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Why High School Students Need More Than College Prep

NPR – Claudio Sanchez

“Yes, this is a class, and these students are earning credit. But I can almost hear parents and students, for whom college is the only option, saying: Credit towards what? Isn’t this just training for the dead-end, low-wage jobs of the future?’ Gilbert, who helps manage the cafe and train other students, doesn’t think so. “Just the overall experience with the cash register and all the different kinds of food preparation and working with money and all that stuff, it prepares you for all kinds of things.” Training as a barista may not seem like a big deal, but Gilbert — and educators here and around the country — say she’s learning those all-important “soft skills” that employers expect. Roughly seven out of 10 high school grads are headed to college every year — but that leaves hundreds of thousands who aren’t. And survey after survey shows that employers are demanding — even of college-bound students — some level of job skills and professionalism: punctuality, customer service, managing people and teamwork.”(more)

Cal State University may require four years of high school math for admission

Ed Source – Pat Maio

“In the not-too-distant future, high school students bound for a California State University campus who thought they could slide through their senior year without taking a math course might instead be hitting the books. CSU’s Academic Senate, which represents faculty at all 23 campuses in the system, approved a resolution this spring calling for entering freshmen to take four years of high school math, rather than the current three. Worried that “mathematics skills decline with a lack of practice,” the resolution recommends that during their final year of high school students take a course in mathematics or some other “quantitative reasoning” course like statistics, computer science or coding, which helps students create computer software.”(more)

Advanced Math Courses Good Indicator of Future College Graduates

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“A study focused on students in Central Texas has found that student enrollment in advanced math courses is a good indicator of a student who will go on to graduate college. “[D]ata from E3 Alliance, a local education non-profit, shows that when students take math classes more advanced than Algebra II—Pre-Calculus or Advanced Placement Calculus—the chances of them enrolling in college increases at least 20 percentage points. Christine Bailey is with E3 Alliance,” says KUT.org.”(more)

New report: Placing average students in top colleges increases their grad rate by 26 percent

The Atlanta Journal Constitution – Maureen Downey

“An analysis from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce revisits a discussion we had here on the blog last week: Do students fare well at colleges that appear out of their academic league? That question is under review because the U.S. Supreme Court is looking again at affirmative action and whether race ought to play any role in admissions at the University of Texas, Austin. In 2008, white student Abigail Fisher sued after she was denied admission to the Texas flagship because she did not graduate in the top 10 percent of her high school class. Seventy-five percent of students admitted to the Austin campus reflect the “talented 10” policy that assures spots to students graduating in the upper ranks of their high school class. Fisher did not make the cut for the remaining 25 percent of admissions based on multiple considerations, including leadership, extracurriculars, honors, socioeconomic status, family composition and race.”(more)

Education for a jobless future: Are colleges preparing students for the workforce?

The Washington Post – Jeffrey J. Selingo

“The seismic shift in how campus recruiting is done these days makes it extremely difficult for college graduates to figure out what they need to do to best prepare for the workforce…We know there are odd things happening in the job market right now that we can’t seem to explain…Entire industries are disappearing almost overnight…One recent study predicts that nearly half of American jobs are at risk from automation and artificial intelligence. What kinds of jobs should the education system be preparing students for? How does anyone know what the job market might look like in two or four years when today’s high-school seniors will be looking for employment? So how are students — along with their parents, teachers, and professors — supposed to navigate this new world?…Two recent reports from Burning Glass, a company that mines and analyzes online job ads, provide a few clues as to what the future job market holds for new graduates:”(more)

The highest-paying jobs that don’t require a graduate degree

The Mercury News – Nick Selbe

“For some people, four years of college just aren’t enough. There are many reasons a graduate degree can be helpful – including higher average salaries – and those willing to put in the extra time are often rewarded in the long run. “I think students today are increasingly aware that the more education you receive, the higher your pay will be down the road,” said Emilia Hodge, graduate-education outreach director for the University of Florida’s graduate school, according to the Treasure Coast Palm.”(more)