Your teen has an amazing academic profile as well as the necessary other factors considered for admission– strong counselor/teacher recommendations, great extracurriculars, stellar athletics – all that will ensure your student will be a standout to those admissions officers.

Your teen gets not one, but several acceptance letters from the schools he or she is wanting to attend. Congratulations! But now comes the other challenge – choosing the ‘right’ school.

What also should be considered at this point besides the fact that your teen ‘feels’ that this college is the one? The real question is: How can you ensure that your student will graduate?

Wrap your mind around these statistics:

  • 34% don’t complete freshmen year
  • 60% of college freshmen do not graduate in four years
  • 95% of those students that attend very select schools graduate in 6 years
  • 27% of college graduates have jobs in their closely related to their major
  • 62% had jobs that did not require a college degree

Why do some colleges have a higher graduation rate than others? Researchers have come up with three reasons:

  1. Does the institution focus on getting their students connected and engaged especially the first year?

The first year is critical to making sure students are able to find their niche and areas of   extracurricular interest.

  1. Does the faculty and administration monitor student progress?

Schools should have the technology to compute models of student success thereby making accommodations and changes if necessary.

  1. Does the school truly emphasize the quality of undergraduate instruction?

 The quality of the teaching is one of the foundations to student success.

So how can you find this out? Probably not by visiting the campus; however, you can when you visit collegeresults.org. This site provides the statistics comparing the graduation rate of a four year university or college to other schools with similar populations. It also reveals the track records relative to graduating diverse groups of students. Bottom line, you are able to find out what colleges do the better job of graduating their students.

Let’s revisit these startling statistics:

  • 34% don’t complete freshmen year
  • 60% of college freshmen do not graduate in four years
  • 95% of those students that attend very select schools graduate in 6 years
  • 27% of college graduates have jobs in a field closely related to their major
  • 62% had jobs that did not require a college degree

Of course the other – perhaps even more important – reason for those stats is that too many students are not in their optimum learning environment. That said, these two questions must also be addressed:

  1. What type of student is typically more successful in college and why?
  2. Why are certain types of students more vulnerable to the innumerable distractions intrinsic to the independent campus life?

Unless a student is in touch with his interests, values and skill sets, college can be a confusing or even overwhelming undertaking – the student is doomed to struggle and ultimately experiences minimal success.

I work hard at making sure my students are prepared and do well on the SAT or ACT. I also want to be assured that once they get into college, they have a strong chance of finishing and getting a good paying job in their major. So when I found the San Jose University Career Center, I knew I needed to share what it offers with my readers: Several inventories that enable your teen to get a better ‘sense of self’’, goals and purpose. These inventories evaluate the three major areas: passions, values and skill sets:

HOW TO HONE IN ON INTERESTS

Interests are what you do for fun – hobbies, extracurriculars – how you spend your free time. I always tell my students, “Let your passion be your work and your work be your passion. When that happens the money will follow.” Eureka  Interest and Personality Mosaic

HOW TO IDENTIFY PERSONAL VALUES

Values are defined by the core principles that motivate what you do, who you are, who you choose to be with, and how you view the world.  When you stay true to ‘who you are’ – your values – you are more inclined to stay focused and motivated in school and ultimately make wise career choices. Motivated Work Inventory   Personal Values Inventory

HOW TO FIND OUT YOUR STRONGEST SKILL SETS

When you have identified what you do well in terms of your natural talents and gifts, you are able to excel when you to put them into practice. Through education, you gain new insights about your strengths to maximize your potential even more. Transferable Skills List    Strengths and Action Verbs List

I hope these inventories help your teen derive a better sense of self and thereby begin to feel more directed as the path to college begins. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have further questions. I can also direct you to a wonderful coach who can personally guide your teen through this process.

If we haven’t met and your teen is ready to create his path to college success, schedule your complimentary Test Prep Strategy Session now. I look forward to our connecting.

Acknowledgment for this article: San Jose California Career Center

 

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