What do young adults say about their experiences in school?

What do they advise in addressing barriers to learning?

  1. Related to high school completion, dropout prevention, and support for at risk students

    1. Thinking back to high school, what supports helped increase the likelihood of graduation among students who otherwise would have dropped out?
      • psychological services
      • extra-curricular activities and teacher involvement; parental support
      • support system of family/community
      • opportunities for engagement, good role models, incentives
      • School promotes college preparation; counselors provide college information; tutoring available, a wide array of clubs so students feel they belong
      • counselors from colleges who come to the high school
      • parents are the biggest supports; being on an athletic team impacted attitude not to give up; core group of friends involved in school

    2. What more was needed for those who didn't complete high school? What would have helped prevent them from dropping out?
      • more effective programs to prevent dropout; engage students who are struggling; reengage students who dropped out and return
      • active teacher-student interactions; teachers spotting warning signs
      • more recreational programs during/after school and on weekends
      • role models to go to for advice; someone to believe in them/can relate to their situation; someone to talk to about their experiences/adversity; someone who really cares and wants them to succeed.
      • being involved in school activities to promote belonging; opportunities to participate and feel responsibility to the school; support for student re-enrollment
      • counseling supports for pregnancy prevention and support for pregnant students; reduce stima of attending tutoring; mental health counseling to keep positive
      • pregnant students didn't get support from home

    3. What should those who staff high schools find out from students to better understand how to reduce the number of students who dropout?
      • ask students what they need; visit classroom and lunch areas to talk with students, who students they care
      • look at patterns of behavior, work ethic
      • find out what students want out of life and what staff can do to get them there
      • find out what students believe contributes to dropout; what interfers with school; what schools can do to improve, look at individual students who dropped out to see why; talk about resources students could use to avoid dropping out. Talk to students regularly to see how they are doing.
      • reach out to all students; don't expect unmotivated stuents to seek help; personalize help for struggling students.
      • assign students to a particular staff person to meet with on a regular basis; teachers and staff need to get to know parents; target high risk students for support
      • get to know the students, where they come from, understand home life


  2. Related to transition support as students move through K-16 and beyond.

    Remembering back,

    1. Do you recall any students who had difficulties (if so, what) in making the transition from Elementary to middle school?
      • hard to move from being the top grade to being the youngest; multiple classes make it hard to form connections with teachers and other students

      Making the transition from Middle school to high school?

      • friends go to differnt school; have to make new friends; pressures of grades; drama that goes on i high school; do foolish things to try to fit in

      Making the transition from High school to College?

      • No one is keeping you on track to make sure you go to class and understand the material; have to find help for yourself
      • May students had difficulties transitioning from high school college due to family influence; needed to help family by working and supporting the family
      • Many students don't consider college because high school was such a struggle; others drop out of college because they don't feel they are prepared
      • Being away from home can be difficult for some students
      • some students have difficulting due to finances, family obligations, not being sure what they want out of life yet or where to get education

      Making the transition from College to career?

      • very stressful trying to figure out what it is you want to do and how to ge there while still thinking about schoolwork
      • process of looking for a job and deciding on whether to wait for the ideal job or taking what is available
      • the economy is making this very difficult

    2. What support programs/people were in place and why didn't they work for those who had difficulty?
      • a lot of support comes from family and friends; teachers and counselors help along the way; problem when friends have a negative influence
      • in transition to college there are programs that help with applications, summer program on campus, and tutoring; also career center
      • I didn't know of any support programs or people except for counselors; no emphasis on helping those who were struggling.
      • Tutoring to catch up was stigmatized; most students struggling had a hard time wanting to learn and felt disconnected from school
      • I wasn't aware of any support programs for high school to college transition; programs should be better advertised
      • For middle to high school we had "shadow" days for students to decide which high school to go to; didn't always work because not good experience
      • Transition from high school to college, colleges came to our school to talk; college prep calsses; college advising; only focused on students going to college

    3. What additional interventions are needed to minimize problems in transition?
      • teachers and parents most help; groups or programs if you were having trouble would help; stay with the same group of students and teachers if possible
      • in transitions students should meet with counselors to address concerns and questions; make students aware of supports; follow up meeting to check progress
      • From high school to college, more personal activities are needed in small groups
      • best when a counselor know in depth about a student who is struggling with a transition so they can create and implement an effective solutions together
      • It could be good for counselors to have follow up interviews with previous students to be sure they are on track