This blog, (my first), is a way of discussing the important but technically complex subject of college success. I have spent a great deal of time analyzing and explaining success (graduation) rates in our nation's colleges. The topic was discussed, somewhat briefly, in a New York Times article dated September 2, 2006, Students Eager But Unprepared
. One of my comments was the Times quote of the day: "You can get into school. But you cannot succeed."
That article focused on only one, albeit major, piece of the puzzle that heavily influences, if not determines, college success -- college preparedness or college readiness. Because of what I have labeled the disconnect (http://bridgeproject.stanford.edu
) between our K-12 system and our college system -- far too many students enter college who are not prepared for college and its academic rigor.
The New York Times article discussed college preparedness far more thoroughly than this brief and initial blog entry. But, it’s important to understand that even with superior academic preparation, college success is far from assured. There are several other integral and interlocking pieces at work -- a veritable puzzle of opportunities, risks, and characteristics. Prospective students and existing students must be sensitive to their unique circumstances, their unique puzzle, because ignoring it may set the student up for failure.
College failure stems from many causes, not just high school course work. Crucial factors include: personal commitment, family and peer group support, cost, time management, fit between career interests and college programs, study habits, and continuous postsecondary enrollment. These many factors can be visualized as pieces of a puzzle that must exist in a positive manner and fit together for enhancing probable success in finishing college programs.
For most students it is a lot easier to get in to college, than it is to successfully get out. Some prospective students may be better off waiting to enter until they have adequate financial resources or uncommitted time. I'll explore more of these factors and puzzle pieces in future entries.
Also, please visit us at MyCollegePuzzle.
Labels: College Success