Are Students College Prepared? | A Blog for Principals and Teachers – School Matters

 
 

Are Students College Prepared?

 
 

 

 

 

In today’s world of advanced technology, preparation for employment after completing High School often means pursuing an additional course of study for a minimum of one to two years.  Be this in a Technical School, Junior College, College or University, the iStock 000009645711XSmall 150x150 Are Students College Prepared?bottom line is that our students generally need to further their education in order to secure employment.  Readiness for college therefore is an important issue facing our schools. College preparation takes foresight and planning and involves more than college preparatory courses.  How can we insure that our students are college prepared?

 

Planning and preparation for college needs to begin as early as sixth grade. Though many of our students do not have a clue about what kind of profession they would like to pursue, they can at this age be taught about the necessity of higher education in order to succeed. Advisors can help students identify their interests and talents and begin to plan which course selections with help them progress in these areas. No later than ninth grade, students should be required to research career possibilities based on these areas of interests and talents in order to provide them with more specific direction in their course selection and continued education.  Most importantly, students need to be encouraged to excel beyond the minimum state standards for a basic education.

 

Charter School, Baltimore Freedom Academy, which reported in 2007 a 96% graduation rate with 69% attending four year colleges or universities afterwards, does just that. From their entrance into school, students are helped to discover their talents and abilities. They are graded on their capacity to master material not just meet the minimum state standards. The school uses graduate-level law students from the University of Maryland as instructors to introduce the students to concepts such as the U.S. legal system, social justice issues and the construction of persuasive arguments. Through these courses, students develop critical thinking, writing, research, oral presentation and contextual analysis skills, all important proficiencies to master in order to insure a successful transition to higher education. Twelfth graders are taught not college prep, but actual college level courses. In addition, there is a strong emphasis on giving to the community with the school requiring 125 hours of community service before graduation compared to the state requirement of 75 hours.

 

Another important aspect in our student’s college preparation is working with the local Junior Colleges, Colleges and Universities to define what constitutes readiness for college and preparing our students accordingly. College readiness being defined as the level at which a student needs to be functioning in order to succeed –without remediation at a post secondary institution. Generally speaking this goes way beyond the minimum state standards which basically requires a tenth grade level of education.  If our students are held responsible for just these basic standards of knowledge, they very possibly have not yet acquired the critical thinking, advanced communication and research abilities which are important components of college preparation. Dialogue with the local post secondary schools about their criteria and expectations can help us prepare an appropriate college prep curriculum for our students.

 

College preparation is a process that must begin early in our students’ school careers. College preparatory courses are not the only component in establishing readiness for college. Our students must be given the encouragement and the higher level thinking and communication skills necessary to succeed in order fortheir college readiness to be complete.

Share and Enjoy:
  • twitter Are Students College Prepared?
  • linkedin Are Students College Prepared?
  • facebook Are Students College Prepared?
  • googlebookmark Are Students College Prepared?

Tags: ,

 

No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment


 

Educators Calendar Events

Featured Posts

Creativity in the Classroom: Bring the Arts Back!

Most teachers and parents instinctively know that children need various modes of expression to fully develop into thriving, well-rounded adults with good self-esteem...

 
Better Ways to Use Classroom Space

Better Ways to Use Classroom Space

Most of us do not have control over which classroom we are assigned. However, we can all find ways to make the best use of the space we have. As discussed in my...

 
Flipping-Out On the Flipped Classroom

Flipping-Out On the Flipped Classroom

With this technologically savvy generation wanting to capture everything on their iPhone (“Honey, I have a great clip of the baby coming out to post on youtube...

 
With Technology in the Classroom,  The Teacher is No Longer Center Stage – Part II

With Technology in the Classroom, The Teacher is No Longer Center Stage – Part II

Last week we explored some of the positive aspects of technology in the classroom. When used correctly, technology encourages students to be active learners, inspire...

 
With Technology in the Classroom, the Teacher is No Longer Center Stage

With Technology in the Classroom, the Teacher is No Longer Center Stage

Most people believe that technology use in the classroom is a must to assure that our students have the skills and creative fortitude to function in this fast paced,...

 
Mixed Gender Behaviors in the Classroom

Mixed Gender Behaviors in the Classroom

Following two blogs I posted which generally showed that studies have found that gearing education towards gender differences leads to more successful learning,...

 
Compassionate Schools

Compassionate Schools

After my child had struggled through several mainstream schools, I decided to look into an alternative place known for its open-ended policies as well as its educational...

 
Are Extracurricular Activities Really Extra?

Are Extracurricular Activities Really Extra?

Growing up, I was one of those kids who belonged to a variety of groups. I was a cheerleader, vice-president of my class, thespian, honors student, Sunday school...

 
Is Social Media in the Classroom a Necessity or Distraction?

Is Social Media in the Classroom a Necessity or Distraction?

I recently had a telling experience while sitting at a friend’s dinner table. The mother asked her son how his class was today. He answered, “It got deleted”....

 
Video: The Myths of Chartering

Video: The Myths of Chartering

Guest Post by Ember Reichgott Junge   What a fun interview with Bob Bowdon of Choice Media TV, in New York City! We talked chartering and education issues from...