Frosh faces

Cold Springs Shops summarizes a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel series that’s following three students through their first year at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. By mid-year, the would-be architect, who attended an elite high school, is doing well. The marginal student is surviving, thanks to hard work. The apathetic nursing student, a black girl who lives at home and hangs out with non-student friends, has done poorly and transferred to a technical college.

The paper’s conclusions: a stronger high school matters, passion for the work matters, compatible friends matter, and the record of student support services is mixed. Universities might not be able to control the high schools their applicants attend, but they can send the message to high schools that the days of high school-in-college, otherwise known as “remediation,” are over. They may not be able to control the commitment students have for their work, but essays and test scores might tell admissions offices something about that motivation. The screen for motivated students might have the effect of screening out the party set, making it more likely that freshmen will encounter relatively more motivated classmates.

It was a little scary to read about the marginal student’s struggles to learn to write an essay and do middle-school math. She finds “tackling decimals and fractions without a calculator is torture,” but ends up with a B. Her goal: To be a teacher.

The College Puzzle explains what successful students do to ensure they earn that college degree.

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Comments

  1. Universities might not be able to control the high schools their applicants attend, but they can send the message to high schools that the days of high school-in-college, otherwise known as “remediation,” are over.

    Oh yeah? And why, Mr. Cold Springs Shops, are the days of remediation over? Colleges going to start sending out gangs of thugs to beat up those responsible for remediation? Maybe some less violent but still forceful means of letting those responsible know that the days of remediation are over, or else?

    No, in fact they’re not over and plenty of districts will continue to send woefully unprepared students to college. Why shouldn’t they? Who is it who can’t be blithely ignored that’s telling them they should prepare students?

  2. superdestroyer says:

    I wonder if “diversity” worked against the black students. The black student came from probably an all black high school and actually wanted to attended an all black college.

    Dumping her in classes willed with blue collar whites, asian students, filipinos, and others probably did nothing for her and made her feel like an outsider.

  3. The article says the ‘marginal’ student’s overall average is 3.4 with one C (which is a 2.33) and a B (3.0). Let’s assume she takes between two and four additional classes. Assume also that each class is three credits, that would be 12-18 credits (twelve is, I think, the usual minimum to be considered full time). That means her average in the other classes would have to be between 4.15 and 3.775 in the other classes. That’s A to a high A-. Anyone else wonder what the other classes are?

  4. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Time to bring back JCs.