According to the article Effects of high school contexts on postsecondary enrolment, the state of unpreparedness by high school students is shown through the use of national statistics about how various students performs in college. It measures the level of college unpreparedness by expounding on the high number of students who finds themselves in college remedial classes. In addition, the authors explains that, only 55% of the students who enrol for a four year college course, graduates within a period of 6 years. However, one of the way to enable and ensure that the high schoolers are well fit and prepared to join college is by adopting various strategies such as the Common core State Standards. Andrea Venezia and Laura Jaeger clearly explains how the Common Core state standards is important in ensuring this transition occurs in prepared individuals. They state that, monitoring a child’s progress in the key subjects such as Mathematics and English from an early age can largely help them in succeeding after high school.
ACT asserts that, high school success and the relative college readiness are not necessarily the same thing. It concludes that, too many students are nowadays likely to struggle after completing high school education since it appears that, the current education curricula is not very engaging so as to produce a student who would be ready to handle the challenges experience in college. The ACT research supports this argument by showing the findings of their assessment study which showed that younger students who undertook rigorous curricula were more prepared to graduate and join college or be ready for a professional career (Patterson and David 84). Additionally, it showed that the general academic achievement that a child is able to attain by eighth grade has a major impact on the student’s college success and their readiness in career more than anything else that happens to them academically in high school.
The ethnicity and socio-economical background of the high school seniors may at times play a vital role in making them unprepared for college life. Various research shows that no more than 47% of the black, American Indians and Hispanic student population managed to reach any of the usual college readiness benchmarks. Sciences and mathematics remained the toughest subject areas for these minority students that is more likely to make them unprepared for college where they believe they would proceed to meeting more academic advancements on these subjects. The high school curricula has been said to have terribly failed in adequately preparing and developing the student’s abilities in reading, comprehending and tackling complex materials, do research and thinking critically (Engberg, Mark, Gregory and Wolniak 135). The socio economical hindrance to adequately preparing a high school student for college manifests when disparities are evident between the instructions given out by the high schools that has a high concentration of students from poor background as compared to their counterparts from advantageous backgrounds (Andrea 117).
Other leading causes for this unpreparedness for college transition are the noncurricular variables such as the effects of peer pressure, conditions that encourage academic study and parental expectations. Arguably, apart from the impact of the high school curricula to preparing a child for higher learning, the noncurricular factors plays an imperative role in either the success or failure in advancing their high school education (Andrea 117). For instance, many of the contemporary jobs in America does not require a Bachelor’s degree. In fact some of the workers in this sectors ends up earning far much than their counterparts in the ones who may be having Bachelor’s degrees. However, the structure of our noncurricular understanding of higher education is trapped in the culture that openly and rather blindly advocates that a Bachelor’s degree is the only available option and solution for all social ills; therefore discouraging the high school students whom after proper assessment of the long–term performance, may not be able join a university for a Bachelor’s degree.
An array of interventions which ranges from proper academic preparation by the high school teachers, sports and psychological behavioural to clear and available information about college and the available financial aid are required so as to ensure that the transition from high school to college has occurred smoothly and is able to prepare the student for more success in the future. It is important for all the concerned parties, which includes the high school and college teachers, parents, peers and the government to adopt the strategies that would help in developing the child’s habits of mind which includes organisational skills, persistence, anticipation and resilience. More systemic programs ought to be adopted such as the popular Middle College High schools and a comprehensive review of the efforts required to enable high school students to take up college classes. This is referred to as dual enrolment. The evaluation of these effectiveness efforts are usually limited, nonetheless, through dual-enrolment programs, a lot of hope is created in improving the current situation.
Many states are currently in the process of adopting the Common core standards policy which is a voluntary set of goals that ought to be achieved in field of English and Mathematics (Patterson and David 84). This initiative largely promotes and improves preparedness for college and the readiness for a career. However, the Common Core Standards would only become fruitful when proper implementation in regard to supplemented standards with the relevant professional development that enables the high school and college teachers be able assist all the students in meeting all the expected standards in college readiness.
In conclusion, it is evident that our current education system is marred with flaws that prevents the smooth transition of a high school grandaunt into college. After reviewing numerous articles on this topic, it is now my opinion that for a college student to successfully complete the two or four year course in college, they must have had a relatively strong background in mathematics and English especially from their earlier periods of education. In addition, the persistent instances of social and ethnic gaps in high school and colleges may threaten the readiness of these minority students to getting or succeeding in college.
Engberg, Mark E., and Gregory C. Wolniak. "Examining the effects of high school contexts
on postsecondary enrollment." Research in Higher Education 51.2 (2010): 132-153.
Lee, Jaekyung. "College for All Gaps Between Desirable and Actual P–12 Math
Achievement Trajectories for College Readiness." Educational Researcher 41.2 (2012): 43-55.
Patterson, J. P., and David Duer. "High school teaching and college expectations in writing
and reading." English Journal (2006): 81-87.
Venezia, Andrea, and Laura Jaeger. "Transitions from High School to College." The Future
of Children 23.1 (2013): 117-136.