Anxiety about getting into the “right” college, especially in some circles, is off the charts.
Unfortunately, national anxiety about our college drop-out crisis is not high enough to generate widespread conversation about systemic solutions.
The national discussion about the student debt crisis is also not broad or deep enough, in spite of a number of organizations bravely taking it on.
Every college I know of is working hard to help students finance and complete their educations. Obviously, some can do more than others.
But all of them can re-think the advising and support structure to help students not only finish their degrees, but land satisfying, productive, and valuable jobs after graduating. The traditional college has separate and distinct offices that lead:
In order to move students from the classroom to a career in the best possible way, colleges must throw this model out and integrate these into one seamless enterprise. That is the only way colleges can ensure that the choices students make in college will serve them well in their future lives.
So, if you are a high school junior or senior, or the parent of one, ask your prospective colleges how they move students from the classroom to their careers. Find out how integrated their services are. At most schools, the answer is disappointing. My next post will focus on some schools that are doing it well.
For many years, as a dean at three Ivy League colleges and now as an AVP at a university with an extraordinary mission, I have had a front row seat to the obstacles to success that college students and their parents confront every year. Even at so-called elite, highly selective colleges such as Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia, where I spent some of my career, students struggle on a daily basis to remain healthy, happy, grounded, and to stay in school. I am dedicated to helping them.