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.

Outstanding Source on Latino College Transition Issues

The website of the Tomas Rivera Center Claremont Graduate School is the best collection of studies I have seen about why Latinos do not attend and complete college. Go to and then go to publications/education.The USA latino community is from 21 nations and includes 49 million people including Puerto Rico. About 9-12 million are undocumented, and the rest legal residents. The Tomas Rivera studies are stunning about what Latino parents do not know about college, and their difficulties in using the complex fiancial aid system. Huge majorities of parents do not know the difference between a 2 and 4 year college, and thought the fees were about the same. A majority of parents got no information on student aid, and thought applying for aid might risk their immigration status.
Over 50% of California k-12 public school students are latino, and 80% who go to college attend a community college. Their completion rate is 17% including technical certificates and transfer.

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