The College Puzzle Blog
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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.

Career Education

Career Education is getting attention as a way to better prepare community college students in secondary school. But the concepts and definitions of carrer education are unclear. Moreover, high school programs do not link to post secondary curriculum in many cases.

The disjuncture also has a deleterious effect on career education college completion. Career pathways, so vital to a volatile information-based economy, suffer from a lack of direction and commitment to career and technical education. Control is frequently diffused between and among institutions in both K-12 and higher education. Higher education generally is uninterested in vocational education issues with relatively little prestige. The secondary schools, for their part, are preoccupied with traditional academics and pressures to increase test scores in the current high-stakes assessment environment. Without coordinated policy, vocational/technical education will continue to float between K-12 and postsecondary levels, largely ignored except for turf battles between the sectors over which level should get most federal and state vocational categorical funds.

ConnectEd is a good website to find good concepts and designs for career education that provides both vocational skills and solid college preparation.

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