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.

Imparting College Culture : High school Teachers View

I visited an Early College high school in Los Angeles that is part of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation network of high schools. This school is in a low income area with very few parents who attended college. High school teachers with appropriate degrees teach college credit courses at the high school campus in introductory first year college classes ,that are crdit level for Cal State U - LA. But one of the most interesting things was how teachers convey a college culture through direct and indirect communication in all there classes.
The high school teachers view themselves "as an extension of college" and treat students as college bound. Teachers emphasize to students that what is being taught is because colleges will expect it-"you will need this concept in college". Content is presented along with skills that teachers know are needed in college. Students are encouraged and prodded to take 4 years of math and other senior classes aligned with college.Students are enrolled in extra curricular activities that 4 year colleges look for.
The dual credit arrangement is touted as a way to save college expenses while in high school. Students take PSAT or SAT each year from grades 7-12, and visit local colleges.
This just one dimension of creating a college going high school culture, but it is gratifying to hear how well some teachers grasp what they need to do for college readiness

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