Monday, November 11, 2013

Yipes! In the US just 56% of students complete a college degree

I am utilizing the verbs FOCUS and ORGANIZE these days as I juggle the growing number of projects I am happily spending time on.  It is essential to know why I am doing this, and who I am hoping to focus on, otherwise I am going to grow old reading really compelling articles but never getting out of the living room.

The thought attached to this morning's meditation:

As is my desire, so is my intention
As is my intention, so is my will,
As is my will, so is my deed,
As is my deed, so is my destiny. (Deepak Chopra)

I really believe that education:

must be experiential
must make sense to the student

 There are a number of other subplots to this, but the bottom line is that when a student is involved (experiential) and knows why it is important to learn something (makes sense) then education becomes alive.

This is about students being involved in the college search and application process.  And, perhaps even more importantly, students knowing how to enter college being about to make it THEIR PLACE.

"The "Pathways to Prosperity" study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2011 shows that just 56 percent 

of college students complete four-year degrees within six years.   Only 29 percent of those who start two-year degrees finish them within three years." (Why College Students Stop Short of a Degree by Lou Carlozo, 3/27/2012,

According to this study cost of college is a large factor, but another factor is not being prepared.  I am betting that really understanding what it means to be prepared would help make a wise choice.

I am currently reading "Making College Worth It:  A Review of the Returns to Higher Education" by Philip Oreopoulos and Uros Petronijevic from the University of Toronto.  I found this article from the College Board Forum conference which took place in New York City a couple of weeks ago.

According to these two guys, "prospective students must give careful consideration to selecting the institution itself, the major to follow, and the eventual occupation to pursue." (41)  That is just the beginning.  I will add more in future posts as I work my way through their article.

How do we PREPARE?  Hhhmmmm….learn how something works, how it's constructed, who uses it or goes there, if we have the skills and talents to do the thing, if we even want to do it in the first place.
For me, the operative idea here is being part, if not all, of the preparation.

Okay, enough of reading compelling articles about things I think we all have some idea about

Switch back to the dinner table, or the living room now.

 You are sitting there with your student/child.  If you ask, "what do you really spend most of your time doing?" what would he or she say (truthfully)?  Is it all about tests and homework?  Is that realistic when you are an adult?

If you ask, "if you could do any job for one day, what would it be?"
Do they get distracted?  Do you or their instructors tell them that is a bad idea and they shouldn't do that?

Do they have their own room?  Have they ever been away from home without you?

Do they know what the overall cost of going to the college of their choice is, for a year?  Do they know how much their loan payment will be at the end of college, each month?

This is what I am working on…students working on learning about things before the wonderful, parental conveyer belt of taking care of things stops.  FOCUS:  Students  MY HOPE:  It will be fun and compelling.


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