. That follow through will help succeed wherever his gifts and talents may take him.

Every student can be exposed to this important personal perspective through a LifeBound book called, Gifts and Talents for Teenagers. This book helps students figure out what they are good at so that they can develop follow-through, discipline and self-mastery. No matter what field they decide to pursue, they will need a quality mindset, an attitude of respect and the ability to be accountable to the highest authority who impacts their lives—themselves.

Chronicle of Higher Education

The best piece of college marketing this year is a television ad that could easily be taken as a fingers-flapping, thumb at the nose to centuries of higher-education tradition.

It’s the Kaplan University spot that starts off showing a pensive-looking “professor” in the well of a wood-paneled lecture hall intoning to his students: “The system has failed you. I have failed you.”

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