Why are college retention rates so bad…really

A recent New York Times article What Can Stop Kids From Dropping Out provides great insight into this very serious problem. The highlights that resonated the most with me are:

  • “The scandal — and it really is a scandal — is that many colleges and universities aren’t using tools that have been proved to substantially raise graduation rates. Instead, they duck the issue by pointing a finger at high schools for turning out underprepared students.”
  • George State says, “Rather than blaming the students, we took a hard look in the mirror.” and “Instead of waiting for undergraduates to show up, academic advisers reach out at the first hint of trouble”

When Hovering Matters

For some time, the term “helicopter parent” has been used as a term of disparagement. I start with a confession: Many would say I am one. A helicopter parent, so named for hovering over a college student—my college student, my son—despite many college professionals telling me that it would be better to leave his problems to them.

Now the defense. My son was flunking all of his classes just 8-weeks into his freshman year. Continue reading “When Hovering Matters”

What Exactly is Common Core and Will it Work?

Common Core is a new set of standards spelled out, grade by grade, that specify specific reading and math skills that students should have as they go from kindergarten through high school. These new standards are considered more rigorous because they require students to not only memorize information, but also apply critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning to what they have learned.   Continue reading “What Exactly is Common Core and Will it Work?”

The Power of Text Reminders

The NY Times is reporting that when first-generation students received simple text reminders to complete their financial aid packages, 68 percent completed their sophomore year, compared with 54 percent of those who did not receive reminders.

Our CoPilot web/mobile app was designed with the same strategy of reminding students of critical academic dates. We have seen the same positive results.