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regentrude

Who gets to graduate? (article)

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Nice article, I'm pondering finding the article they used in the developmental math study and assigning it to my students for reading this fall.

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Very interesting. I have been a bit obsessed with the ideas in Carol Dweck's book, Mindset, and the researchers in this article build on those ideas. There is another book, written by Paul Tough, this article's author, called How Children Succeed, that propounds similar ideas.

 

What is most interesting to me is that putting students into remedial classes predicts failure so well. And putting them into challenging classes has the opposite effect. It suggests that their failures are more psychological than purely academic.

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Yes, exactly what I see at the community college.  The one I work for has a graduation rate of around 20-25% five years after admission.  

 

This is a good community college with solid transfer agreements to a variety of schools, even several "public ivies."  I have several former students who are now professors and one who went to law school.  Over 2/3 of those admitted say that their goal is a 4-year degree.

 

But getting there is really tough.  The barriers they face are enormous at times.  I've had students who were living in their cars, and others who had a full-time job, a weekend job, and were raising two kids while taking four classes.  Thankfully they have programs like the one described in the article where extra social and practical support is provided, but many don't take advantage of that or don't quality for it.  And my grade spread is normally like the one described in the article that led to the programs they put together.  A good number of A's and B's and then a block of D's and F's.  Sometimes the lower block even have perfect attendance but are utterly lost and don't do the homework no matter how hard I try to engage them.

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Back in the '80's I taught in two different university summer programs for students from low income families, students with a high class rank but low SAT score.  The methodology employed was pretty simple:  Don't dumb down the curriculum, expect success, and supply additional support in several key areas (reading comprehension, test taking strategies, organizational skills).  The summer schedule was fairly brutal for these kids in that it was structured from 7 AM until 9 PM but it developed a skill set that many of these kids did not have despite earning As and Bs in high school.

 

Georgia Tech had done some studies on this back at the time on which these programs were modeled.

 

I do think that many students have convinced themselves that are incapable of learning math and science. Parents don't help as was the case in the article.

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Very interesting article. Thank you for sharing.

 

This sentence caught my eye -- "It may seem counterintuitive, but the more selective the college you choose, the higher your likelihood of graduating." Isn't that in opposition to Malcolm Gladwell's claims being discussed in another thread?

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Very interesting. I have been a bit obsessed with the ideas in Carol Dweck's book, Mindset, and the researchers in this article build on those ideas. There is another book, written by Paul Tough, this article's author, called How Children Succeed, that propounds similar ideas.

 

What is most interesting to me is that putting students into remedial classes predicts failure so well. And putting them into challenging classes has the opposite effect. It suggests that their failures are more psychological than purely academic.

 

Absolutely.

 

In all the math classes I have taught (many developmental), I have only once had someone complete every problem on every homework assignment and still not pass. It is very rare (under 5%, but I don't have precise numbers) that someone who completes 90% of the homework and attends 90% of the classes still fails. Most of the students who fail have missed at least 25% of the classes and/or homework. Many start out well (indicating that they CAN succeed), and then life gets in their way, they miss a few weeks, and never catch up.

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Very interesting article. Thank you for sharing.

 

This sentence caught my eye -- "It may seem counterintuitive, but the more selective the college you choose, the higher your likelihood of graduating." Isn't that in opposition to Malcolm Gladwell's claims being discussed in another thread?

I wonder whether it applies to students who are in the bottom 25% of their class, or just to students who are in the middle. I'd love to see the data on this -- from both of them.

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In all the math classes I have taught (many developmental), I have only once had someone complete every problem on every homework assignment and still not pass. It is very rare (under 5%, but I don't have precise numbers) that someone who completes 90% of the homework and attends 90% of the classes still fails. Most of the students who fail have missed at least 25% of the classes and/or homework. Many start out well (indicating that they CAN succeed), and then life gets in their way, they miss a few weeks, and never catch up.

This is precisely the experience I made during the 12 years I have been teaching physics classes.

I have never had a student who completed all homework and attended all classes and still failed the course. Every single student who ends with a D or F has large numbers of missed assignments.

Now, of course not everybody is capable of achieving a grade of A, but everybody who puts in the required amount of work is going to pass.

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Very interesting article. Thank you for sharing.

 

This sentence caught my eye -- "It may seem counterintuitive, but the more selective the college you choose, the higher your likelihood of graduating." Isn't that in opposition to Malcolm Gladwell's claims being discussed in another thread?

 

 

Gladwell's thesis (incorrect, I believe) is that the more selective a college, the less likely a student who starts out as a stem major will graduate with a stem degree, though they very well may graduate with a non-stem degree.  However, his data was all from small private LACs in the 1980s, that all had very high graduation rates.

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I think the big advantage that the middle and upper class college students have is that often their families and peer groups have passed on to them valuable life lessons about how to succeed in college.  For example, in high school, you can often do well just by being smart, but as Regentrude shows above, in college, you almost certainly need to put in the work.  In the article, the featured girl said that she rarely did math homework in high school, but still got A's and B's.

 

I'm sure that somewhere in her preparations for college, someone told her the incredibly valuable advice that for every hour of class time, she should be studying 2 to 3 hours, but I bet that wasn't from a trusted source, so it didn't sink in, or she didn't "get it".  However, things seemed to turn around when she found a student nursing club:

 

 


[she] asked her on a whim if she knew any students in the nursing program. As it happened, the woman’s two best friends were in nursing, and they had just helped start an African-American nursing association at U.T.
 
Vanessa got their numbers and started texting with them, and they invited her to one of their meetings. They were juniors, a couple of years older than Vanessa, and they took her under their wing. “I like having someone to look up to,†Vanessa told me. “I felt like I was alone, but then I found people who said, you know, ‘I cried just like you.’ And it helped.â€

 

I'm a big proponent of students finding and joining these kinds of academic clubs.  I think it is so valuable to have peers, some of whom are ahead of you in your program, that you can network with, trust, and learn the ropes.  More than once, on these boards, someone has said "I'm halfway through my degree in X, but I'm worried about job prospects".  But they never talk about what their peers in their degree program are doing, especially those a year to two ahead.  I wonder if older college students are stigmatized not to talk to traditionally aged students about these things?  Or are our board friends mostly taking online classes, where there isn't an opportunity to join and form these kinds of clubs.  I worry that with more and more education going online that these kinds of clubs will become more rare.

 

When mine go to college, this is certainly something I will be talking with them about.

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I've had students who arrived at the community college thinking that it will be easy because they had all A's in high school and somehow were told that it would be easy.  Quite a few have told me that they never studied in high school and figured that it would be the same in college.

 

When a student is prepared to work and is able to arrange their lives so that they have the time to complete their assignments, everything goes better.  It also helps of course if they have dealt with some level of difficulty and even failure academically.  If they've figured how to adjust when things don't go well, it makes a big difference.  There have been times where I've sat down with a student and shared my own experiences of withdrawing from classes I was failing, getting a two very low "Cs" in graduate school, having to work my way through my undergraduate degree with multiple jobs, and being unemployed when a graduated from college.  Many of them think that if you're a professor, everything went smoothly the whole way.   They need to know that failure is part of achieving success, and that failing means you have to figure out some way of recovering versus just giving up.

 

When it has been easy until that point and when their background or circumstances mean that recovering from difficulty is hard to navigate, a student indeed may bottom out.

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Or are our board friends mostly taking online classes, where there isn't an opportunity to join and form these kinds of clubs.  I worry that with more and more education going online that these kinds of clubs will become more rare.

 

When mine go to college, this is certainly something I will be talking with them about.

 

This is big concern with online degrees and even doing a mix of online and face-to-face classes.  The networking and informal interactions happens far, far less in online classes than in traditional bricks-and-mortar schools.  I've already told mine that I'm fine if they want to do core subjects online, but I want them to take their major classes in a traditional format.  And I want them involved in interested-based clubs and seeking internship, shadowing, and co-op opportunities.

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Gladwell's thesis (incorrect, I believe) is that the more selective a college, the less likely a student who starts out as a stem major will graduate with a stem degree, though they very well may graduate with a non-stem degree.  However, his data was all from small private LACs in the 1980s, that all had very high graduation rates.

FWIW, my N of 1 definitely supports this. I went to a small LAC in the 80's and there were huge numbers of future chem and bio majors (pre-meds, mostly) who dropped out of that track in the first year. Those classes are HARD. Showing up consistently, doing the work, and studying for tests. That is the formula. Amazing that so many college students do not do all of those things.

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FWIW, my N of 1 definitely supports this. I went to a small LAC in the 80's and there were huge numbers of future chem and bio majors (pre-meds, mostly) who dropped out of that track in the first year. Those classes are HARD. 

 

I don't doubt this is true, but Gladwell's thesis is that these failing students would have all passed their classes, graduated, and become doctors, if only they went to an easier school.  I think, even at the easier schools, you still need to show up and do the work.

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I read this a few weeks ago. There are parts I really like. I love the efforts to teach students that struggle and failure don't mean they should quit. That it is often part of the college experience. Indeed it is part of becoming an adult.

 

I like the idea of tutoring centers and counseling.to help equip students to approach learning better.

 

I dislike the idea that there are cadres who don't have access to extra tutoring and counseling because their race/ethnicity isn't right or their parents have too much education or income. I know many students who fell into categories dismissed as advantaged who struggled with the initial steps into college. I think they were just as deserving of hearing about mindset or note taking or networking opportunities.

 

And I wonder about the concern about under matching students. This article was the first I'd heard of this. Usually I've seen the phrase over matching where a student goes to a school they were not prepared for and fail out.

 

It seems that if you fall in some categories and struggle in college it's because you aren't working hard enough, played too many video games, went too many parties or were otherwise lacking. But if you struggle but fall into other categories it is a systemic problem deserving of extra scaffolding.

 

I think both may be true depending on the student. Measure output, effort and attitude. Don't base it on group membership; at least not on the driving factor.

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The difficulty my freshman had was the tests. No tests are returned, and with only 3 per semester, hard to figure out where the studying or test taking went wrong. His econ prof one semester gave out practice tests the day before the exam so the students knew what format to expect....very helpful, but did not aply to other dept.'s tests. Ds said his classmates who had gone to private high school were well prepared. His high school gave out few tests, so no real experience preparing for anything other than Regents' Exams. His 2 college-in-the-high school history clases were a joke in terms of tests.

His major, business, does not allow for learning from failure....15 credits have to be earned per semester the first two years at a 2.5 gpa or one will be retaking classes in the summer and petitioning the dean to continue in the program. Study skills help is only available to low income first gen in college students (this is a state u). I am the 4 year college grad in the house, but it is no help as I didnt have the humanities multiple choice test experience and the large classroom sizes, nor did I have elearning demands.

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I don't know what most colleges are like.  I went to a state school.  They had tons of free tutoring services for every subject.  They had a writing lab.  They had a math lab.  They had foreign language labs.  And they advertised.  If you needed help and didn't get any that was basically your own darn fault.  Study skills courses were available to anyone, but did not earn credit.  I never actually used any of the services. 

 

I am pretty amazed I graduated.  Sometimes I have nightmares that I'm short one class, and I can't seem to get through the class.  I wake up and think no I really did graduate. 

 

I did have a bit of a rough start.  I think mostly it was because I wasn't sure what I wanted to major in, and some of the beginning classes I found rather pointless and boring.  I started off at one school and transferred to another.  My worst class was World History.  The instructor was pretty lousy.  I didn't do the work.  I really didn't even read the book.  In order for me to transfer that class I had to get a 100 on the final exam to get a C (a class only transferred with a C).  I got 100 on the final.  It was a week of studying morning, noon, and night (and a lot of coffee and donuts..LOL). 

 

After that I did a lot better.  I took the hardest classes I could get into and sometimes asked for permission to get in.  I did better with a challenge.  If I wasn't challenged, I tended to sluff off. 

 

And I graduated cum laude. 

 

I suppose I'm tooting my own horn a bit here because after reading those stats I wasn't likely to graduate.  Probably the hardest thing for me is that I really did not have much support.  My parents weren't against me going to college, but they either didn't care or didn't imagine I'd graduate.  So they often said nothing at all.  But I was always the type that if I set my mind to something, I'd do it. 

 

I remember meeting someone from the same dorm who had flunked out of 2 colleges (and these weren't even top of the line schools).  Her parents had the money to deal with that.  I did not.  That was it for me.  I'm not sure they were doing her any favors, but it goes to show how much more support people with money might be getting. 

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I don't know what most colleges are like. I went to a state school. They had tons of free tutoring services for every subject. They had a writing lab. They had a math lab. They had foreign language labs. And they advertised. If you needed help and didn't get any that was basically your own darn fault. Study skills courses were available to anyone, but did not earn credit. I never actually used any of the services.

 

I am pretty amazed I graduated. Sometimes I have nightmares that I'm short one class, and I can't seem to get through the class. I wake up and think no I really did graduate.

 

 

I'm not the only one who still has nightmares about college huh? Most often, I dream that it is the end of a term and I suddenly realize there is a class I forgot I was enrolled in and haven't attended or completed assignments for all semester and I panic because I know I am going to fail. It all seems so real...

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I don't know what most colleges are like.  I went to a state school.  They had tons of free tutoring services for every subject.  They had a writing lab.  They had a math lab.  They had foreign language labs.  And they advertised.  If you needed help and didn't get any that was basically your own darn fault.

 

For our intro course, we offer 18 hours of free learning assistance available every.single.week: learning centers staffed with peer assistants and faculty on two afternoons and two evenings, as well as walk-in tutoring four nights a week.

The students who attend are the B and C students who, with this help, may achieve the next higher grade. The top students don't come because they have no need. The students in danger of failing the course do not attend! They simply won't come on a regular basis. The info is on the syllabus, on the course website, repeated in class, learning centers are announced in class twice a week on the days they happen - to no avail: eight weeks into the semester there will still be students who come to me "what? There is TUTORING??? I had no idea!"

 

ETA: Our school even uses an electronic system to notify underperforming students and suggest actions to them. I am required to use it (even though I consider it ridiculous babysitting - after all, students know they have not been attending class or bummed an exam), yet sometimes students simply do not view the email with their Alert info for several weeks.

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I've had students who arrived at the community college thinking that it will be easy because they had all A's in high school and somehow were told that it would be easy.  Quite a few have told me that they never studied in high school and figured that it would be the same in college.

 

I  encounter such students frequently - and I was one of them, since even my very good German high school did not require me to study, my Abitur with perfect grades was effortless. I got a huge shock when I started at the university, and initially it translated into thinking I am not smart enough to hack physics. I bummed my first exam. I worked extremely hard and put in huge amounts of time, but it did not click. It took me a whole semester to figure out what to do, to find a study group - and then it was as if a switch had flipped. It was still hard work, but I know how to put in the work.

When students come to me who always found school easy and now don't know what hit them, who are sometimes in tears because they put in so many hours and it does not bear fruit, I tell them about my experience. They find it very encouraging, because hey, after all, here I am teaching the very subject I was almost failing as a freshman. But I am angry how high school here short-changes not only the gifted, but even the moderately smart students by not giving them the oft of struggle and challenge.

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I graduated from an IB high school overseas, and no way could I or any if my classmates have made it through without studying. I was surprised at my roomates' complaints in college of how much harder it was than highschool--I never faced a college semester as hard as my last two years of high school. It never occurred to me that kids could get through high school with good grades without studying. Or without understanding the material. A friend recently told me she got straight A's in her math classes by completing all the extra credit assignments even though she never really understood the material and did poorly on the tests. It does make me think there is some value to rigorous end of program exams in high school, our tests were all graded using the same standards we would be required to meet on the IB exams, so we had a solid idea of where we were in terms of achievement and the standard we needed to reach.

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Sometimes I have nightmares that I'm short one class, and I can't seem to get through the class.  I wake up and think no I really did graduate. 

 

 

I'm thankful I'm not the only person who has these dreams. I have two master's degrees and yet this dream pops up every 6 months or so.

 

When I was teaching it was a senior level course so at that point it was honestly the community college transfers who were still struggling. As far as I know they all graduated but it wasn't with good grades.

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For our intro course, we offer 18 hours of free learning assistance available every.single.week: learning centers staffed with peer assistants and faculty on two afternoons and two evenings, as well as walk-in tutoring four nights a week.

The students who attend are the B and C students who, with this help, may achieve the next higher grade. The top students don't come because they have no need. The students in danger of failing the course do not attend! They simply won't come on a regular basis. The info is on the syllabus, on the course website, repeated in class, learning centers are announced in class twice a week on the days they happen - to no avail: eight weeks into the semester there will still be students who come to me "what? There is TUTORING??? I had no idea!"

 

ETA: Our school even uses an electronic system to notify underperforming students and suggest actions to them. I am required to use it (even though I consider it ridiculous babysitting - after all, students know they have not been attending class or bummed an exam), yet sometimes students simply do not view the email with their Alert info for several weeks.

 

Yeah I don't get it.  But I guess it explains why they are failing.  They simply don't put any effort into it.

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For our intro course, we offer 18 hours of free learning assistance available every.single.week: learning centers staffed with peer assistants and faculty on two afternoons and two evenings, as well as walk-in tutoring four nights a week.

The students who attend are the B and C students who, with this help, may achieve the next higher grade. The top students don't come because they have no need. The students in danger of failing the course do not attend! They simply won't come on a regular basis. The info is on the syllabus, on the course website, repeated in class, learning centers are announced in class twice a week on the days they happen - to no avail: eight weeks into the semester there will still be students who come to me "what? There is TUTORING??? I had no idea!"

 

ETA: Our school even uses an electronic system to notify underperforming students and suggest actions to them. I am required to use it (even though I consider it ridiculous babysitting - after all, students know they have not been attending class or bummed an exam), yet sometimes students simply do not view the email with their Alert info for several weeks.

 

Are a lot of those kids the ones that don't attend class and don't do their homework? 

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I teach within the same university system as Laude, so I am seeing the same student demographics and issues.  Two things jump out at me in the article.  One, is students are placed in smaller classes. This provides students a much different atmosphere than a huge lecture hall or on-line classes (which have been pushed by the state as a money saving technique).  Two, students aren't told why they are chosen.  In recent years, I have had a number of students who are failing (and haven;t come to class, done homework, etc.)  who beg for a passing grade and say, "but, I am a first generation college student..."  This has become part of their mindset because they have been told that so many times.  

 

I think if you ask most professors, they would say that small classes and accountability on the part of the student will help graduation rates.  But the governor's office wants bigger classes, more technology, more programs, etc. to help these students which in the long run may be counterproductive.  

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Are a lot of those kids the ones that don't attend class and don't do their homework? 

 

Of course. The ones who don't attend class and don't do the homework are not attending help sessions for homework completion either.

But there are also a number of students who are in class on a fairly regular basis (and thus hear the announcements), and do the homework but do a poor job and don't come to help sessions/tutoring.

 

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Ok I looked at this article. She is from Dallas and went to UT in Austin for nursing? Most people in Texas want to go to UT in Austin because it is a big name school, but it is not always the best school.

 

There is a much better school for nursing right here in the Dallas area. She should have gone there. It is a smaller school and I don't think she would have been as overwhelmed.

 

I too was a first generation college graduate. Way back then there was no extra help for those of us that struggled with the expectations of college. These days there is so much free tutoring help. But the kids don't take advantage of it. I just don't understand. I have even offered to tutor some of my daughters friends for free and they don't want to do it.

 

I think everyone is expected to go to college these days, but maybe some shouldn't be there.

 

Linda

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This is big concern with online degrees and even doing a mix of online and face-to-face classes.  The networking and informal interactions happens far, far less in online classes than in traditional bricks-and-mortar schools.  I've already told mine that I'm fine if they want to do core subjects online, but I want them to take their major classes in a traditional format.  And I want them involved in interested-based clubs and seeking internship, shadowing, and co-op opportunities.

 

I took a total of 8 online classes last year from a semi-local state university, 2 with the same professor. I had 4 of the 7  that worked to build a sense of community online. One kept promoting on campus activities even giving extra credit for multiple attendance. I thought that was unfair as many of us took the class online specifically because we couldn't go to campus at set times on a regular basis. 

 

I liked the online learning, but you're right, the networking and interaction was minimal. It's certainly not a way to be known if you don't make extra effort for your professor to know you, much less classmates. 

 

My university is expanding their online options. Some of the classes are done mostly online but meet on campus once a week. IMO a totally only experience would be okay if you have a job and need to finish a degree or don't need the networking opportunities for some reason. This board has more networking and community than any of my classes did last year. 

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Are a lot of those kids the ones that don't attend class and don't do their homework? 

 

 

There certainly are at our local uni. Over and over, ds would see the same kids in at tutoring. Those kids were the ones trying for A's instead of B's. He'd see kids at exams that he'd NEVER seen in class!

 

He had a computer class this past semester, taught by an incompetent professor. However, the guy DID hold extra sessions every Wednesday evening, with projects due at midnight. Since he didn't actually TEACH, the students all were in the classroom, helping each other. But, over and over, there would be kids who hadn't started the projects! These were coding exercises that would take upwards of 12-18 hours--not doable in the 4 hours left. Ds found that the prof would help him, if he came in with just a glitch or two. And he would sometimes get help, IF the project was basically done. If the student would do the work, show up and try, he could pass. If he pulled the "I'm a first-generation college student" whine, didn't happen.

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Are a lot of those kids the ones that don't attend class and don't do their homework? 

 

This floors me.  I guess I'd expect there will always be people out there who do that, but that many?  How did they get into college?  Why are they there?  I just don't get it.

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I took a few graduate courses and was surprised by how many graduate students fluff off.  Presentations from some were downright painful to listen to.  They couldn't seem to manage to use spell checker for two lines of text on a Power Point presentation.

 

I suspect in some cases students are just stretched too thin with work and family. 

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I think I found a better way of explaining my reservations over some of these programs.

 

There may be many reasons why a student needs extra help with academics or adjusting to college level work. But I don't think background makes someone more deserving of special programs than any other student who need help and is putting forward a good effort.

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I think I found a better way of explaining my reservations over some of these programs.

 

There may be many reasons why a student needs extra help with academics or adjusting to college level work. But I don't think background makes someone more deserving of special programs than any other student who need help and is putting forward a good effort.

 

I agree, but I'm surprised that there are colleges who exclude in that way.  Mine did not.  Others here have said otherwise as well.  So I wonder how common it is that they only offer help to some and not others.

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I agree, but I'm surprised that there are colleges who exclude in that way. Mine did not. Others here have said otherwise as well. So I wonder how common it is that they only offer help to some and not others.

Some colleges (Georgia Southern comes to mind) have 'running start' type programs for students who may need some extra help getting used to college. Those are not open to everyone. I think GA Southern's is based on SAT scores more than demographics, but I think that may be what Sebastian is referring to. Some are based on socio-economic background. I have had former students who have attended those.

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Of course. The ones who don't attend class and don't do the homework are not attending help sessions for homework completion either.

But there are also a number of students who are in class on a fairly regular basis (and thus hear the announcements), and do the homework but do a poor job and don't come to help sessions/tutoring.

 

I see those students in high school, too. Some of them are in over their heads so deep that they cannot believe there is a way out. And then there are some who, for whatever reason, think they can just pull it out in the end. And, as a high school teacher, I will tell you many of my colleagues will help them do just that. But I think if you haven't been trying all semester, don't come to me with two weeks left expecting to learn calculus (or geometry or trig.) It isn't happening.

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I think it's a serious indictment of a high school when a student with a 50th-percentile SAT score and no study skills is in the top 10% of her class. :(  It's great that colleges are working with these kids, but I would like to see this addressed at the secondary level.

 

I went to a rather mediocre high school and came from that bottom economic quintile, but I was sufficiently well prepared academically that I could focus on the economic problems of attending college as needed.

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I think it's a serious indictment of a high school when a student with a 50th-percentile SAT score and no study skills is in the top 10% of her class. :(  It's great that colleges are working with these kids, but I would like to see this addressed at the secondary level.

 

I went to a rather mediocre high school and came from that bottom economic quintile, but I was sufficiently well prepared academically that I could focus on the economic problems of attending college as needed.

 

What is crazy to me is that students with good grades in a high school can flounder in college or be totally unprepared.  If good students are not prepared, then what in heck are (some) schools doing or not doing? 

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Reminds of me of this story I read in the LA Times:

 

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-c1-cal-freshmen-20130816-dto-htmlstory.html

 

 

School had always been his safe harbor.

Growing up in one of South Los Angeles' bleakest, most violent neighborhoods, he learned about the world by watching "Jeopardy" and willed himself to become a straight-A student.

His teachers and his classmates at Jefferson High all rooted for the slight and hopeful African American teenager. He was named the prom king, the most likely to succeed, the senior class salutatorian. He was accepted to UC Berkeley, one of the nation's most renowned public universities.

A semester later, Kashawn Campbell sat inside a cramped room on a dorm floor that Cal reserves for black students. It was early January, and he stared nervously at his first college transcript.

There wasn't much good to see.

 

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What is crazy to me is that students with good grades in a high school can flounder in college or be totally unprepared. If good students are not prepared, then what in heck are (some) schools doing or not doing?

Public schools are busy remediating special needs and truants. Average and bright students are left to themselves in full inclusion settings where very little work is getting done. Political placements and some gifted comprise the honors program, which is the only place true college prep occurs.

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Public schools are busy remediating special needs and truants. Average and bright students are left to themselves in full inclusion settings where very little work is getting done. Political placements and some gifted comprise the honors program, which is the only place true college prep occurs.

 

This is even worse than I imagined because this was not the case when I was in school, but plenty of good students floundered as well.

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I hesitate to admit the part that stood out to me the most was that the college had all sorts of info on the parent's schooling level & income that they were using for their decision on who to include in their TIP program. Is that on the application or are they pulling it from FAFSA?   :ohmy:

 

The rest of it didn't surprise me much.

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I hesitate to admit the part that stood out to me the most was that the college had all sorts of info on the parent's schooling level & income that they were using for their decision on who to include in their TIP program. Is that on the application or are they pulling it from FAFSA?   :ohmy:

 

The rest of it didn't surprise me much.

 

I recall being asked that.  I have no idea what they do/did with the info.

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I hesitate to admit the part that stood out to me the most was that the college had all sorts of info on the parent's schooling level & income that they were using for their decision on who to include in their TIP program. Is that on the application or are they pulling it from FAFSA?    :ohmy:

 

 

 

To get a better sense of who these struggling students were, Laude started pulling records from the provost’s office. It wasn’t hard to discern a pattern. The students who were failing were mostly from low-income families. Many of them fit into certain ethnic, racial and geographic profiles: 

 

 

 

In 1999, at the beginning of the fall semester, Laude combed through the records of every student in his freshman chemistry class and identified about 50 who possessed at least two of the “adversity indicators†common among students who failed the course in the past: low SATs, low family income, less-educated parents. He invited them all to apply to a new program, which he would later give the august-sounding name the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan, or TIP. 

 

 

AT UT, he got the data from the Provost.  It's all on the "applyTexas" form.

 

https://www.applytexas.org/adappc/html/preview14/frs_1.html

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AT UT, he got the data from the Provost.  It's all on the "applyTexas" form.

 

https://www.applytexas.org/adappc/html/preview14/frs_1.html

 

Thank you. From the link, it looks like most of the info they pulled is optional except where they were born (geographic indicators) or only required if you are applying for need-based financial awards (financial/family income info). 

 

I am so not looking forward to the massive info seeking that goes with applying to colleges. I did wonder how the privacy statement on the website applies for the data-mining the professor did. I did not check the University's GIC for more details on FERPA. I'm sure there's something in there that allows for what they are doing.

Texas public universities also comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which prohibits the release of education records without student permission. For more details on FERPA, currently enrolled students should see the University's General Information Catalog....Consistent with FERPA, the administrators of ApplyTexas do not release personal student information to other parties unless they receive explicit written authorization to do so.

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I'm 51 years old and graduated undergrad almost 30 years ago; I'm still have those I'm-short-one-class dreams!  Do they ever stop?

 

It seems you and I have had very similar college life experiences.

I don't know what most colleges are like.  I went to a state school.  They had tons of free tutoring services for every subject.  They had a writing lab.  They had a math lab.  They had foreign language labs.  And they advertised.  If you needed help and didn't get any that was basically your own darn fault.  Study skills courses were available to anyone, but did not earn credit.  I never actually used any of the services. 

 

I am pretty amazed I graduated.  Sometimes I have nightmares that I'm short one class, and I can't seem to get through the class.  I wake up and think no I really did graduate. 

 

I did have a bit of a rough start.  I think mostly it was because I wasn't sure what I wanted to major in, and some of the beginning classes I found rather pointless and boring.  I started off at one school and transferred to another.  My worst class was World History.  The instructor was pretty lousy.  I didn't do the work.  I really didn't even read the book.  In order for me to transfer that class I had to get a 100 on the final exam to get a C (a class only transferred with a C).  I got 100 on the final.  It was a week of studying morning, noon, and night (and a lot of coffee and donuts..LOL). 

 

After that I did a lot better.  I took the hardest classes I could get into and sometimes asked for permission to get in.  I did better with a challenge.  If I wasn't challenged, I tended to sluff off. 

 

And I graduated cum laude. 

 

I suppose I'm tooting my own horn a bit here because after reading those stats I wasn't likely to graduate.  Probably the hardest thing for me is that I really did not have much support.  My parents weren't against me going to college, but they either didn't care or didn't imagine I'd graduate.  So they often said nothing at all.  But I was always the type that if I set my mind to something, I'd do it. 

 

I remember meeting someone from the same dorm who had flunked out of 2 colleges (and these weren't even top of the line schools).  Her parents had the money to deal with that.  I did not.  That was it for me.  I'm not sure they were doing her any favors, but it goes to show how much more support people with money might be getting. 

 

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At the university where I teach, the students who don't show up and don't do the homework are the ones who fail, so I see the same thing in that regard that others do.  But when I talk to them and dig deeper, "I didn't have child care", "Work called me in and I have to go" or "My husband is deployed (military town) and I couldn't study after I got off work and I fell asleep" were the three most common excuses I heard for not engaging the class.  Essentially, they were over-extended.

I took a few graduate courses and was surprised by how many graduate students fluff off.  Presentations from some were downright painful to listen to.  They couldn't seem to manage to use spell checker for two lines of text on a Power Point presentation.

 

I suspect in some cases students are just stretched too thin with work and family. 

 

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This floors me.  I guess I'd expect there will always be people out there who do that, but that many?  How did they get into college?  Why are they there?  I just don't get it.

 

Didn't everyone go to school with several people like that?  I think that High School teaches many kids that showing up for class is all that is required to pass.  Then they drink a lot, and don't even do that.  

 

Freshman Chem, a cute boy sits down next to me and starts talking.  He says he borrowed the book from his ex girlfriend and he hoped it wasn't jinxed because she failed.  Then he opens the book AND IT CRACKS.  She had literally never opened the book.  After we both recovered from the shock, he said that she didn't understand why she failed.  

 

One message about college that I think will benefit kids and not many get or comprehend, "College is hard.  You have to work at it and study.  It is not one long party."  

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