Our #nacacreads chat with Reach Higher on Michelle Obama’s Becoming is coming up in just under a month.
But in case you can’t wait that long, you can hear from the former first lady in her own words.
Obama recently talked with a group of young women convened by her publisher about “imposter syndrome,” the importance of education, and many other topics highlighted in her book.
“I had to contend with ‘how do I get my education when I’m surrounded by people who may have different expectations of me?’ And those weren’t just the kids in the neighborhood. There were teachers I had to confront, teachers who underestimated me… When I sat down with my high school counselor — somebody who didn’t know me but was assigned to work with students to help them apply to college — and I told them my intention was to apply to Princeton. That counselor told me, ‘I don’t think you’re Princeton material,’” Obama said in the interview.
“The person whose job it was to help young people reach their dreams when it came to college saw me and whatever she saw in me told her that my dreams were too high…Even though I continued on, I applied, and you know obviously I got in, but I still remember that story. I remember that feeling of doubt. Just another adult placing a barrier on me that I didn’t even have for myself. So then, to enter into an elite school when your high school counselor has told you you’re not good enough, when all of society looks at kids of color or kids from poor communities or rural communities as not belonging, I, like many others, walked into that school with a stigma in my own head.”
Watch the full video and make plans to join us next month for this important conversation. We will be discussing the former first lady’s own journey to college, her experience as a first-generation student, the importance of diversity on campus, and the role college counselors play.
The #nacacreads Twitter chat will kick off promptly at 9 p.m. ET on March 19.
Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National college completion rates have increased for the third consecutive year, according to a new report.
The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has been tracking this data for the past six years and the latest numbers are an all-time high. According to the report, the overall national six-year completion rate increased by 1.5 percentage points this year, reaching 58.3 percent.
The Gap Year Association recently named February as “Gap Year Exploration Month,” an event designed to give attention to the options available to students who don’t want to jump right into college.
“Gap Year Exploration Month seeks to empower students to understand the vast array of opportunities available for gap time and research paths that are right for them,” the association wrote in a blog post.
“Behind this initiative is a passionate group of educators, program providers and others who want to help promote the benefits of gap time.”
Community college transfer students also graduate at higher rates than students who transfer from other four-year colleges, according to the report.
More than 35,000 community college students transfer to selective colleges and universities each year and 75 percent of them graduate within six years. About 73 percent of students entering selective universities straight from high school graduate in that time frame, along with 61 percent of students who transfer from another four-year institution.
On average, community college transfer students earn their degree within two and a half years.
A new report from the Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce finds that despite being funded by all taxpayers, selective public colleges do not serve all segments of their states’ populations.