Feeling Unprepared for College and Career

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
-Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

In a blog post from earlier this month, Background Information, we provided study results which clearly stated that most students do not feel prepared for college and career. This means teachers have two big jobs in high schools:

  1. Prepare their students for the future
  2. Making sure their students feel prepared to take on the future

What happens when individuals do not feel prepared to take on life after high school? Most people get frustrated and/or discouraged; therefore, they:

  • decide not to pursue a higher education: In 2016, the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that 72.3% of high school graduates did not enroll in college.
  • either go to college but never graduate: According to Forbes, only 28% of students completed a bachelor’s degree in the expected amount of time at various schools in 2016. This means that nearly 2 million students dropout each year before graduating.
  • or find a job that is not related to their college degree: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that in 2010 only 62.1% of college graduates had a job that required a college degree and only 27.3% of college graduates had a job remotely related to their major.

This is very unfortunate because according to SmartAsset, the average yearly salary for a worker with a high school diploma is $35,256 and $38,376 for a worker with some college but not degree. While the yearly salary for a worker with a bachelors degree is $59,124. That is almost a $24,000 difference that makes a big difference in a person’s lifestyle.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on College and Career Outcomes of High Schools!

Background Information on Outcomes of High Schools

While there is little argument that college preparation in high school is imperative​, there is debate ​among scholars ​as to what extent high schools should prepare students for college and careers. In order to better understand this, we need to recognize current statistics associated with College and Career Outcomes of High Schools. Here is some information by YouthTruth that we should keep in mind.

As you can see, in the survey below, most high school students feel unprepared for college despite wanting to go. Additionally, students feel even more unprepared for careers.

So what can high schools do to change these numbers? In our next blog we will discuss programs that have been put in place to make a difference.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on College and Career Outcomes of High Schools!

Student Debt

During the month of October, we will focus on the scariest of topics: student debt. Student debt is at an all time high recently. Did you know that student debt has increased a shocking 145 percent since 2008? And that the average debt for a student who graduated with a bachelors degree in 2015 is around $30,000?

Dealing with a large debt while trying to find a job and, perhaps, looking for a place to live or moving back home can be very stressful. According to Student Loan Hero, over 70 percent of students reported suffering from headaches related to student debt stress. Other outcomes of student debt include: insomnia, physical pain and isolation due to depression and anxiety. This can be very dangerous as it can potentially cause disease and even death.

But do not worry! That is what World Future Forum is here for. There are many ways to avoid the toll student debt can cause in our students and, as educators, we can help. Stay tuned to find out ways to help your students confront student debt and learn how to manage it more effectively.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on student debt!

Promote College Persistence

College persistence is when a student continues attending any university or college after their freshman year. It is not to be confused with college retention, which applies to students returning to the same university to continue higher education. These two ideas are measured differently since persistence depends on the student’s motivation whereas retention depends more on the institution’s efforts to keep the student.

So, how can we motivate students to stay persistent during their college career?

  1. Encouraging students to take high level courses, such as Advanced Placement (AP), dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment courses during high school helps them know what to expect in a more rigorous environment. If a student feels prepared to take on their college courses, they will be more likely to continue their higher education.
  2. Arranging visits to local campuses is a simple task that high schools can do to motivate students. Regardless on interest in the local campus, visiting a university can help the students figure out what they would like to see in their future university, whether it is class size, location of the campus, amount of diversity, student organization, activities for students outside the classroom, or campus housing.
  3. Academic advising is a tool that most students do not take advantage of; however, more and more universities are now starting to implement mandatory advising in their curriculum to increase student persistence rates. Attending advising sessions, in high school and college, motivates students to set goals while the advisor provides resources to help them attain these goals. This provides a student with a meaningful goal to work towards even during tough times.
  4. If a university focuses on increasing awareness of resources for students before or right at the beginning of their freshman year, students will know where to receive assistance and not feel like they are alone. Common resources that most universities offer include computer labs designed for financial aid processes, support clubs and organizations to bring students together, tutoring and remedial courses for core subjects, and student success courses or workshops to improve time management and study skills.
  5. Many times, students feel like their college courses did not fully prepare them for their desired career fields. Focusing on connecting the skills learned in each course to post-secondary life can give students a sense of direction and inspire them to continue their education. Providing opportunities for students to obtain internships, conduct their own research, and volunteer in their future professions can be very beneficial and comforting.

Join us at World Future Forum for research findings and best practices in college transition and persistence!