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.

Pacing of College Courses Is Difficult For First Year Students

I just returned from a conference in Northwest Missouri on high school college prep. One message was that the pace of college courses is so different from high school, and freshman cannot keep up. 4 year broad access colleges cover in 30 days the math that high schools cover in 155 days of instruction. The homework hours are enormous difference in college, and the instructors do not go slowly through each chapter of the textbook. Pacing was more of a college transition problem than content alignment!
First year students expected to "do over" work they made mistakes with, and thought "extra credit" could raise their college grades. 4 year colleges do not do either of these. We need to get beyond vague phrases like college ready and alignment to a deeper understanding of college transition.

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