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.

College Enrollment Soaring But Completion is Not

The National Center for Education Statistics has come out with new projections for college enrollment growth-17% for the period 2004-2016. This is actually slower growth than the 22% jump between 1991 and 2005. College enrollment growth is increasing much faster than k-12 growth, so more students have the message that college pays off. NCES projects k-12 growth will be only 9% for 2004-2016.
This growth in college enrollment is heartening, but the key issue is whether students will complete their desired programs. Here the message is grim, 4 year college degrees are going up much slower than enrollment. Community college completion rates lag such as California where only 24% of the students complete anything [including career ed] after 6 years. Hopefully 2008 will be a year where we make some real progress on college success ,not just enrollment. See http://www.nces.gov/ for more details

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