English 101 SIN 3
The Reality of College
America’s educational standards have changed greatly throughout the last couple of years. In the 1980’s only half of all high school graduates attended college. The other half ventured into successful careers with only a high school diploma. “Because the rapid pace of technological and economic change has transformed the workplace, today's students need far more knowledge and skills than before to compete and thrive. In most cases, that means a college degree” (Perkins-Gough). Considering this change, have high schools succeeded in preparing their students for the rigors of college? Are high schools preparing students both educationally and emotionally? If not, then why are students being pushed into attending college without being properly exposed to every option available post high school education? Also, should students be expected to attend college right out of high school? I expect my research to prove that awareness of the reality of college is lacking in high school. With more awareness and preparation high schools provide to their students, I believe college drop outs, wrongly chosen majors, and unnecessary debt could be avoided. Proper educational and emotional preparation for any level of post secondary education provided through high school is crucial to every student’s success.
It is generally thought that student’s who do very well in high school should go into college with no hang-ups in regards to school work. However, according to U.S. Department of Education “only 56 percent of students who enroll in four-year colleges receive a degree within six years, and only one-third of students who enroll in two-year colleges finish within three years” (Perkins-Gough). As a student who did very well in high school I was surprised at the amount of stress I encountered once I entered college. The jump from high school to college was huge both educationally and emotionally. A jump that I did not feel prepared for despite my “rigorous” high school schedule. This is but one example of high schools lack of college training. Another source that proves high schools are not preparing their students for college education is recent scores on proficiency exams. “Researchers say that remedial [course] numbers have increased from nearly one-third of incoming college freshmen in 2001, to about 40 percent currently” (Kuczynski-Brown). Due to this increase, college freshman are now forced to take basic college courses that often do not count towards their majors. This is a very expensive price to pay for courses that should have been mastered in high school. This statement from the authors of Diploma to Nowhere precisely explains the predicament students are facing due to the lack of educational preparation for college, “In many ways, our education system has been perpetrating a terrible fraud, because the high school graduates who require college remediation are often the ones who did everything that was expected of them. They went to good schools, they posted high GPAs, and they took difficult classes. Teachers and parents told them that they would do well in college. But when these students enrolled at their local flagship university or nearby community college, they failed the math placement test. [Or] they were shunted into remedial reading” (Perkins-Gough). Another very important part of college preparation is the emotional transference from high school to college.
On top of the educational stress students are experiencing as they enter college, we tend to forget the emotional drainage that also accompanies it. “This dropout rate, in many cases, is not due to any lack of academic skill. Instead, the reasons are related to a lack of emotional, social, and self-care abilities needed for a major life transition. Numerous studies cite self-esteem, stress, anxiety, depression, and minor health issues as the most accurate predictors of grade-point...
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