September 6, 2012
Student Voices on the Higher Education Pathway
A recent study conducted by Completion by Design, an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Success Strategy, reported on opinions of former and current community college students about their expectations for and experiences in college. The report considered elements that helped students succeed in college. Five themes emerged from the findings:
Theme 1. Students wanted more exposure to career possibilities so that they could make better-informed decisions about the goals they set out to achieve and the steps necessary for success.
Theme 2. While former and current community college students consistently reported that they lacked readiness for college, most believed that the student success and developmental education courses intended to bring them up to speed were not offered in a way that helped them succeed.
Theme 3. Participants believed that having clear goals, and being in programs with well-defined pathways, gave them a greater chance of persisting, completing, or transferring.
Theme 4. Advisors, counselors, and faculty members who offer support and guidance that is accurate, accessible, and tailored to students’ educational and career goals are in high demand and can be hard to come by.
Theme 5. Students are aware that colleges offer a wide range of services, but they report that finding the specific information or services they need often requires going on a “wild goose chase” and navigating silos.
To read the complete report, go to http://www.publicagenda.org/files/pdf/student_voices.pdf.Posted by: Tamara Rāty