Posts published on July 20, 2012

Better Approaches To Connecting Secondary School To Colleges

From PEN Newsblast

On the Degrees blog of the FHI 360 website, Rochelle Nichols-Solomon and Maud Abeel write that ensuring students finish college is widely agreed to be critical, yet fewer than half of all postsecondary students are on track to earn a credential, and others don’t start at all. The biggest stumbling block is academic preparation — a disconnect between what students learn in high school and what they’re expected to know for college. The disconnect can be disastrous for first-generation college-goers and low-income students, who often arrive at college with As and Bs from courses poorly aligned with college expectations. Even good high school students often lack study skills, self-directed work habits, critical thinking, analytical writing, ability to do rigorous research, or understanding of sophisticated mathematics. Students score poorly on college placement exams, end up in remedial or developmental courses, and eventually become too frustrated, discouraged, or broke to persevere to graduation. One effort to tighten connections between high school and college is the Citi Postsecondary Success Program (CPSP), a five-year initiative to increase college access and success for underrepresented students in Miami-Dade, San Francisco, and Philadelphia; FHI 360 and PEN serve as national intermediaries with technical support and lead funding from the Citi Foundation. Through asset analysis, high school and college staff look together at the knowledge and abilities that help a student transition successfully into college, informing instruction at both levels to help students succeed.
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High School Students Working Harder To Prepare For College

High school students work harder and are more focused on school than they were a generation ago, suggests a special analysis in The Condition of Education 2012, and the economic downturn may highlight an opportunity to put more of them on the path to college

Completion Focus Can Cause Trade Offs For Community Colleges

Facing Facts
The college completion agenda has helped community colleges face facts about where they fall short. But if the focus on completion gets too singular, two-year colleges run the risk of neglecting student access and even the quality of learning on their campuses. That was the message of a panel of community college leaders who spoke at a  meeting