In faith-based communities, college completion may be uniquely emphasized

Growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, in the 1960s and 70s, Odell Cleveland leveraged his basketball skills to land a college scholarship. The 6-foot-3 Cleveland would go on to earn a place in the University of South Carolina Upstates Athletics Hall of Fame.

Im one of those individuals who came from just a poor, poor background, and because at the time I was able to play sports in America, I was able to go to college, get an education. I saw that education itself helped turn my life around, said Cleveland, now chief administrative officer at the 4,000-member Mount Zion Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina.

In addition to his church role, Cleveland chairs the advisory board for the college completion initiative Degrees Matter!, which receives funding from the Lumina Foundation, an Indiana-based nonprofit that tries to get more students enrolled in college.

Hes not the only one who thinks that houses of worship can partner with local postsecondary schools to preach the importance of higher education.

Those partnerships are a reoccuring theme in several of the nearly 60 cities including Greensboro, North Carolina, which for the last four years have been competing for a $1 million prize for most significantly boosting their college completion rates, said Noel Harmon, the national director of Talent Dividend, the name of the competition.

The program is a project of the national nonprofit CEOs for Cities, whose mission focuses on the bottom up change happening in cities as federal and state governments languish in hyper-partisan and dysfunctional behavior.

Read more…

Pete McDonald Appointed President of Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Pete McDonald Appointed President of Georgia Northwestern Technical College The state board that oversees the Technical College System of Georgia has unanimously approved Commissioner Ron Jackson’s recommendation of Pete McDonald to be the next president of Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC).

The board endorsed the selection of McDonald as the next GNTC president during their monthly meeting in Atlanta on September 5.

McDonald has been serving as the acting president of GNTC since last April, following the retirement of Dr. Craig McDaniel.

“I know that Pete McDonald is one of the very best economic development professionals in the state,” said Jackson. “He’s also a top-notch administrator who has made many valuable contributions to Georgia Northwestern Technical College and the people of the region it serves. He unders Read more…

Ohio’s college remediation rate crisis—and what can be done

Ohio’s bright-eyed freshmen aren’t ready for college coursework. That’s the story from the Ohio Board of Regents, which reports that 40 percent of Ohio’s college freshman take remedial (high-school level) coursework in either math or English. Moreover, 14 percent of incoming freshman are required by their college to take a remedial math English class.

These are staggering numbers, with massive implications for students and taxpayers. For students who take a remedial course, Complete College America found that only 35 percent graduate in six years. This compares to 56 percent of all students. Similarly, the Ohio State University found that students who took remedial coursework graduated at a rate 30 points lower than their non-remedial peers. With these dismal results in mind, remedial coursework largely wastes the $130 million per year Ohio spends to support remedial education.

  • As expected, higher-performing schools tend to have lower remediation rates;
  • A small portion of Ohio high schools have remarkably high remediation rates—above 70 and 80 percent—and four schools break the 90 percent mark;
  • A modest-sized section of high-performing high schools also have high remediation rates. This is une

Read more…

When a child leaves for college: Parents must learn to let go

Jaelyn Dean and her 18-year-old college freshman, Holly, have escaped the sweltering August heat of Logan, Utah, to an auditorium for freshman orientation at Utah State University. Holly mimicked a reserved smile as she and her mother parted ways into separate sections for parents and students.

Though she knows it will be best, Dean is finding it difficult to allow Holly to be on her own.

This month, parents across the country are saying goodbye as they drop their children off at a college campus for the first time. More than 90 percent of colleges in the U.S. are implementing or expanding orientation programs not for incoming freshmen, but for their parents, according to the National Orientation Directors Association in 2011. As parents are maintaining constant contact with their children while away, colleges are stepping in with an important message to parents.

Let go.

“At first I was shocked when they asked the parents to stay all day in this orientation,” Dean said.

Read more…

Seeing the world as a college freshman

Mention Amazon to the incoming class of college freshmen and they are more likely to think of shopping than the South American river. PC doesn’t stand for political correctness and breaking up is a lot easier thanks to Facebook and text messaging.

These are among the 75 references on this year’s Beloit College Mindset List, a compilation intended to remind teachers that college freshmen born mostly in 1993 see the world in a much different way: They fancied pogs and Tickle Me Elmo toys as children, watched televisions that never had dials and their lives have always been like a box of chocolates.

Once upon a time, relatives of the current generation swore never to trust anyone over the age of 30. This group could argue: Never trust anyone older than the Net.

The college’s compilation, released Tuesday, is assembled each year by two officials at the private school in southeastern Wisconsin. It also has evolved into a national phenomenon, a cultural touchstone that entertains even as it makes people wonder where the years have gone.

Remember when the initials LBJ referred to President Lyndon B. Johnson?

Read more…