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To Combat Huge Dropout Rates, Colleges Find New Ways To Spot At-Risk Students

At most universities, academic advisors historically wouldn’t know a student is in trouble until that first failing grade hit. But even before that, there are often warning signs. A student never swipes her ID card at the library or dining hall. Another doesn’t use the bus service or attend any events on campus. The lack of even small interactions like these indicates a disconnect from the campus. And without that connection, colleges won’t retain those students.

“Once the student has failed a core course or stopped going to class, it’s too late,” says Nicole Engelbert, vice president of Oracle Higher Education Development. “There’s not much that you can do, or the things that you can do are incredibly resource-intensive with very low success rates. Once you’ve lost that student, bringing them back in is really hard to do.”

The US has the highest college dropout rate in the industrial world right now, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, only about half of the 2 million students who started college this past fall will leave college with a diploma. And yet, it’s never been more important for young people to attend college or obtain some kind of post-secondary certification, as the earnings gap between high school graduates and college graduates continues to grow, according to census data analyzed by the College Board.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, colleges have had more freshmen having more difficult times than students in previous years, and academic probation, suspension, or withdrawal from schools seems to be increasing, according to Vicki Tambellini, president and CEO of the Tambellini Group, a market research and advisory firm for higher education.

The changing student demographic is one reason experts cite for low student retention rates. Colleges are seeing more first-generation college students, more students for whom English is a second language, and more students who are living in poverty—people who might not have gone to college at all a generation or two ago. These new types of students are potentially less prepared for college, often coming from K-12 systems with fewer financial resources.

Growth in the number of traditional students—those who graduate from high school and go directly to a four-year college—is slowing and is expected to slow into the foreseeable future. “That is challenging institutions to rethink or transform how they support students and changing how institutions deliver those services,” says Engelbert.

To address the evolving needs of students, faculty and staff need new tools and processes that facilitate a better student experience across the entire student lifecycle. Here are four ways colleges are changing the lesson plan to support their students.

1. Communicate with students the way they communicate with each other.

Students are used to texting. They’re used to getting everything they need on their mobile device. “They’re not used to logging into email every day or going to different portals on a campus website to find the information that they need,” says Tambellini. “When they get to most college campuses today, that’s what they have to do in order to find the information that they need to succeed.” New student systems, including Oracle Student Cloud, are being used to support highly personalized, multichannel communications that deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.

2. Provide proactive support.

Using a single, centralized system, universities can “nudge” students with chatbots to make sure that they’ve bought their books, filed financial aid forms, or registered for next year’s housing. Administrators can use these interactive digital counselors to organize and manage interactions across multiple departments, channels, and devices and to ensure that students are aware of things such as office hours, dining services, and the availability of emergency grants if something happens financially that impacts their attendance.

A powerful aspect of chatbots is that they “scale” and ensure a consistent level of support. Colleges don’t need to hire an army of advisors or worry about whether students are receiving consistent, accurate information and benefiting from the most effective interventions. Chatbots can take care of routine reminders, freeing advisors to address more unusual or complex situations.

3. Use AI to help students choose the right path.

Colleges are also looking at how courses are structured and delivered, and they are employing AI to help students navigate the registration process. There might be 1,000 classes from which students could choose, and according to Engelbert, a common reason why students don’t graduate or graduate later than they should, is because they take the wrong classes in order to fulfill their degree requirements. “A next-generation student system will narrow the field of vision for the student—recommending what courses to take, in what order, to expedite graduation,” says Engelbert. “They may even preregister the student to ensure they get the classes they need.”

4. Use the cloud to better identify risk indicators.

One of the most powerful benefits of cloud applications is that administrators can get to data and identify early indicators faster, and do something about them in real time. Along with focusing on individual student behaviors, the data collected in a cloud-based system allows a university to view patterns and identify behaviors.

“If the school knows that the most successful students on that campus typically eat breakfast three days a week, lunch one day a week, participate in X number of extracurricular activities or clubs, and go to at least one freshman event in the fall, they can track the students that fall outside of those norms and provide those students with more advisor outreach,” says Tambellini.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the institutions that will successfully navigate this period of profound change in higher education are reimagining the work of the institution and investing in the tools that will support that mission. Engelbert makes the case that such change requires new technology that frees administrators to focus on people, process, and cultural change. “We’re seeing the green shoots of the more substantive adoption of cloud technologies and solutions,” she says. For successful schools, this will transform how institutions approach services from residential life, financial aid, and academic support, all the way through career services and beyond.

Margaret Lindquist is senior director of content for Oracle brand marketing.

Source: To Combat Huge Dropout Rates, Colleges Find New Ways To Spot At-Risk Students

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Alexandra Bernadotte founded Beyond 12 to help prepare low-income and first-generation students for a successful postsecondary education.

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How To Calculate Your College Education Return On Investment

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With all the talk about changes to student loan repayment plans, popular student loan forgiveness programs potentially ending, and now limits on student loan borrowing, it’s essential that you fully understand what your college return on investment (ROI) is.

Going to college is an investment – just like buying stocks or investing in real estate. You are spending money (tuition, room, board, and more) with the goal of earning more money in the future – due to better paying jobs and opportunities.

And this has shown to be true for the last several decades according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Adults who complete a bachelors degree, on average, earn 57% more than those who are high school graduates. That’s a significant boost in earnings. But, if you spend too much to achieve it, it might not be worth it.

The Basic Math Of College Return On Investment

When you’re 17 or 18 years old, thinking about your lifetime return on investment of your college expenses is challenging. When you’re that age, it’s hard to even plan what classes to take, let alone your college major, future career, the implications of borrowing money to pay for school.

Luckily, we live in an era where there is more data than ever to help us make decisions.

To think about your return on investment, you want to look at what you spend – the cost of tuition, room, board, and more, and then compare it to what you have the potential to earn.

The Social Security Administration has some aggregate data on earnings that’s useful here. Controlling for various socio-demographic variables, men with bachelor’s degrees would earn $655,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates and women with a bachelor’s degrees would earn $450,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates.

Here’s the more interesting part – let’s take that lifetime earnings potential and discount it for the present day value. Applying a 4 percent annual real discount rate, the net present lifetime value at age 20 of a bachelor’s degree relative to a high school diploma is $260,000 for men and $180,000 for women. For those with a graduate degree, it is $400,000 for men and $310,000 for women.

So, adjusting for nothing else (such as career choice), men should never spend more than $260,000 for a bachelors degree, and women should never spend more than $180,000 for a bachelors degree.

The Advanced Math Of College ROI

Now that we have the basics, you can take some of that same math and apply it to your situation and see if you’re getting a potentially positive ROI or a negative ROI on your education costs.

You can look at your school’s cost of attendance (COA), which can typically be found on their financial aid webpage. Using that data, you can see the cost to attend four or five years.

Then, look at what you’d expect to earn over your lifetime. This can be a challenge, but tools like Glassdoor (which show salaries in various industries and jobs) or even government websites like Transparent California, where you can view ever Californian Public Worker’s salary. Using that data, you can see what you’d expect to make throughout your career, and add up your earning potential.

Once you do the math, you can see how the cost of your education stacks up for ROI.

Easy Rules Of Thumb To Remember

Doing the math can be challenging, but there are also some simple rules to remember when calculating your ROI.

First, while it may not seem like it, you can adjust your variables. You can attend a less expensive college (or do a path like community college first, then a state school). You can also earn more after graduation. Look at not just a career but adding in a side hustle as well. Maybe you are really passionate about a certain career, even though it doesn’t pay very well. You can still have a positive ROI, but you’ll earn that ROI with other jobs.

Second, borrowing to pay for school is expensive. It is a drag on your ROI due to the interest that will be accruing on your loans. And easy way to keep your ROI in balance with student loans is to never borrow more than you expect to earn in your first year after graduation. This is very career dependent, but it highlights how you can borrow more if you plan on going into a higher paying industry.

Finally, this math only includes high school versus bachelor degree. However, the same logic can apply to trade school or graduate school. You just need to get data around what you expect to make after graduation versus the cost of your education program.

There’s More Than Money When Going To College

Some will argue that there is more than a money ROI when it comes to higher education. And I’d be remiss to ignore that because it’s true. There is more to higher education than dollars in, dollars out.

Going to college has a variety of secondary benefits, such as a student moving out from home and learning how to handle communication, problem solving, and more. These real world skills are tough to put a monetary value on.

But, on the flip side, college is an expensive way to find yourself. While moving out of the house and having new experiences can be a very positive thing, it can easily become a future regret if the burden of student loans and poor financial choices weighs on you for a large portion of your life.

And my challenge would be, are there other ways to get these experiences while trying to build a positive ROI on education spending? My answer is yes.

Final Thoughts

Thinking about the ROI of your education spending can be a challenge. But it’s a must for every high schooler and parent.

Robert Farrington founded The College Investor, a personal finance website dedicated to helping people get out of student loan debt and start investing as early as possible.

I’m a personal finance expert that focuses on helping millennials get out of student loan debt and start investing for their future. I also help parents make smart choi…

Source: How To Calculate Your College Education Return On Investment

How Powerful Use of Technology Can Increase Student Engagement – Digital Promise

Rather than taking a traditional multiple choice test at the end of their unit on weather, sixth grade students at Gilbert Middle School in South Carolina created their own live weather reports—complete with green screens and fake snow. Down the hall, seventh graders used digital tools to design memes based on quotes from a novel in their English/language arts class……..

Source: How Powerful Use of Technology Can Increase Student Engagement – Digital Promise

How Business Can Make An Exponential Difference In The Lives Of Students – Lisa Dughi

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We know how much of a difference one person can make in another’s life. But what if your goals are loftier than reaching just one person? What if you want to make a difference in the lives of a hundred, a thousand, or more? There are millions of young people across this country that need access to opportunity so that they can have successful futures after high school. What if you could play a pivotal role in providing that access? That’s the challenge NAF is working to solve. With over 100,000 students enrolled in NAF academies in underserved high schools across the country, reaching these students wouldn’t be possible without our business partners…………..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/gradsoflife/2018/11/13/how-business-can-make-an-exponential-difference-in-the-lives-of-students/#33d522411227

 

 

 

 

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Working in a group might be the best way to help kids meet individual goals, study says via JILL BARSHAY | iGeneration – 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation)

by JILL BARSHAY

Source: Working in a group might be the best way to help kids meet individual goals, study says via JILL BARSHAY | iGeneration – 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation)

Students Without Access to Laundry Machines Can Wash Clothes for Free at This High School – Michele Debczak

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Some schools offer more than just an education: It’s becoming more common for schools to provide pantry items and toiletries to students who may not have access to such necessities at home. As CNN reports, West Side High School in Newark, New Jersey is building on this trend by installing an on-site laundromat that’s free for students to use.The new facilities were inspired by the West Side High students who don’t always have clean clothes to wear to class…..

Read more: http://mentalfloss.com/article/555144/students-without-access-to-laundry-machines-can-wash-clothes-at-newark-new-jersey-high-school

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

 

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