Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

The nation's public schools have failed to adequately prepare students for life after high school, said honors students in college who participated in a recently concluded "national forum" series.

Colleges and universities must both prepare students to succeed in a competitive job market and provide the liberal arts foundation necessary for lifelong learning, said the participants in the series, "Preparing for a Good Future: What Kind of Education Do We Want After High School?"

In more than 100 forums nationwide during the 1996-97 academic year, the Radford, Va.-based National Collegiate Honors Council, an association of honors programs at universities, colleges, and junior colleges, asked 700 participants, most of them honors students, to weigh the merits of different postsecondary avenues and to fill out ballots that gauged their opinions about education issues.

Though the participants said institutions of higher education need to make some adjustments to better serve their students, they were far more critical of the education they received before college, said Bill Gwin, a professor of architecture at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., and the senior adviser to the series.

During postforum balloting, 66 percent of participants agreed with the statement that "U.S. high school graduates are not competitive worldwide in science, math, and language skills."

"Fundamental skills are what need to be stressed, a work ethic, and that's where there's a gap," Connor Seyle, an honors student at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, said during a press conference in Washington last week.

In addition to a more rigorous emphasis on the basics, many forum participants stressed that high schools should do a better job of reaching out to students who do not intend to enroll in college by expanding vocational-training opportunities and job counseling.

When it came to higher education, most participants said a liberal arts education should remain a central part of the college experience, despite a recent increased emphasis on programs that prepare students more directly for the job market.

Sixty-three percent of participants agreed that a university should maintain a commitment to "broadly based education," even if it fails to guarantee that students will get a job after they graduate.

"Preparing students for employment is important, but education should not shut down your mind and narrow your focus to only that of your profession," Mr. Seyle said.


Web Only

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >