Not graduating is ‘the new normal’

The “new normal” community college student is a part-timer with a job, possibly a family to support and low odds of completing a degree.  What can colleges do to help more students succeed?

Military veterans bring global experience, maturity and esprit de corps to the classroom, writes a college history instructor.

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  1. “What can colleges do to help more students succeed?”

    Don’t admit students who are not academically prepared for college-level work. I can see doing a conditional-admission for students who have been out of high school at least a decade and need remedial coursework in math. Students who are recent high school graduates, however, should have to pass a placement test in order to matriculate.

  2. Hear, hear.

    Also, pressure k-12 schools to demand mastery of grade-level content before advancement and make a HS diploma mean something – college-prep, vo-tech or general. The latter should mean readiness for workplace, certificate programs or CC. Pushing for higher graduation rates only renders diplomas meaningless.

  3. Richard Aubrey says:

    I suppose we could ask why failing to graduate is “failing”. It’s because that’s the definition. But if we ask ourselves if the student who didn’t graduate learned anything useful, we might have a different answer.
    Is failing to graduate the result of failing classes, or of failing to continue to take classes and so not piling up the credits? Two different results.
    Are we counting those in such situations solely as a condition of continuing public assistance? My wife taught some of those folks at a CC and a Biz school. If they get a new gig, a job, or the requirements change, they might drop out. Like to know the numbers there, and subtract them from the general “fail” number.