Beyond One Size Fits All College Dreams, James E. Rosenbaum, Jennifer L. Stephan, Janet E. Rosenbaum, American Educator, Fall 2010, American Federation of Teachers

Transcript

1 Beyond One-Size-Fits-All College Dreams Alternative Pathways to Desirable Careers say they sincerely believe they will not only gain admission to By James E. Rosenbaum, Jennifer L. Stephan, and college, but will earn a four-year degree. Th is desire among practi- Janet E. Rosenbaum cally all students to attain a bachelor’s degree is both natural (given our society’s emphasis on college as the key to a good life) sk middle and high school students if they plan to and worth encouraging (especially since higher studies can lead graduate from college and the vast majority will likely to a good life of the mind). answer yes. Even students whose grades are below A four-year college degree has long been an aspiration for the average or downright abysmal will nod their heads and A nation’s highest-achieving students. But over the past couple of decades, two dramatic changes have occurred: most of society James E. Rosenbaum is a professor of education and social policy at became convinced that a bachelor’s degree is necessary to land a Northwestern University, a sociology faculty fellow with the university’s Institute for Policy Research, the principal investigator for several major good job, and many educators responded by encouraging all stu- studies of how to improve outcomes for urban youth, and the author of dents to go to college. Today, most high school graduates are going several books and dozens of academic papers. Jennifer L. Stephan is a to college, but that’s not necessarily good news. Th e fact is, few are postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern earning four-year (or even two-year) degrees. University. Janet E. Rosenbaum is an assistant professor in the School of While we laud the college-for-all ideal, we believe that unless Public Health at the University of Maryland, where she studies adoles- cents’ risky behavior in order to develop prevention programs. students are better informed, the movement will be self-defeating. ILLUSTRATIONS BY KENNETH MCMILLAN AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010 AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010 2 2

2 but we do not. We are mystifi ed by what we are increasingly seeing With thousands of higher education institutions off ering open as idealism that prevents optimal outcomes across youth-related admissions, it is true that virtually all students can go to college. fi elds. We think our society’s tendency to advocate BAs for all is a Yet less than half of high school seniors planning to get bachelor’s good example of this problem. Somehow, across fi elds, we must degrees succeed in this goal, and completion rates are less than fi nd a way of being honest with our youth without crushing their 20 percent for low-achieving students. Th ose who are poorly pre- dreams. Short term, the truth about college might be dishearten- pared end up in remedial courses—many drop out without earn- ing. Long term, knowing the truth is the only way to accomplish ing a single college credit. Meanwhile, they have wasted precious one’s goals. time and money that could have been spent on career-focused Th is paper aims to identify three elements of the BA-for-all certifi cates or associate’s degrees that have better outcomes than movement that are potentially harmful: (1) the idealization of the are generally recognized. BA degree, which results in ignoring excellent options like an In short, with our good intentions, we actually mislead the applied associate’s degree in mechanical design technology, youth who most need our guidance. And, with our imprecise lan- graphic communication technologies, dental hygiene, or com- guage, we actually mislead each other too. In everyday language puter networking; (2) the promise of college access, which results and in formal policy discussions, the word “college” is used as a in high school students seeing their slightly older peers go off to synonym for “bachelor’s degree.” Colleges have much more to college, but not seeing the trouble many have once on campus; off er than just four-year degrees—and recognizing that fact would and (3) the cultivation of stigma-free remediation, which results in many “college” students not even knowing that they are in remedial, noncredit In everyday language, the word “college” is courses. In discussing each of these issues below, used as a synonym for “bachelor’s degree.” we call for three simple remedies: realizing that many good jobs do not require a BA, fully inform- Colleges have much more to offer than just ing students about their options, and, as students select goals, honestly telling them what it will take four-year degrees. to succeed. 1. Idealization of the BA Degree go a long way toward rescuing the college-for-all movement. and career college “ Although the policy rhetoric now includes - - Th e BA-for-all movement presents an oversimplifi ed, idealized ” ready goals, that hasn ’ t had much impact. Too many four-year goal: everyone should strive for a BA. Th is goal is based on several future c ’ olleges still make exaggerated claims about students misleading assumptions: earnings, too many community colleges advise nearly all young • BAs have a million-dollar payoff . students to enroll in BA-transfer programs (regardless of how many remedial courses they will need), and most students and • BAs guarantee higher earnings. parents only consider BA plans, without any awareness of trade- • High earnings signal good jobs. off s or alternatives. Before diving into the research, we’d like to note that withhold- BAs lead to better jobs than AAs. • ing potentially discouraging information from youth appears to Alternative degrees prevent BAs. • be a widespread societal problem—not a problem limited to the education fi eld. We conduct research in both the health and edu- People with BAs would never return to college to get AAs. • cation fi elds, and we often see adults’ idealism getting in the way of better outcomes for youth. For example, just last year one of us In addition to being misleading, each of these assumptions dis- (Janet Rosenbaum) completed a study of programs to encourage courages considering alternative backup options. Let’s briefl y abstinence among teenagers. Like other research, this study found examine each assumption. that such programs tend to be ineff ective in their goal to promote Assumption: BAs have a million-dollar payoff. abstinence. More disturbingly, condom use among abstinence program participants was drastically lower. Likely, the lower con- Far too often, the message in public service ads, the educational dom use is due to three ways in which many abstinence advocates reform literature, and guidance counselors’ advice is that BA 2 implemented their deeply felt ideals: (1) they encouraged stu- degrees have a million-dollar payoff in lifetime earnings. Th is dents to follow a narrow, idealized course of action (i.e., absti- message is simple and powerful—and students have gotten it to nence only); (2) they withheld information from students about an impressive extent. Over recent decades, the proportion of high 3 the extremely high (80 percent) failure rates of abstinence pro- school students planning to get a BA has steadily increased. For grams, and some gave inaccurate information about condom example, in 2004, 89 percent of high school graduates planned to eff ectiveness; and (3) they persisted with their idealized programs earn a BA; 6.5 percent planned to attend college but did not expect instead of alternative sex education programs with better out- to graduate from a four-year college; 3.5 percent did not have comes (such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s less than 1 percent (0.54 percent) planned not to attend plans; and 4 Programs Th at Work, some of which result in greater sexual absti- . college In other words, nearly all high school graduates, regard- 1 nence than abstinence-only programs). less of academic achievement, planned to attend college, and 89 Some observers simply percent planned to get bachelor’s degrees. In interviews, many ridicule these abstinence advocates and their tightly held beliefs, 3 AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010

3 leading in suggesting that earnings should be the primary crite students explain that they want a BA because of its earnings - 5 payoffs. rion for choosing one’s education and occupation. While economic theory recognizes that high pay is sometimes offered Assumption: BAs guarantee higher earnings. to offset disagreeable job conditions, this is rarely considered by policymakers or students. However, job-placement specialists are While the million-dollar lifetime payoff may be accurate, - on aver well aware of these issues. In a study of colleges offering AA age , earnings vary greatly within educational levels, and there is - degrees, job-placement staff report that they urge their AA gradu - substantial overlap in the earnings distributions of different edu 15 avoid ates to the highest-paying jobs cational levels. As shown in the first table on page 6, it is true that because of the five Ds: they people with BAs have higher median earnings than those with tend to be dirty, demanding, dangerous, dead-end (meaning they AAs, but 25 percent of people with BAs have earnings below the don’t lead to long-term payoffs), or deceptive (such as promising median earnings of those with AAs, and even substantially below high commissions that rarely occur). These job-placement staff the earnings of the top 25 percent of people who did not go beyond are responsible for helping their graduates get jobs that are all- 6 high school. around good; they urge graduates to take jobs that use the skills In addition to the fact that not all jobs that require a they’ve learned, and that provide job training and future promo- BA pay more than jobs that require an AA or a high school tions. Although these concerns were expressed about the AA- diploma, many BA graduates have jobs that don’t use their four- 7 year-degree-level skills. Of students with BAs, we can predict who will be in that bottom earnings quartile. Among BA graduates, those who Some low-achieving students believe were in the bottom 25 percent of high school achievement tend to have lower earnings than students with average a bachelor’s degree will guarantee a 8 achievement. Even 30 years after high school, the average 9 million-dollar payoff even if they only annual payoff for low-achieving BAs is less than $3,000, which isn’t likely to add up to anywhere near a million- do the minimum necessary to graduate. dollar payoff over a 40-, 50-, or even 60-year career. Stu - dents are rarely told this, and some low-achieving students believe a bachelor’s degree will guarantee a million-dollar 10 . even if they only do the minimum necessary to graduate payoff degree labor market, we suspect they apply to some of the Similarly, students who attend less selective colleges also get a BA-degree market as well. Focus on high pay in starting jobs is 11 self-defeating if there is no potential for advancement. lower-than-average payoff for a bachelor’s degree. Another way to predict students’ future earnings is by what Assumption: BAs lead to better jobs than AAs. they are studying: some majors have a big payoff. The median annual earnings of young adults with BAs in a science, technology, Although BAs lead to higher average earnings than AA degrees, a engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field is $12,500 (37 percent) focus on high pay can be self-defeating across one’s entire career 12 higher than for those with BAs in the humanities. if it means ignoring the many other factors that make for reward- As shown in ing work. Although researchers and policymakers tend to focus the second table on page 6, at age 26 the earnings difference on earnings, working adults evaluate their jobs on many other between those with a BA and those with a certificate or AA is not dimensions. In a recent national survey, working adults reported necessarily very large. In fact, those with a certificate or AA in a that their jobs vary on eight conditions: feedback, autonomy, skill health-related field earn about the same as those with a BA in a 13 variety, say in decisions, workload, safety, stress, and the fairness health-related field. Only in the STEM fields do we see a large 16 of pay. difference of about $15,000 per year. Although these findings only All eight of these job conditions are more strongly related apply to age 26, for the students who have limited time, interest, to job satisfaction than actual earnings. Moreover, we find that BAs and funds for college, these quick payoffs of certificates and AAs - are not the only way to get a job that offers good conditions. Asso are likely to be valued, and they influence income at a time when ciate’s degrees are just as strongly related to these job conditions many people are starting families. as BAs are. When we stop and think about it, these numbers are not really Assumption: Alternative degrees prevent BAs. a surprise. We all know that many people with jobs that require a BA (e.g., teachers, social workers, etc.) are paid less than some The focus on BAs not only suggests that associate’s degrees are people with jobs that require an AA (e.g., computer specialists, inferior, it also suggests that one must choose one or the other. engineering technicians, mechanics, heating/air conditioner Some community college counselors discourage associate’s repairers, dental and medical assistants, insurance appraisers, degrees because they will lead to “settling” for an inferior degree and funeral directors). Moreover, there are indications that the and divert students from higher degrees. 14 BA payoff has declined in recent years. While low degree-completion rates are a concern at two-year Of course, we also know colleges, many of the students who complete associate’s degrees that earnings is not the only criterion by which students should go on to further degrees, including bachelor’s degrees. In a select their career. However, most of us don’t know about the national survey of the high school class of 1992, by the year 2000, other rewards in associate’s degree jobs, so let’s turn to those now. 10 percent of high school graduates had earned an AA. Of these Assumption: High earnings signal good jobs. - AA recipients, 78 percent also got further education, and 34 per 17 cent earned a BA. Our society’s emphasis on the million-dollar payoff is also mis- AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010 4

4 ings in choosing college majors and fi rst jobs, when other job In a small local survey we conducted that focused only on asso- conditions are at least as important for life and work satisfaction. ciate’s degree recipients in occupational (i.e., business, health, and Third, it encourages students to pursue the bachelor’s degree technical) fi elds, we found a similar pattern. While this sample may without regard to risks of interruption. For students at great risk not be representative of the larger population, it provides one of the of having their college careers interrupted by work or family con- few sources that allows seven years of follow-up after the associate’s cerns, planning a degree sequence (certifi cate, associate’s degree, degree. In this sample of 80 occupational associate’s degree recipi- and then bachelor’s degree) might provide backup options. ents from community colleges, 54 percent got further education, Indeed, some colleges have designed their curriculum to encour- and 35 percent earned a BA or higher degree. Compared with the age students to get certifi cates and associate’s degrees along the national percentages reported above, this sample shows fewer pur- way, before getting bachelor’s degrees. Fourth, low-achieving suing further education, but almost exactly the same proportion students are rarely warned that they have a low probability of earning BA or higher degrees. In addition, 6 percent of our respon- attaining a BA (a point we discuss further below). Th e million- dents earned master’s degrees (often MBAs). dollar payoff makes a compelling message, but it provides poor guidance for helping students make good career choices. While skill demands have increased in many jobs, many of these are mid-skill jobs that require more education than high school, 18 but not a BA. 2. The Promise of College Access In the 1960s and ’70s, high school guidance coun- selors typically acted as gatekeepers. Th ey discour- aged low-achieving students from attending 19 college. While some counselors may still do some gatekeeping today, many high school guidance counselors now report that they don’t like the idea 20 of being gatekeepers and don’t function that way. Unlike prior counselors, today’s counselors do not have to discourage low-achieving students from attending college: many two- and four-year colleges now have open admissions. Since the 1960s, while enrollment at four-year colleges has doubled, enrollment at community colleges has Assumption: People with BAs would increased fi vefold. Today, nearly half of all new college students never return to college to get AAs. attend community colleges, and counselors can promise virtually all students they will be able to attend college, since open admis- Associate’s degrees have become much more common over the last sions off ers access for nearly anyone. several decades, and they have become a formal requirement for However, although no one will regret a reduction in the old certain skilled jobs. In our local survey, we found four BA graduates model of gatekeeping (especially since far too many students were who returned to college to earn associate’s degrees. Some students discouraged from attending college on the basis of their family wanted jobs that are more satisfying or allow them to help other income, skin color, or gender, not because of their academic people. Others wanted more technical skills or more practical skills. achievement), all is not well when it comes to counseling in One reported that an AA in radiography led to a higher-paying job today’s high schools. A serious problem is the lack of counselors— (over $80,000 a year) than her prior teaching job. Th ese individuals a problem that may be getting much worse as the nation’s eco- clearly did not believe that people with BAs get better jobs than nomic troubles aff ect school districts’ budgets. Data from 2001 those with AAs. We have not found any nationally representative reveal that, on average, the ratio of counselors to students is 1 to research to indicate how often this happens, but the fact that it hap- 21 284. pens at all indicates that our nation’s preconceptions about two- In some high schools, the workload for counselors is truly 22 and four-year degrees are too simplistic. inconceivable, with the ratio exceeding 1 to 700. Possibly as a result of these workload issues, today’s typical counselor tends to present an oversimplified picture of open n summary, the million-dollar lifetime payoff makes a com- admissions. Counselors often say that students can enter college pelling message, and it may be the best way to get students’ even with low achievement in high school, but they rarely warn attention, but this simple message is incomplete and far too that low-achieving students cannot enter college-credit classes narrow. Failing to elaborate on and clarify the message can I 23 or certain programs. lead to serious problems. First, this oversimplifi ed message does Avoiding these details keeps students opti- not warn students that some of them will receive lower earnings mistic and encourages their college plans. However, it also gives from a BA than most associate’s degree recipients, despite the fact students insufficient information to make sound decisions that these lower earnings are predictable from students’ achieve- (including deciding to work harder in high school). ment, college, and major. Second, it encourages a focus on earn- Although open admissions has provided much-needed second 5 AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010

5 student ratio problem already mentioned, they face three chances to many, those of us in the education world tend to focus structural influences that limit their actions. First, most counsel- on its benefits while ignoring its costs. In a national longitudinal ors cannot get authoritative information about their graduates’ survey conducted in 1992, high school seniors who planned on college outcomes. Data on colleges’ graduation rates are rarely getting a college degree but had poor grades (Cs or lower) had less provided, and whatever numbers are available usually do not than a 20 percent chance of completing any degree in the 10 years 24 apply to the graduates of any one particular high school, since after high school; similar results were found in a study con - several high schools usually feed into each community college. ducted in 2000. More recent research using data collected in Second, even if counselors had good information, their many Florida in 2007 shows remarkably similar results: for students with noncounseling duties (like copious paperwork) mean that most a C average in high school, only 19 percent earned any credential 25 of them spend less than 20 percent of their time on college coun- (certificate, AA, or BA) in the six years after high school. Open 27 seling. admissions is truly a wonderful second chance for the nearly 20 Third, and most important, counselors feel limited in percent who succeed. However, the vast majority of students who what they can say. The BA-for-all norm prevents counselors from were low achieving in high school fail to get any college degree, providing candid information. Many counselors report that they 26 and many don’t get a single college credit . would receive complaints from parents and principals if they informed students that their poor high school grades suggest they How many of these students would have made other plans at aren’t prepared for college courses. Some counselors report they the end of high school if they had known their chances of success 28 would lose their jobs if they gave such advice. in college were so slim? How many would have planned to earn a certificate and/or a two-year degree on their way to earning a Like the million-dollar payoff, the promise of “open admis - BA? How many would have tried harder and gotten better grades sions” is accurate but incomplete. Open admissions lets students in high school if they had known that it would make a into classes on college campuses, but not necessarily into college- difference? credit classes, and noncredit classes (e.g., basic skills, remedial, 29 Although these examples seem to blame counselors, counsel - and avocational) don’t lead to degrees. ors often don’t have a choice. Setting aside the counselor-to- The result of all this oversimplified information is that seniors Earnings of Full-Time, Year-Round Workers Ages 25 and Older, by Gender and Education Level, 2008 Females Males 25th Percentile Median 75th Percentile 25th Percentile Median 75th Percentile High School Graduate $20,800 $28,400 $38,000 $26,900 $39,000 $53,200 Associate’s Degree $36,800 $26,800 $51,100 $35,700 $50,100 $68,000 Bachelor’s Degree $33,900 $65,500 $43,800 $65,800 $96,800 $47,000 A Education Pays 2010: thE BEnEfits of highEr Education for individuals and sociEty (NEw yORK: COLLEgE BOARD, 2010). SOURCE: SANDy BAUM, JENNIFER MA, AND KAThLEEN P yEA, Median Earnings of Workers at Age 26 by Field of Concentration Workers with Workers with a highest a BA degree credential of certificate or AA degree $46,052 $30,922 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) $45,680 $45,968 Health-Related $39,912 Professional $35,188 $39,360 $33,476 Vocational-Technical Social Science $28,528 $38,212 Humanities $33,552 $26,812 SOURCE: LOUIS JACOBSON AND ChRISTINE MOKhER, Pathways to Boosting thE Earnings of low-incomE studEnts By incrEasing thEir Educational a ttainmEnt (wAShINgTON, DC: hUDSON INSTITUTE AND CNA, 2009), www.hUDSON.ORg. High School Grades Quartile among Socioeconomic Status Quartile among Two-Year College Students Two-Year College Students Private Public Private Public Low Grades 31% 26% 26% 21% Low SES Low-Mid Grades 12% 18% 24% 23% Low-Mid SES 18% 18% High-Mid Grades 27% High-Mid SES 16% 44% High Grades 33% 33% High SES 28% . SOURCE: AUThORS’ CALCULATIONS BASED ON ThE NATIONAL EDUCATION LONgITUDINAL STUDy . SOURCE: AUThORS’ CALCULATIONS BASED ON ThE NATIONAL EDUCATION LONgITUDINAL STUDy AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010 6

6 indicated college-readiness levels, even if those levels were not are misled about their future prospects and younger students are required for graduation. not informed about what they ought to be doing in high school. Even earlier testing might be better for When counselors encourage students to attend college despite giving students more time to prepare. For example, the Dayton their low achievement, students infer that college is a place where Early College Academy (a high school in Ohio) gives the college previous low achievement doesn’t matter. Just as they managed placement test to ninth-grade students to identify skill needs very to graduate from high school despite low achievement and mini- early. Unfortunately, only a few experiments have been done mal eff orts, they expect the same in college. Indeed, while we are along these lines. Until such steps are taken in all high schools, trying to protect students, we are actually preventing students most students will not know if they are prepared for college, and from seeing what actions they could take to improve their out- may not see any reason to take diffi cult, college-prep courses that comes. In interviews we conducted in Chicago public schools, would reduce their college costs and the years they need to com- seniors reported that they will be able to enter community college plete a degree. A simple fi rst step would be to make students aware 30 even with an easy senior year. Th ey claimed they don’t have to Th ey claimed they don’t have to take diffi cult courses in senior year (such as mathematics and take diffi cult courses in senior year (such as mathematics and sciences), they don’t have to work hard in class, they don’t have sciences), they don’t have to work hard in class, they don’t have to think about college in advance, and senior year can be a time to think about college in advance, and senior year can be a time to “rest” before seriously thinking about college. Students should be aware of the downside of open admissions: it allows access to college, but not necessarily to college-credit courses. These student reports are consistent with findings from These student reports are consistent with findings from national surveys. While most high school seniors plan to get a BA, of the downside of open admissions: it allows access to college, many don’t take the demanding courses that would prepare them 33 31 but not necessarily to college-credit courses. for college-level coursework. Moreover, many seniors do very 32 little homework. 3. Stigma-Free Remediation While some critics observe these patterns and blame students for refusing to prepare for college, this criticism assumes that stu- Just as high school counselors typically encourage everyone to dents know they are not prepared for college, know what they attend college, staff in some community colleges encourage need to do to prepare for college, and refuse to take those steps. everyone to enter traditional BA-transfer programs. Community Th ese assumptions are probably wrong. High school students are colleges off er a variety of certifi cates and associate’s degrees (e.g., rarely given good information about what college requires, how Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Sci- prepared they are, and what steps would prepare them. Especially ence, and Associate of General Studies). Many have fewer require- in low-income communities where few adults have completed ments and shorter timetables than BAs and, as we have seen, lead college and the public schools are badly under-resourced, stu- to good jobs with desirable working conditions—sometimes they dents may have no one to turn to for information or support. even off er better pay than jobs that require a BA. Nonetheless, Worse, students are often given misleading information. For some community colleges focus only on BAs, particularly for instance, many states require exit exams to certify mastery in students under the age of 22, who are the traditional college-age 34 order to graduate from high school. Yet the standards for these students. exams vary greatly. Many states are concerned that low pass rates Unfortunately, this ambitious goal confl icts with many stu- will lead to criticism, and so these tests usually certify mastery far dents’ poor academic skills. Th ere are two logical responses to this below the 12th-grade level. Consequently, just one summer after mismatch: lower the goals or raise students’ achievement. Just as passing these exams of high school competency, many students * New York City’s recent policy of reporting graduates’ remedial placements by high fail their college placement exams. Students are understandably school is an acknowledgment of the problem, but contains no remedy unless one surprised to learn that “high school competency” does not indicate believes stigma leads to constructive action. Students and teachers could take “college readiness.” constructive action to address students’ remedial needs if the college placement test were given in high school, ideally with subscales identifying areas for improvement. Students could get more useful information about their college Moreover, the test would put younger students on notice that these are important prospects if they took college placement tests at the end of their skills to learn. Instead, high schools give a multitude of standardized tests that junior year of high school* (when they still had time to take some indicate percentile ranks but make no clear predictions about academic knowledge and skill needed to avoid remedial coursework. college-preparatory courses), or if high school competency exams 7 AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010

7 required for all students who enter community college with high school counselors used to act as gatekeepers, community degree goals. Typically, students are not warned about this test or college counselors used to encourage students to settle for lower 35 its importance. They are merely told what courses they should goals. And, just like high school counselors, community college 46 36 take based on the results. counselors now tend to actively encourage BA plans. Analyses - of national survey data find that many students raise their expec Because many college staff, catalogs, and websites tend to tations after entering community college. Examining this issue downplay the placement test, students rarely prepare for this test more closely, a study of seven community colleges found that before arriving at college. In our research, community college many students report that their faculty and advisers strongly students in the Chicago vicinity reported that they didn’t realize 37 encourage them to increase their degree plans. they had to take this test when they entered college, so they didn’t use senior year as a time to prepare for it, nor did they refresh their Of course, BA plans require some further adjustment, since most knowledge before the test, taken after a long summer vacation community college students’ academic achievement is too low for 47 away from academics. college-credit classes. Over two-thirds of community college stu - For some students, a few days of review dents are directed into remedial courses intended to bring their might have saved 4 to 12 months of additional college time and - academic achievement up to the level required by BA-transfer pro tuition. For others, knowing about the test while in high school 38 grams. In some urban areas, the remediation rate is 39 over 90 percent. Remedial classes do not give credit toward a college degree; they are high-school-level courses designed to get students up to college level. Unfortunately, many students do not successfully Many certificates and AAs lead to 40 complete these remedial courses. While research good jobs with desirable working evidence is mixed about whether remedial courses help students who are close to college-ready, there conditions—sometimes they even offer is overwhelming evidence that students who have large deficiencies or deficiencies in several subjects better pay than jobs that require a BA. often fail to complete the remedial sequence and often drop out of college without completing any 41 degree or even earning a single college credit. One - may have radically altered their approach to high school academ recent study found that only 29 percent of students referred to the ics. For students who are serious about earning an AA or BA, the lowest levels of reading remediation, and just 17 percent of those placement test could provide a strong incentive to take difficult referred to the lowest levels of mathematics remediation, success - 42 courses and work hard senior year, and to review tested subjects fully completed their sequence of remedial courses. In effect, staff before starting college. Unfortunately, the incentive is totally inef - - recommend remedial sequences because they appear to be a path fective because few students know about it. way to a degree, but it turns into a dead-end for the vast majority College staff also typically say very little about remedial (71 to 83 percent) of low-achieving students. courses. Colleges not only remove the stigma about remediation, With two-thirds of students in at least one remedial course, they also remove clarity. Far too many college staff, catalogs, and institutions have had a strong incentive to reduce the stigma that websites do not clearly state that remedial—or “developmental”— was once associated with such courses. Currently, many course courses do not give college credits, or that they prolong degree catalogs and staff don’t use the term “remedial;” they use the 43 timetables. Remedial classes that are several levels below college- euphemism “developmental.” In interviews, faculty and coun - credit classes can add one or more terms of remedial study before selors report that they “communicate their high expectations of students can enroll in college-credit classes, but community col- students in order to combat their students’ tendency to lack aca- leges usually make it difficult for students to understand this. On demic self-confidence,” and they tell students that developmental - many campuses, no one explains remedial courses, their hierar - courses are “a positive and necessary step in fulfilling their ulti 44 chy, or their implications. mate goals.” Many students believe that a “two-year associate’s degree” will Impressively, these efforts have the intended consequence: in many com - take two years, but it actually averages 3.5 years students typically don’t feel stigmatized or demoralized when 48 munity colleges, even for full-time students. they learn of their developmental placements. Referring to Eng- Of course, students lish 101, the lowest college-credit English course, one student could infer how much their degrees will be delayed if counselors reported, “they told me that my test scores were pretty high, but I explained their remedial placements—but that is rarely done. 45 didn’t test in the high end, which is 101.” Indeed, research indicates that most students do not under - This unstigmatized stand that remedial courses are noncredit and delay degree time - approach has clear advantages. It avoids discouraging students tables. In a survey of students in seven community colleges, by labeling them as deficient or giving them the impression they students were asked if they had taken any of a list of courses, all don’t belong in college. But, like the idealization of the BA and of which were remedial. Of students reporting they had taken any open admissions, it too has many costs that tend to be ignored of these courses, 39 percent wrongly believed these courses and end up hurting most students. counted toward their degrees, and another 35 percent were not - While we certainly are not calling for students to feel stigma 49 sure. tized, we do see a need for students to be better informed about Among students taking three or more remedial courses, placement tests and remedial courses. A placement test is 10) (Continued on page AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010 8

8 What Message Does College for All send? By Chris Myers AsCh though they are neither well prepared nor particularly interested in Several years ago, I took a the subject matter. group of low-income worse, some kids middle school students to a who are frustrated or motivational talk at a local bored within a university. A dynamic young college-prep curricu- professor encouraged them lum may wind up not to settle for anything dropping out of high but the best. After the school. Once they drop presentation, he asked the out, their chances of students what they wanted future economic to be when they grew up. stability decrease One of our girls (I will call markedly. The Center her Shanika) answered for Labor Market excitedly, “Nurse!” Studies estimates that “Nurse?” the professor dropouts earn less than asked, disappointed. “how half as much annually about doctor? Don’t you as high school gradu- want to shoot high?” * ates do. Shanika’s face fell. young people Though I sympathized with should have a variety of the professor’s intended good options. Along- message, I was incensed. side a challenging college-prep curricu- college, or at least not a four-year college. Not only was he wrong on a practical lum—and extensive information on what I know, I know. writing that sentence level—this country faces a serious nurse success in college requires—our schools can incite the wrath of the “achievement shortage—but he exemplifi ed the should offer more rigorous and relevant police,” the legions of self-appointed haughty disdain with which many vocational education programs and guardians of high expectations (and, I educators and policymakers view careers apprenticeships that build on students’ confess, I have at times been an offi cer in that do not require a bachelor’s or interests and help them develop this force myself). To even broach the idea advanced degree. Shanika did not need real-world skills that will give them an that some students may not be suited for a to hear that her dreams were not up to economic foothold after graduation. we four-year college degree can invite scornful snuff. Unfortunately, that is a message should bolster partnerships with accusations that one is perpetuating, in students hear all too often in our nonprofi t organizations and businesses george w. Bush’s memorable phrase, “the college-obsessed culture. that agree to provide training and soft bigotry of low expectations.” As someone who founded and ran a development while students earn their we have so effectively pushed the college-prep enrichment program for high school diplomas. And we should notion that “success equals college” that at-risk secondary school students, I not discourage students from pursuing other options, such as vocational educa- appreciate efforts to raise expectations military careers. tion, seem horribly limiting and even and encourage students to go to college. As a nation, we need young people discriminatory. But college prep has But I also recognize the potentially to become skilled carpenters, electri- become a one-size-fi ts-all approach to distorting effects that our college cians, lab technicians, nurse practitio- secondary education, and some students obsession can create. “College- and ners, and drill sergeants. By pushing simply do not fi t. Though it may be career-ready” may be the new catch college to the exclusion of other options, diffi cult to conceive for the highly edu- phrase, but the emphasis is all on the we indulge in what might be called “the cated professionals who devise curricula “college” part—most policymakers and inadvertent bigotry of inappropriate and policies, college is not always the best educators seem to ignore alternatives to expectations.” If we are not careful, we choice for students whose interests and college. can send a subtle message to students skills lend themselves to trades rather than This is shortsighted because, simply who fail to live up to those expectations a college degree. put, some students should not go to or who choose other goals for them- As noted in the main article, the selves: “you’re not good enough.” And emphasis on attending college leaves many Chris Myers Asch teaches history at the University of that can be as dispiriting and discourag- high school students woefully unaware of the District of Columbia and coordinates UDC’s ing as “you’re no good.” ☐ how many alternatives to the four-year National Center for Urban Education. This article by college degree there are. Some students Chris Myers Asch originally appeared as “The may feel that college is the only “good” Inadvertent Bigotry of Inappropriate Expectations” in Left Behind in Center for Labor Market Studies, * Education Week on June 16, 2010. Adapted with option, and so they may enroll in a America: The Nation’s Dropout Crisis (Boston: Center permission from the author. university or community college even for Labor Market Studies, 2009). 9 AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010

9 require fewer remedial courses and lead to preparation in high- 8) (Continued from page demand fi elds. Th ese colleges also use other innovative, success- the misconception was slightly lower (36 percent), but the “not ful procedures: they motivate students by offering a series of sure” rate was higher (44 percent). In other words, more than 70 credentials with frequent milestones, and they hire job-placement percent of students were wrong or not sure about these courses. 54 staff who help students land desirable mid-skill jobs. Most seriously, remedial coursework is strongly negatively related to degree completion, but students don’t realize it. In a Th ese procedures seem to have benefi ts: analyses of national national survey, as the number of remedial subjects increased longitudinal data fi nd that, on average, private occupational col- from one to three (or more), students’ perceived chances of leges have much higher degree-completion rates than community achieving their degree goals declined only slightly (from 94.4 colleges (56 percent versus 37 percent), although both kinds of 50 percent to 91.0 percent), colleges enroll similar students. Indeed, as the third and fourth but students’ actual degree comple- tables on page 6 show, private colleges enroll slightly more stu- tion declined severely (from 25.5 percent to 15.3 percent). Finally, students are also not well informed when it comes to degree selection. Diff erent degrees and programs have diff erent academic prerequisites, so students could use placement test scores when setting their goals. For example, students with low Youth should have dreams, but if school staff feel compelled to withhold crucial information to preserve those dreams, that is not a kindness; it is deception that does great harm. placement test scores in writing might choose a program with lower prerequisites in writing (such as computer networking), and students with low scores in math might choose a program with lower prerequisites in math (such as medical coding or court reporting). Th ese occupations are in strong demand, with 55 desirable job conditions and decent pay, and they don’t close dents who are low achieving and have low socioeconomic status. off the option to go on for a bachelor’s degree. Yet placement test Our point is not to advocate for these colleges, but to learn from results are rarely used to assist students’ program choices. them. Regardless of what other practices the worst colleges in this sector are using, exemplary private colleges have devised innova- A Better Plan: Degree Ladders tive procedures that could be used by community colleges to get similar successful results. If we stopped idealizing the BA, what other options might we see? Community colleges already offer certificates and applied Most students enter community college with the aim of quickly associate’s degrees in a wide variety of occupational fi elds that improving their job prospects. Th at may be even more true for lead to good jobs with strong growth prospects. Many of these low-achieving students, who generally have acquired a distaste programs allow students to enter credit-bearing courses despite for schooling, but have been persuaded that community college lower academic achievement in one or more subjects, so students will improve their labor-market prospects. Raising their academic with academic defi ciencies would need fewer remedial courses skills a little by taking some remedial courses isn’t likely to 51 to enter these programs. Moreover, these programs can create improve their job opportunities—only credentials do that. degree ladders, which some community colleges are already Indeed, recent research suggests that students can “increase their doing. For instance, at Henry Ford Community College in Michi- earnings substantially by completing the courses needed to obtain 52 gan, programs in Cisco Systems networking, renewable energy, a certifi cate.” and several health careers provide certifi cates that are stacked to Here we can learn a valuable lesson from some exemplary lead to associate’s degrees. Expanding such off erings is a major private occupational colleges. While research has documented goal of the Michigan Occupational Deans Administrative that the private sector has some colleges with dubious and even 53 Council. fraudulent practices, it also includes some colleges that have Th e BA-for-all movement provides a positive goal for youth. devised innovative and eff ective procedures. Instead of pushing But in implicitly disparaging middle-level attainments, it inevita- BAs for all and extensive remedial coursework, the better private bly creates disappointment. Moreover, it conveys an unnecessar- occupational colleges carefully match low-achieving students ily narrow vision of success, which inadvertently fails to identify with appropriate occupational programs that do not require intervening degrees that lead to desirable careers with fewer college-level achievement in math or writing. Th ese programs AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010 10

10 h igher e ducation and the e conomy of cognitive skills in literacy and math - The relationship between years of By Grover J. “ r uss” Whitehurst ematics are stronger predictors of schooling and economic output at the - economic output than years of school national level is complex, to say the least. Just before the school year started, ing. w ithin the United States, there is - A small but consistently positive relation President Obama renewed his call for evidence (which is described in the main ship between long-term growth and America to regain the world lead in college article) that for many young adults, the years of schooling is found in economet - graduates by 2020. e tied doing so to our h receipt of an occupational certificate in a ric studies, but there are many caveats future economic competitiveness. trade that is in demand will yield greater and exceptions that are relevant to The statistical backdrop for the economic returns than the pursuit of a designing higher education policy in the president’s remarks is that we have fallen baccalaureate degree in the arts and United States. For one thing, there is from 1st to 12th place internationally in sciences. - tremendous variability in the relation the percentage of young adults with A single-minded pursuit of regaining g ermany has a ship. For example, postsecondary degrees. This is not the world’s lead in college graduates may stronger economy than France but half because our rates have gone down (they blind us to the fact that one size does not the percentage of young adults with have been rising), but because other fit all nations or all young adults. One of college degrees. Further, France has countries have leapfrogged us. Improving the distinctive feathers of the U.S. higher increased its percentage of young adults the education of our citizens is a worthy education system is its diversity. w e have with college degrees by 13 percentage goal, and the president is to be more than 6,000 institutions of all points in the last 10 years, whereas applauded for using his bully pulpit to manner and stripe, serving students of g ermany’s output of college graduates push our aspirations higher. many ages and needs. In contrast, the has hardly budged—yet the economic A presidential address is not the place higher education systems in most of the growth rate of g ermany has exceeded to address subtleties, but policymakers countries with which we compete are that of France over this same period. and practitioners in higher education will centrally managed and homogenous. w e Obviously, increasing educational need to do so if our increased emphasis should make diversity our strength by attainment is not a magic bullet for on attaining college degrees is to pay the establishing national policies that economic growth. Education credentials expected dividends. In that sense, encourage institutions to adjust quickly - operate within boundaries and possibili focusing on the horserace may be to changing needs in the marketplace for ties that are set by other characteristics counterproductive. learning. A good place to start would be of national economies. w e must attend creating much better information on the to these if more education is to translate Russ Whitehurst is the Herman and George R. Brown Chair and director of the Brown Center on Education graduation rates and employment into more jobs. Policy at the Brookings Institution. His previous outcomes associated with particular A growing body of research suggests positions include director of the Institute of Education degree and certificate programs at that policymakers should pay more Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. particular institutions. If we’re to win the attention to the link between job assistant secretary for Educational Research and international horserace, we will need to opportunities and what people know Improvement, chair of the Department of Psychology create the conditions for postsecondary and can do, rather than focusing on the at Stony Brook University (State University of New institutions in this country to focus on the blunt instrument of years of schooling or York), and academic vice president of the Merrill- important finish lines: productivity and degrees obtained. In international Palmer Institute. This article is adapted with permission employment. ☐ comparisons, for example, scores on tests from the Brookings Institution. Colleges could also promote a broader conception of desirable obstacles, shorter timetables, and a greater likelihood of success. jobs and desirable degrees. As we’ve shown, working adults value Indeed, often these intervening credentials can be part of a degree many job conditions, and associate’s degrees lead to those condi - ladder that leads to conventional bachelor’s or applied bachelor’s 56 - tions as much as bachelor’s degrees do. Colleges could better por degrees. tray a wider variety of career options and the pathways to them. We are not saying that high school counselors and teachers are Of course, youth should have dreams, but if school staff feel aware that so many students are failing when they enter college. compelled to withhold crucial information to preserve those The poor information about student outcomes (and high student dreams, that is not a kindness; it is deception that does great harm. mobility among colleges) means that even many college counsel - Far too many high schools and community colleges allow students ors and teachers don’t realize the extent of the troubles students to retain their dreams about becoming doctors and lawyers with - encounter. Some high school counselors suspect that BA goals out telling these students the truth about what being a doctor or are unrealistic for some students, but high school staff can’t be lawyer takes. As a result, some students may not be working hard sure because they don’t get systematic information about student and pushing themselves to live up to their potential simply outcomes. Researchers could play a powerful role in informing because they don’t realize they are not on track to meet their goals. high school staff about their graduates’ college outcomes, which Meanwhile, other students who are already working hard are not could free them to give authoritative advice with confidence. This getting any help in determining if their doctor and lawyer goals could improve students’ incentives in high school and improve are realistic. If not, they would benefit from learning about other, their college, degree, and career choices. It may even help high similar jobs, such as radiography technicians and court reporters, schools improve their college-preparatory courses. 11 AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010

11 earnings (and thus their ability to keep taking classes), job skills, and job experience for later careers. Some readers will correctly note that it is unfair to focus exclu- sively on community colleges or even high schools; the problems of low achievement begin much earlier. Indeed, poverty creates disadvantages before young children even begin school that 57 strongly predict academic disadvantages in later years. Yet, until society addresses these larger problems, we still need ways to help today’s youth. Withholding crucial information may make youth feel good, but it seriously harms their careers. For most students, but especially for low-achieving students, transferring into a BA program is a long slog—it entails many remedial courses, low probabilities of success, and a long time- table: the “four-year BA” could take six to eight years even if stu- dents are full time. It also off ers no short-term credentials along the way. In contrast, a quick-win strategy gives a valued credential in a short time, with few academic requirements and few remedial Some students may not be working hard and living up to their potential simply because they don’t realize they that have good pay and working conditions. are not on track to meet their goals. Because society idealizes the BA, far too many “college” students never even take a college-credit course; they remain stuck in remedial courses until they drop out. Could this be courses. Although, in theory, students who fail at one option can one of the reasons for the rockiness of the transition to adulthood? shift to another, 50 percent of students who drop out in their fi rst If we gave students better advice, could we reduce the fl oundering year don’t return over the next fi ve years (and over half of those of young adults through age 30? High schools and community who do return drop out again without earning a credential). While colleges must guide students, not let their good intentions prevent this research doesn’t say what happens in later years, at best this them from helping students fi nd realistic goals that fi t their inter- 58 indicates wasted time. ests and achievements. In contrast, quick-win certifi cates can be the first step on a degree ladder to associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Like an insurance policy, quick wins may have extra costs or the 89 percent of high school graduates with BA goals, (in time and money), but they may also give students confi dence, we are not saying to reduce those plans, but we do sug- practical skills, potentially better jobs while in college, as well as gest broadening them. While counselors should not say experiences to inform their career choices. If students were “don’t seek a BA,” we should let counselors warn stu- F informed about both options and their likely implications, they dents with low achievement that they have only a 20 percent could choose which one best fi ts their needs. But if we let our BA chance of getting a BA, and we should encourage counselors to ideals keep us from providing information, students can’t make help students make backup plans. Since less than half of high informed choices. school seniors with BA aspirations attain a BA, and only 20 per- Note that in order to be a good insurance plan, students’ mid- cent of low-achieving seniors do so, many students should con- level credential should not be the traditional Associate of Arts sider earning intervening credentials, like a certifi cate and an AA, 59 degree: it has little payoff in the labor market for most majors. along the way. If students had realistic short-term plans, they would face fewer immediate academic requirements and could More lucrative are applied associate’s degrees in fi elds with labor- make more rapid progress toward credentials that lead to desir- market demand. Applied associate’s degrees may not be a direct able careers—with decent pay, good working conditions, and route to a career as a doctor, but they can lead to many good jobs. 60 advancement opportunities. Th ese are outcomes worth pursuing, For example, some radiographers earn over $80,000 a year, and much better than what is typically available to those with only health information technicians play a crucial role in the medical a high school diploma. Simultaneously, students could stay on a world, and medical offi ce managers report that physicians respect ladder to a bachelor’s degree. Adding intervening credentials may their advice. Likewise, technicians in computer networking and take more time than directly pursuing a bachelor’s degree, but it other fi elds rescue many of us from computer disasters. Th ese are also provides a form of insurance. If students do have to drop out high-demand fi elds, and our society will have increasing diffi culty of their BA program, they will be in a much better position if they fi nding enough individuals with these skills for the foreseeable have already earned an AA. Th e intervening credential also gives future. While most community colleges off er these applied associ- students access to better jobs during college, improving their ate’s degree options, they could do more to build clear degree AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010 12

12 com/articles/younginvestors/06/investineducation.asp. 31. National Commission on the High School Senior Year, ladders so that students could see how to (briefing Student Transitions: The Senior Year of High School The Ambitious 3. Barbara Schneider and David Stevenson, paper, 2001), www.wtcsystem.edu/pk16/goals/pdf/ combine intervening credentials and BA Generation: America’s Teenagers Motivated but student_transitions.pdf. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999). Directionless goals. They could also make their degree 32. Stefanie Deluca and James E. Rosenbaum, “Individual 4. Authors’ calculations on January 15, 2010, based on the ladders easier to climb by reducing the Agency and the Life Course: Do Low-SES Students Get Less Education Longitudinal Study of 2002. Long-Term Payoff for Their School Efforts?” Sociological number of courses required for one degree 5. James E. Rosenbaum, Pam Schuetz, and Amy Foran, Focus 34, no. 4 (2001): 357–376. “How Students Make College Plans and Ways Schools and that don’t count for the next. 33. Rosenbaum, ; Michael W. Kirst Beyond College for All Colleges Could Help” (working paper, Institute for Policy and Andrea Venezia, eds., From High School to College: The new labor market may seem an Research, Northwestern University, July 15, 2010). Improving Opportunities for Success in Postsecondary Education 6. Sandy Baum, Jennifer Ma, and Kathleen Payea, abstraction, but it reflects a powerful real- Education (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004); and Tracy A. Pays 2010: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals Rethinking High School: Huebner and Grace Calisi Corbett, ity. We recently heard about a small town— (New York: College Board, 2010). and Society (San Five Profiles of Innovative Models for Student Success Francisco: WestEd, 2005). emblematic of small towns all across the 7. Mark Mittelhauser, “The Outlook for College Graduates, Occupational Outlook 1996–2006: Prepare Yourself,” 34. Rosenbaum, Schuetz, and Foran, “How Students Make country—that lost its main employer 10 Quarterly 42, no. 2 (1998); and Paul E. Barton and Richard J. College Plans.” Coley, (Princeton, Windows on Achievement and Inequality years ago when a factory closed, and has 35. Burton R. Clark, “The ‘Cooling-Out’ Function in Higher NJ: Educational Testing Service, 2008). suffered since. Recently, a new factory 65, no. 6 (May American Journal of Sociology Education,” 8. Rosenbaum, Beyond College for All . 1960): 569–576. decided to locate there, but its jobs require Passing the Torch: Does 9. Paul Attewell and David E. Lavin, 36. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, . After Admission Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the technical skills that few townspeople have. 37. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, After Admission , (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2007). Generations? The local community college has created 63–64. 10. Rosenbaum, Schuetz, and Foran, “How Students Make applied associate’s degree programs to 38. Thomas Bailey, “Addressing the Needs of Underpre- College Plans.” pared Students,” CCRC Currents , April 2009. Working in the Middle: Strengthen- 11. W. Norton Grubb, provide those skills. Together, this new fac - ing Education and Training for the Mid-Skilled Labor Force 39. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, After Admission . tory and these new programs have the (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996); and Anthony Carnevale, 40. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, After Admission . “Postsecondary Education Goes to Work,” Inside Higher Ed , potential to save this town. Hopefully, the 41. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, After Admission . May 15, 2009). local high schools are joining in by encour - Pathways to 12. Louis Jacobson and Christine Mokher, 42. Thomas Bailey, Dong Wook Jeong, and Sung-Woo Cho, Boosting the Earnings of Low-Income Students by Increasing aging their counselors to make students “Referral, Enrollment, and Completion in Developmental Their Educational Attainment (Washington, DC: Hudson Economics Education Sequences in Community Colleges,” aware of this new opportunity, and what it Institute and CNA, 2009), www.hudson.org/files/ of Education Review 29, no. 2 (2010): 259. publications/Pathways%20to%20Boosting.pdf. will take to seize it. 43. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, After Admission , 73. Pathways to Boosting Earnings 13. Jacobson and Mokher, . The more than 20 states that have joined 44. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, After Admission , 14. Francesca Di Meglio, “College: Big Investment, Paltry 73–74. Complete College America (a new non - Businessweek Return,” , June 28, 2010. After Admission , 75. 45. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, profit organization) have pledged to 15. Julie E. Redline and James E. Rosenbaum, “School Job 46. Rosenbaum, Schuetz, and Foran, “How Students Make Placement: Can It Avoid Reproducing Social Inequalities?” increase the number of young adults who College Plans.” Teachers College Record 112, no. 3 (2010): 843–875. have college degrees or credentials of 47. Rosenbaum, Schuetz, and Foran, “How Students Make 16. James E. Rosenbaum, Julie Redline Bruch, and Lisbeth College Plans.” Goble, “What Is a Good Job and Is There Only One Path to value. This goal will help students gain Good Jobs” (working paper, Institute for Policy Research, After Admission . 48. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, access to good jobs and help our society fill Northwestern University, March 15, 2010). After Admission , 49. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, the new job requirements in the current 17. Jennifer L. Stephan, unpublished analyses, 2010. 84. 18. David B. Bills, The Sociology of Education and Work - labor market. Improving BA-degree com , After Admission 50. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, (London: Blackwell Publishers, 2004); Grubb, Working in the 85. pletion rates is part of this goal, but our Middle ; and Dixie Sommers, “National Labor Market 51. Dave E. Marcotte, Thomas Bailey, Carey Borkoski, and New Projections for Community College Students,” society also needs more people with cer - Greg S. Kienzl, “The Returns of a Community College Directions for Community 146 (Summer 2009): 33–52. Education: Evidence from the National Education tificates and associate’s degrees. 19. Aaron V. Cicourel and John I. Kitsuse, The Educational Longitudinal Survey,” Educational Evaluation and Policy Decision-Makers (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1963); and If they were given good information and 27, no. 2 (2005): 157–175. Analysis Making Inequality: The Hidden James E. Rosenbaum, authorized to do so, high school counselors Pathways to Boosting Earnings 52. Jacobson and Mokher, . (New York: John Wiley Curriculum of High School Tracking and Sons, 1976). For-Profit Colleges: Undercover Testing 53. Gregory D. Kutz, and teachers could do more to alert stu - Finds Colleges Encouraged Fraud and Engaged in Deceptive Beyond College for All 20. Rosenbaum, . dents who are unlikely to earn a bachelor’s and Questionable Marketing Practices , GAO-10-948T 21. Basmat Parsad, Debbie Alexander, Elizabeth Farris, Lisa (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Accountability Office, degree to the perilous road ahead, and to High School Guidance Hudson, and Bernard Greene, August 2010), www.gao.gov/new.items/d10948t.pdf. Counseling , NCES 2003-015 (Washington, DC: U.S. provide information about certificates and After Admission 54. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person, . Department of Education, National Center for Education associate’s degrees that lead to desirable Statistics, 2003). 55. Jennifer L. Stephan, James E. Rosenbaum, and Ann E. Person, “Stratification in College Entry and Completion,” 22. Patricia M. McDonough, “Counseling Matters: jobs, and also lead to bachelor’s degrees. Social Science Research 38, no. 3 (2009): 572–593. Knowledge, Assistance, and Organizational Commitment in We can be honest with our youth. There are , ed. William Preparing for College College Preparation,” in 56. Rosenbaum, Schuetz, and Foran, “How Students Make Tierney, Zoe Corwin, and Juliet Colyar (Albany, NY: SUNY many desirable options that present fewer College Plans.” Press, 2005). - obstacles and offer good pathways to fur 57. George Farkas, “Closing Achievement Gaps,” in 23. Rosenbaum, Schuetz, and Foran, “How Students Make Handbook of Education Policy Research , ed. Gary Sykes, College Plans.” ther advancement. ☐ Barbara Schneider, and David N. Plank (New York: American . 24. Rosenbaum, Beyond College for All Educational Research Association, 2009), 661–670; and David J. Armor, “Can NCLB Close Achievement Gaps,” in 25. Jacobson and Mokher, Pathways to Boosting Earnings . Endnotes No Child Left Behind and the Reduction of the Achievement Beyond College for All . 26. Rosenbaum, 1. Janet E. Rosenbaum, “Patient Teenagers? A Comparison , ed. Alan R. Sadovnik, Jennifer A. O’Day, George W. Gap of the Sexual Behavior of Virginity Pledgers and Matched Bohrnstedt, and Kathryn M. Borman (New York: Routledge, 27. Oliver C. Moles, “Guidance Programs in American High Nonpledgers,” Pediatrics 123, no. 1 (2009): e110–e120; 2008). 38, no. 3 School Counselor Schools: A Descriptive Portrait,” Abstinence and U.S. Government Accountability Office, (1991): 163–177; Parsad et al., High School Guidance Stopouts or Stayouts? 58. Laura J. Horn, NCES 1999-087 Education: Efforts to Assess the Accuracy and Effectiveness Counseling ; and McDonough, “Counseling Matters.” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National , GAO-07-87 (Washington, of Federally Funded Programs Center for Education Statistics, 1998). Beyond College for All . 28. Rosenbaum, DC: GAO, October 2006), www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/ getrpt?GAO-07-87. 59. Grubb, . Working in the Middle 29. James E. Rosenbaum, Regina Deil-Amen, and Ann E. Person, After Admission: From College Access to College 2. James E. Rosenbaum, Beyond College for All: Paths for 60. American Medical Association, “Careers in Health Care: (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2006). Success (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, the Forgotten Half Health Care Income Ranges,” 2010, www.ama-assn.org/ 2001); and Lisa Smith, “Invest in Yourself with a College ama/pub/education-careers/careers-health-care/health-care- 30. Rosenbaum, Schuetz, and Foran, “How Students Make , 2009, www.investopedia. Education,” Forbes Magazine income.shtml (accessed June 29, 2010). College Plans.” 13 AMERICAN EDUCATOR | FALL 2010

Related documents