Nearly one-third of college-bound high school graduates don’t arrive at any college campus the following fall.
This pervasive problem is known as summer melt and Patrick O’Connor, a former NACAC president and current school counselor ambassador fellow at the US Department of Education, has some advice for combating it.
Do you work with students who feel pressured by their families to add out-of-reach schools to their college lists?
NACAC member Beth Slattery has some insight that may be helpful to share with parents. Her advice? Ask moms and dads to consider what their suggestions signal to students.
“I don’t believe parents are intentionally trying to send the message that they are disappointed in their child when they suggest out-of-reach colleges. Most of them believe they are expressing confidence in their child’s ability, but that isn’t how the child hears it,” Slattery wrote in a recent post published on the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS) Admit All blog. “The student hears that the parent is disappointed in the colleges that they can get into. The student hears that the parent wishes they were the kind of applicant who had a shot at that type of school.”
Many students with disabilities can graduate from high school and go on to college, yet an investigation by The Hechinger Report reveals that a disproportionate number of young people on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) suffer from low expectations when it comes to postsecondary planning.
“Interviews with more than 100 parents, students, advocates, and experts across the country painted a picture of a special education landscape where transition planning and services are largely neglected,” reporters Sarah Butrymowicz and Jackie Mader wrote in an article published late last year. “Students with disabilities who could pursue higher education or meaningful employment are instead living at home and working low-wage jobs.”
Others are unemployed or pushed into professions that don’t match their interests.
The new staff members are expected to take over standardized testing duties and oversee services for students with disabilities. The hope is that these new counselors will make it possible for existing counselors on staff to spend more time focusing on the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students.
What does it take to overcome your circumstances and make it to college?
Roadtrip Nation, along with Better Make Room and the ACT Center for Equity on Learning, wanted to find out. So they sent three first-generation college students, Esther, Ikie, and Estephanie, on a road trip around the country. The trip was turned into a documentary titled Beating the Odds.