Transitioning from High School to College

Summary of an article: Preparing Students To Transition from High School to College, a review of the perceptions surrounding college and the challenges students face as they prepare for their collegiate experience, August, 2012

Despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of students believe college is an avenue worth pursuing, only 68% actually enroll immediately after high school. Of those students who do enroll, 42% will not complete their degree within six years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, October, 2011. Additionally, the National Center for Education Statistics found in a study conducted in 2012 showed that 70% of students who enroll in an associate’s degree will not obtain it within three years. Research shows that students who take higher level math and science classes have a better chance of being successful in college.  There seems to be a severe gap between what the student’s expectations are about college and what is actually expected once they arrive on the college campus. Most students enrolling in college don’t seriously expect that the workload will be more challenging than high school.  Students who have good study habits, good time management skills, and some level of independent living skills are more likely to be successful their first year in college.  However, if a student fails out of college their freshman year because of academics, it is our recommendation that you look for issues in other areas of the student’s life. This student may be struggling with an undiagnosed learning issue, be dealing with  a substance abuse issue, or may be having some mental illness problems.

We would recommend to parents that they seek professional help from an educational consultant for their young adult prior to applying to numerous colleges.  However, if a young adult has failed out of the first college, it would be even more beneficial to all parties involved to take time to get to the bottom of the problem before starting college again.  At this point, a student would benefit from psycho-educational testing to rule out any learning differences or mental health issues along with the help of an educational consultant to recommend appropriate colleges. Students struggling in college often have undiagnosed issues and may need to ask for assistance from the disability office at a college. Educational consultants would know which colleges offer the level of support a student with special needs would offer.

In addition, research shows that less than 20% of the students going to college actually get information from their high school teachers or counselors.  In fact, research shows that only 4 out of 10 students receive information about colleges from their high school guidance counselor. It is a well known fact that high school counselors are overworked and cannot give each student on their caseload the individual attention each one needs. With the expense of a college education, it just seems smart to hire the expertise of an educational consultant who will give your student the individual attention he/she deserves to make sure it is the right college fit for your student.

May D. Peach

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