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.

New Book Access to College Success

Respected researcher James Rosenbaum of Northwestern Univerisity has a new book entitled : After Admission :From College Access to College Sucess published by Russell Sage Foundation. Its focus is exclusively on community colleges and private occupational colleges. The stunning news is how much better the private schools do on college completion, student guidance, and job placement. By contrast, community colleges use haphazard techniques and assume students are able to seek useful information by themselves. Public college students are uniformed about the number of credits they are earning, and the amount of time it will take to finish their program. Private colleges have better linkages to employers.


This is a serious indictment and deserves widespread discussion. In an earlier blog, I stressed how private occupational colleges have business models that require student persistence and completion. Public colleges can use a "churn model " that just keeps attendance stable or rising, but does not encourage completion. For example, California colleges are paid just for there third week enrollment in class.
Go to http://www.russellsage.org/ for this important book.

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