Category Archives: College Readiness

First-Gen Students Less Likely to Access Rigorous Coursework in High School

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The challenges faced by first-generation college students are well-documented, and according to new data, some of those hurdles begin to crop up in high school.

A research brief from the National Center for Education Statistics found that students whose parents did not go to college were less likely to enroll in challenging high school courses than their peers.

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Stop the Spread of Math Anxiety

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Educators have long-known that math anxiety can affect student performance, but the underlying source of that apprehension may surprise you.

“Math anxiety can develop in the very early grades, often because of the negative messages about math that children pick up from the adults in their lives,” according to Karyn Lewis, a senior researcher at Education Northwest. “…Research shows that teachers unintentionally transmit their own attitudes about math to their students. This means teachers who have math anxiety can pass it on to their students, which can impact students’ math performance.”

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Video: The Forgotten College-Ready Students

A new video from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce highlights a vexing problem.

Every year, 500,000 students who graduated in the top half of their high school class fail to complete a college degree.

“Most of these students go to college, but drop out,” the video narrator explains. “So they get all the debt and none of the benefits a degree confers.”

The short animated film highlights the consequences for both students and the American economy.

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Study: Perfectionism Rising Among College Students

A blessing? A curse?

No matter how you view perfectionism, a new study shows that today’s college students are more likely to exhibit its traits than past generations.

Survey data collected from more than 41,000 students who attended college in the US, Canada, and UK between 1989 and 2016 shows that three key types of perfectionism have become more common in recent years.

“Our findings suggest that self-oriented perfectionism, socially prescribed perfectionism, and other-oriented perfectionism have increased over the last 27 years,” researchers conclude in a study published last month by the American Psychological Association (APA). “We speculate that this may be because, generally, American, Canadian, and British cultures have become more individualistic, materialistic, and socially antagonistic over this period, with young people now facing more competitive environments, more unrealistic expectations, and more anxious and controlling parents than generations before.”

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Member View: Foster Acceptance in the New Year

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A brand new year, a brand new you?

Across the country, millions of Americans are setting resolutions — vowing to build good habits and break bad ones over the next 12 months.

Hit the gym? Eat right? Unplug? All valid goals, says NACAC member Brennan Barnard.

But for college-bound students, he’d like to add one more to the list.

“In 2018, I am resolving to foster acceptance, and will encourage my students to do the same,” Barnard, who works at The Derryfield School (NH), wrote in a recent column published by The Huffington Post.

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#NACACreads: College Prep and the Price of Perfection

College-bound kids from across the globe are increasingly internalizing the same harmful message: Only excellence will do when it comes to grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, and college admission.

But expecting across-the-board greatness is a “set-up,” clinical psychologist David Gleason told counselors and admission professionals on Tuesday.

“Trying to conform to these expectations, kids become depleted, feeling scared about their futures, and disillusioned by their inability to do it all,” Gleason tweeted during a #NACACreads discussion of his book, At What Cost? Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools.

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#NACACreads: Discuss Student Mental Health on Tuesday

How much pressure is too much for college-bound students?

Join us Tuesday for a #NACACreads discussion of At What Cost? Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools.

The hour-long Twitter chat, featuring author David L. Gleason, will kick off at 9 p.m. ET.

“Pressure to succeed, in and of itself, is not necessarily unhealthy,” Gleason notes in his book. “However, too much pressure — for anyone — but especially for still-developing children and adolescents — can be dangerous.”

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Study: Are Today’s Teens Afraid to Grow Up?

Dating and obtaining a driver’s license have long been American rites of passage, but a new study suggests that today’s teens seem less interested in meeting those milestones than prior generations.

A study published this week in the journal Child Development showed a sharp decline over the past decade in the percentage of adolescents who date or drive. The share of teens who have tried alcohol or held a paying job has also decreased.

And while some of the data may suggest that teens are making healthier choices, the overall trend of delaying adulthood may speak to the increased pressures today’s kids face, according to a Washington Post article examining the new findings.

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