Monday, October 19, 2015

Dr. Faulkner: Dropout-ism

I recently encountered an info-graphic from American Student Assistance that listed the 7 Warning Signs of Dropout-ism.  Although written from a university perspective, six of the seven describe our average student:

- Trying to balance school and work as early as freshman year.  The info says this affects twice as many students as the actual cost of tuition.

-Paying for school with no help from family.  62% of these students leave early.

-Choose college based on convenience.  66% end up with no degree.

-Part-time student.  68.5% become no-time students

- Non-traditional student.  1.5 times less likely to complete.

-Starting School over the age of 20.  58% walk away without a diploma.

So what are we to do when many of our students have one or more dropout-ism factors? 
We can’t change their circumstances but we can give them encouragement.  At the Trio program celebration this Spring, five students were chosen to give their personal story.  Each mentioned the encouragement to not give up that they received from Trio personnel.

We can teach coping skills so they can succeed despite their circumstance.  Time management and financial management skills are often lacking in our students.  Many don’t even know how to organize their study time in order to optimize their results.

And finally, we can help them see that the “tassel is worth the hassle.”  If we help keep their eyes on the goal they will be less likely to be overcome by the clutter of life occurring around them.

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