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How Extra Year of High School Can Set Students Up for College Success

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“When Ricky Sierra graduated from Da Vinci Design High School in Wiseburn, California near Los Angeles, she was excited to be attending Sonoma State University. She had considered completing her general education requirements at a community college closer to home, but was eager to get settled at a four-year university. Just one semester later she found herself unhappy and wanting to leave school.”(more)

California’s demographics shift begs an economic imperative to graduate students of color

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“Better support means “not just thinking we need to provide all students with the same things, because we know that students from [higher income, often white] communities have access to resources in order to help them navigate those institutions,” he continued.. “We need to think differently about how we provide supports to those students in order to get them to graduation day.” Ed Trust-West’s policy recommendations start with having leaders who are invested in “making transformational change.” At California Polytechnic State University, President Jeffrey D. Armstrong said he and his wife fundraise intentionally to support a scholarship fund to help better support underrepresented students on campus.”(more)

Three worrisome trends in U.S. higher education

The Washington Post – Jeffrey L. Selingo

“The thousands of college campuses that dot the American landscape have long been referred to collectively as a higher education system. It’s never been quite an apt description given the diversity of colleges we have. Increasingly the various types of institutions—from public flagships to selective liberal arts colleges—have very little, if anything, in common with each other. Much like American society is segregated by income and geography, so too is higher education.”(more)

This Accelerator Empowers Low-Income Students to Jump the College-to-Career Divide

Ed Surge – Aimée Eubanks Davis

” Only one in four of the 1.2 million low-income or first-generation college enrollees each year will graduate and land a strong first job or enter grad school. African American young people, like Jalil, are twice as likely to end up unemployed even with their Bachelor’s degree. The causes stem from a lack of access to career skills, mindsets, experiences and networks. Certain invisible privileges often come to students from more affluent backgrounds—from parents who can help their children put together compelling resumes, to a sibling who’s gone through the interview process just a few years before, to a family friend who works at a thriving company and will make a connection. But for students without such privileges, these stepping stones are absent, and they’re left trying to jump a gap that other young folks quietly glide across.”(more)

College may no longer be necessary, high quality K-12 education is

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Even though psychologists have been talking about a lack of correlation between college degrees, course grades, and job performance for decades, most companies continue to rely on these credentials and marks to make hiring decisions.

In the past couple of years, however, a few companies have broken rank. Google, a Fortune 500 technology firm, and Ernst and Young U.K., part of one of the world’s largest accounting firms, have publicly announced they no longer require college degrees for employment.

Google’s chairman said the company is more interested in an applicant’s skills, ability to think in a logical way, work ethic, breadth of experience, public speaking abilities, and creativity. Ernst and Young said they are interested in talented individuals regardless of background.

This transformation is due, in large part, to free access of information through the Internet. Over five years ago Bill Gates, a founder of Microsoft, suggested that traditional university education, especially at fixed-place institutions will no longer be necessary, since most of the content will be available online for free.

The college experience is under additional pressure, because college costs are rising at a rate higher than inflation and a college degree no longer guarantees a solid middle-class income. In fact, the College Risk Report (collegeriskreport.com) suggests that the rate of return on most four-year college degrees is worse than 2-year degrees and in some instances worse than no degree at all.

There is a small group of students who receive full ride scholarships to attend college. For these students, the costs are so low that the four-year degree makes financial sense.

Some people assert that college is an excellent place to make contacts. This may be a valid claim for students who are outgoing and takes advantage of all the clubs, speakers, professors, and research opportunities available at a school, but is probably not the case for most students who meet few people outside their dorms and classes.

Without a traditional college education, strong K-12 schooling is imperative since this will be where kids learn basic skills, hone public speaking abilities, refine creative thinking, and develop logical problem solving capabilities. Work ethic can be developed at school, home or in extra-curricular activities like sports. Breadth of experience can occur at school or through outside clubs and activities.

This new employment paradigm suggests we need to worry more about high quality K-12 education and less about college.

Trump to offer exclusive contract to service U.S. student loans

Reuters – Lisa Lambert

“President Donald Trump’s administration will soon offer an exclusive contract that will give one company the right to service billions of dollars of outstanding federal student loans now handled by four companies, officials said on Friday. The U.S. Education Department, led by Trump pick Betsy DeVos, said the streamlining will save money and increase efficiency. But critics said student borrowers could suffer because a single company would be granted a monopoly, with no incentive to provide better customer service.”(more)