The College Puzzle Blog
Prior PostingsAbout
Dr. Michael W. Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969.
Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining the Stanford University faculty, Dr. Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published by Jossey Bass in 2004.

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My blog discusses the important and complex subjects of college completion, college success, student risk factors (for failing), college readiness, and academic preparation. I will explore the pieces of the college puzzle that heavily influence, if not determine, college success rates.

College Success Begins in High School

More than 70% of high school graduates now go on to postsecondary education. Yet, a new study of high school student engagement reveals some major concerns about the level of college preparedness of those students.
See “Voices of Students on Engagement: A Report on the 2006 Survey of Student Engagement”.

Using a national sample of grades 9-12, the survey found that:

· Fewer than half of the students go to high school because of what happens within the classroom environment
· A great majority of students are bored every day, if not in every class
· 43% spend 0-1 hour doing written homework, 83% spend 5 hours or less
· 55% spend 0 or 1 hour per week reading and studying for class, 90% spend 5 hours or fewer
· Students want more active learning such as peer working groups and presentations
· Girls report being more engaged across all dimensions of high school engagement than boys. (Girls were 58% of 4 year college graduates in 2006).

Engagement within a high school context is about a student’s relationship with the school community (adults, peers, curriculum, facilities, etc). Importantly, however, I believe that this study should raise concerns that many of these high school students will become at-risk college students who will not experience college success for the very reason that they were not sufficiently engaged in high school.

Copyright 2006 My College Puzzle