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How can we get high school student to be excited for college?

I am one of the former student from a CPS (Chicago Public School). Now, I am attending University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. I made it this far because of cultural norms, however, my school failed to excite most of the seniors from my class. I believe students' attitude toward college needs to change.

  • Feb 4 2014: I believe the question is how could we get ALL THE STUDENT TO LEARN ANYTHING IN THE K-12 SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT. in other words, if they are very tempted to learn and find themselves capable of doing that, then they will automatically interested in going to the colleges. The problem is that currently, we even have difficulty in keeping them in school, AND WILLING TO LEARN EVEN IF THEY ARE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITIES. Our government only knows how to spend more money to build big buildings, pay for school facilities, pay for free tuition, free lunches and transportation, and even free babysitting for the pre-K "education", yet the only thing they haven't provide is the PROPER ENVIRONMENT AND TEACHING GUIDANCE FOR THE LEARNING. When I was at my school age, I would try every way to sneak into the school even if they post a armed guard at the school gate. Yet, nowadays, they are trying everything including sending policeman to catch the school drop-out on the street.
    Why? Because the school administrators and the teachers are so busy to conform to all the governments' mandates, regulations and "incentives", but the interest of the student learning! Furthermore, there are also less and less encouragement for students who did learn and were capable of college education but lack of financial assistance to attend colleges of their choice, or to incur tremendous debt to finish their college education. (As far as I know, there are a few countries in the world where even the undergraduate education are free.)
    So, I would suggest that we should give every student the environment to learn with the teachers' guidance but not their restrictions or interference. And the high school graduates should be competing for the colleges of their choice, and once they are admitted, they should get the government full financial support The needed fund could be transferred from all the waste in the government expenditure for financing all the school subsidies, "pre-K education initiative", etc.
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    Jan 29 2014: it has to be their choice.

    not everyone wants or needs tertiary education. most of the important stuff i learnt in life came from experience not study.

    the only time i enjoyed university was when i took subjects that had no relevance to any job but i was interested in what i was studying. it was the difference between a C+ average and an A+ average.

    i am now a musician, making my way via live performance for which i had no formal training whatsoever. my diploma is still in the cardboard tube it was given to me in.
  • Jan 29 2014: Well, lets start with this: go to university if it involves your passion. Think of the times when, as a young person, you were excited by something or you possessed some inner passion which needed to be expressed, this could be artistic or to do with a business idea or something else like a wonder in how the world works. If you go to university with such a passion in mind you will be excited by learning instead of bored. Note also that young children generally are excited to learn and it is not until puberty that this all changes a shormones and peer pressure start to play their roles.
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    Feb 4 2014: Sorry to answer your question with a question, but why aren't all the best teachers streaming their best work from a site like Netflix..? You pay your $8 a month and get any lesson, any time, any place, as many times as you want.

    Would education become like Hollywood- and only the best got work..? (and what do we do with the rest, and how much money from income tax is just- poof, gone)... then again, cutting out 80% of a school budget for wages and entitlements puts education back into perspective.

    The government seems to know people are fed-up paying for wars started to make money... Could that be why now they want even more tax money for education... Making claims like so many corporations can't find workers with the skills they need, when corporations could be making money streaming like Netflix, and getting exactly what they are in such need of..? just watch it again.

    What happens if I can stream any, and all video my doctor is (or should be ) looking at... by the worlds best doctors..?

    Netflix web streaming & on the job training... schools are just government funded baby sitting services (if both parents have to work they get 2X income tax)... College..? was turned into a caste system, now morphed to a ponzi scheme.

    Who taught the worlds best hackers to be the best..?
  • Feb 3 2014: Congrats and good luck. I would say we need to start talking to kids about college and careers early - elementary and keep talking about it. Then when hopefully more go to college, it then becomes expected and the norm. I have found that if their friends are thinking about college, then they start thinking about college.

    Do not get me wrong - college is not for everyone but it should be an option and not an after thought.
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    Feb 3 2014: I'd say give them the opportunity to take college classes or at least be exposed to a collage environment without having to jump through hoops for four years. From the little that I see that HS is just about testing and not teaching and it is only important because we say it is. There no reason why at 15 or 16 one can't start learning about what you want. You might not know what you want to be when you grow up but you know what you are passionate about. You should have a good handle on basic life skills. If anything I think it would be more interesting if collages and other avenues of adult learning modified themselves to accommodate slightly younger people who may or may not need a bit more information to be fletched out, rather than reform a system so steeped in factory culture.

    Best of Luck
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    Feb 1 2014: CPS has one of the highest costs and lowest results in the USA ... that you graduated from that system is a testimony to your cultural norms. Yep .. from there ... understand.

    However, your question is how to get them excited ....

    All school systems are under the control of the textbook writers and test developers ... they got their orders from the federal government through STEM and CORE ... and schools must respond under the threat of loss of federal funding. Student are under the threat of high stakes testing ... and teachers are "graded" on the students high stake test results.

    I stated the above to provide the setting ... exactly where does the school have either the opportunity or the desire to concern themselves about you after graduation ... they are fighting a battle to keep funding and in fact their jobs ... to do this they teach the test ... not educate you.

    In a perfect world you would be in a college prep class and the other students would be in manual trades classes. Then the goals would be the same and the inspiration to excel and continue to the next level would be naturally instilled.

    As is the federal agenda is designed only to achieve in the PISA exams to overcome the butt kicking we have been getting in international competition ... not only will it not change the current attitude toward college ... this direction may further damage the system.

    The problem is directly traceable to Arne Duncan current US Secretary of Education and formally of Illinois, and his stated desire to socialize education under the federal government.

    A larger and more interfering government is never the answer. Don't blame the schools or the staff ... they have lost control to the federal government.

    I wish you well. Bob.
  • Feb 1 2014: The real question is how do we get people excited for high school and middle school :p I am a high school student and I am surrounded by a tremendous amount of apathy in my school. For your question though, maybe put more emphasis on in your classes about how college gives you more freedom. It's your life, and you can go out and escape whatever chains are holding you back :) this next stage is going to be an incredible stage where you can finally control your life and own it, become who you truly wanna be. Have teachers put emphasis on that.
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    Feb 1 2014: As a parent with a high schooler I don't see a lot of excitement about college from HS students- rather I see an attitude of this is just what comes next.

    I think as parents we need to help kids find their passion - then if it involves college they will be more excited about it. A lot of kids want a year off as well, this is another debate!
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    Jan 29 2014: Congratulations for coming out of CPS with reading skills.
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    Jan 29 2014: what percentage of students do you want to go to college, Shubham? The net says about 70% of high school graduates go to college but you know, some jobs don't require going to college?
    • Jan 30 2014: The dogma of the professional pedagogue is that 100% of all students must go to college, for college is the only worthwhile thing to do after high school. It's a religious dogma among them, not amenable to rational discourse.
  • Jan 29 2014: First things first, do the majority of high school pupils have any actual NEED for college? The idea that everyone should go to a conventional college is turning out to be a very bad idea, fostered by people who, themselves, cannot think outside the ivory-tower academic model.

    A lot of people, probably the majority, have no inclination for academic studies. Why presume everyone must be an academic? Why not, instead, use resources wasted on getting and trying to retain the unsuitable in college on high-quality vocational training? Why not use it on solid training in PRACTICAL time management, PRACTICAL personal financial management, PRACTICAL communication skills, etc?

    No, it isn't hoity-toity, pinky-up "college", but it will come far closer to what most people can really use in their real lives.
  • Jan 29 2014: I would rather focus on making them exited for life and help them understand that there's options, happy and fulfilling options, besides college.
    • Jan 29 2014: I agree. For far too long, pedagogy has been dominated by professional academics who think that their own life choices (academia) are the only way to go.
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    Jan 29 2014: Some ways to get excited about college are to visit some campuses nearby and engage in student activities there, spend some time in the dorms or eating halls, and visit some classes in subjects that interest you.
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    Jan 29 2014: Their are many things schools should be doing better, but ultimately it falls upon the student to get excited about her future on her own behalf.