They Are Not Alone

Document Sample
They Are Not Alone Powered By Docstoc
					They Are Not Alone
Recommendations to help young
people address their concerns in
   attaining a college degree
              Public Agenda
• A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization
  devoted to public opinion and engagement
• Large body of work on higher education
• Founded in 1975 by social scientist Daniel
  Yankelovich and former Secretary of State
  Cyrus Vance



                                               2
Research Strategy
NOCHE and Public Agenda designed a qualitative research plan
that would capture the voices of young adults throughout Northeast
Ohio.

– Focus groups were conducted in Akron, Cleveland and Youngstown,
  with participants drawn from those cities as well as surrounding areas.

– All participants were young adults, 18-24 years old, who didn’t have
  college degrees and weren’t currently in a PSE program

– Two hour focus group sessions. We tested specific proposals and
  programs being used on a small scale to see what would resonate with
  adults who are no longer on the “college track”
Among these NE Ohio young adults we found
        three underlying concerns:

1. Not having the time or the money to get a
   higher education credential
2. Needing outside support to help hold them
   accountable for their education
3. Lack of information and communication about
   what to expect in a college environment
Concern #1:
Not having the time or money to
get a higher education credential
• Many (but not all) young adults said college is important
  and that they plan on going back.
• When pushed about why they are not in school now,
  concerns about money (debt in particular) and about
  time to balance work and school were cited most often.
‚When you’re in school, you’re paying money.
When you’re not in school you’re making
money….It’s like a catch 22.‛
                - Man from Akron with some PSE experience


‚You graduate college, and you’re already in debt…
You’re trying to start a family, and you’re already in
debt… We’re burying ourselves before we ever even
get started.‛
                            - Another Akron Man with some
                                            PSE experience
Interventions that Resonated
• Flexible enrollment programs, flexible work schedules and
  child care
  ‚I work eight or nine hours a day and then go and sit [in class]…and then not get
  home [until] 9 or 10 at night. Then I wake up, and do it all over again.‛
                                           - Cleveland woman who left a PSE program


• Early college savings plans, debt counseling
  ‚A counselor [could have helped] with… ways of getting school paid for you don’t
  know about until you’re there.‛
                                                  - Akron man with no PSE experience
Concern #2:
Wanting outside support to help
hold them accountable for their
education
• Many young adults talked about not being motivated in
  high school and wanted to see more stakeholders hold
  them accountable
• Many expressed concern that there are not people in PSE
  institutions that would help them be accountable
‚I didn’t like school as it is, and [a good
advisor] … would have motivated me more to
get through it.‛
          - Man from Cleveland with no college experience


‚There are some things that I just don’t get
very easily and if there are people who
understand so I can ask questions… that
would help.‛
        - Man from Youngstown with no college experience
Interventions that Resonated
• High school: More counseling, Online grade
  monitoring

• PSE level: More support services, peer study
  groups and participating in learning
  communities
‚I was always bright, one of the smartest, [in high school]
but I was never motivated. If I had [online grade
monitoring] back then—I would have all these people
always checking up on me.‛
                       - Man from Cleveland who left college


‚Some days I just needed that extra little push, somebody
[saying] ‘Come on, you know we’ve got to go do our
work.‛
                              - Akron woman who left college
                       (talking about her college experiences)
Concern #3: Lack of information and
communication about what is needed and
what to expect in a college environment
• Many young adults regretted not knowing – while in
  high school – what they needed to know to succeed in
  college

• Many today, seemed unsure, and perhaps worried,
  about what college is like

• And many did not know what institutions are doing
  to address their concerns
‚I didn’t feel prepared with the culture shock [at
college]. When I got on campus…[I] didn’t know
how to fit in.‛
                    - Woman from Akron who left college



‚…They give you so many breaks [in high
school]. They’re not going to give you a break
while you’re on campus.‛
             - Youngstown man with no college experience
Interventions that Resonated
• Dual enrollment/early college programs
• Summer bridge programs/first-year
  experience programs
‚I think [dual enrollment] would have made you
be more prepared for college than anything else,
actually going to a college class and sitting with
older people and stuff like that.‛
                    - Man from Youngstown who left PSE


‚The summer bridge [would have helped]…just
to know a little bit more what I was getting
myself into when going to college.‛
                       - Woman from Akron who left PSE
         Three underlying concerns:

1. Not having the time or the money to get a
   higher education credential
2. Needing outside support to help hold them
   accountable for their education
3. Lack of information and communication about
   what to expect in a college environment
What can be done to address
these underlying concerns?

Who can help?
• Come to Public Agenda
  www.publicagenda.org for more research on
  higher education and other issues
• Contact Jon Rochkind at
  jrochkind@publicagenda.org for further
  information

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:4
posted:2/28/2011
language:English
pages:18