Admission News

Are We Preparing Students for College?

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We expect students who get into the best, highly selective colleges are well-prepared and will be great college students. This is not always the case. Yes, many students, even those with the grades and the test scores, are not prepared to be successful college freshmen.

There are two common complaints about today’s college students.

1.They have poor study habits. They are not able to focus, break down difficult materials , or solve problems while working on their own

2. Students may be able to use formulas and perform basic mechanics, but they have no idea why the formulas or processes work. They are lacking foundations in their studies.

The 2012 ACT College Readiness Test found only one in four students met the benchmarks designed to show readiness for college success. How can that be? First, of the students who test early in the 90th percentile of ability, 30 to 50 percent of them show continued drops in their performance from elementary to high school. Particularly, those in minority groups and in low income groups show the most drop. We are losing students who are at risk between the gaps. At the same time, on the other end, smart students who are not at risk are bored and easing through to the point where they lose their interest and fail to keep strong study habits.

The problem is not only in elementary and secondary education. College educators also need to make more of an effort to meet students as they are when accepted through their doors and continue to improve their educational prospects. Professors need to be able to tap more readily into today’s students’ digital proclivity and to understand the new curriculum they have been taught under the influence of Common Core State Standards.

Can students entering college today handle college-level work and learn at more advanced levels? This is an important question. Parents, students, teachers, and educational institutions should want an education that is not only empty scores and grades. How do we make sure our colleges today have students who will be actively engaged in higher-level learning?