U can B

What Can Schools Do To Foster College-Bound Culture?

»Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in U can B | 0 comments

What Can Schools Do To Foster College-Bound Culture?

Much attention has been paid to the national graduation and dropout rates. However, those discussions ignore another population of students: those who graduate from high school, but are not prepared to succeed in postsecondary education or the workforce. According to a recent study by the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute (EPI), nationally, the unemployment rate for those who recently earned a high school diploma or equivalent degree (ages 17-20) and are not enrolled in additional schooling is 18 percent. So, how can we work to increase the number of students that are pursuing a college degree? One solution is college-bound culture. Schools that focus on fostering this in their classrooms help build the expectation of postsecondary education for all students. Through extensive research, the Pathways to College Network has established six principles to guide the actions of educators for creating an environment that pushes students to pursue a college education. These principles are: Expect that all underserved students are capable of being prepared to enroll and succeed in college Provide a range of high-quality, college-preparatory tools for students and families Embrace social, cultural, and varied learning styles when developing the environment and activities at the school Involve leaders at all levels in establishing policies, programs, and practices Maintain sufficient financial and human resources for this mission Assess policy, programs, and practices regularly to determine their effectiveness These goals may seem idealistic, but with the right strategies, it possible for educators and school administrators at all schools to make them a reality. Focusing on how schools can help students succeed beyond high school is vital for creating a culture that promotes the value of a college education. And as you can imagine, the key ingredient for creating this culture is dedicated teachers and counselors. Here are some ways to get started: Counseling Office A school’s counseling office is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to encouraging students to think beyond high school and determine what it is they want to do in their career. Here are few ways guidance counselors can help: Hold conferences with students frequently, especially during 10th and 11th grade, to monitor future plans Become friendly with local admissions officers; invite them to come to your school Invite local college graduates to speak about their experiences Hold a Career Day or College Fair Send a newsletter to parents with useful college information Hold workshops for students on topics such as: writing essays, getting recommendations, preparing for tests, applying for financial aid College Decor Keep college top-of-mind for students by decorating hallways and classrooms with pennants, posters, and slogans that broadcast the ultimate goal of getting into college. Consider announcing upcoming college entrance exams and test-preparation classes with flyers in bathrooms, hallways, and the cafeteria. Career Development Programs For many children, half of the battle is figuring out what they want to do after they graduate. This happens when students are unable to connect what they’re learning in the classroom to a career. Consider starting an internship program or establishing after-school programs or activities that help students understand all of their options. This often falls on guidance counselors to organize. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Programs like U can B support career development through curriculum components that allow students to see what life is like after high school and college. These programs help students become aware of all the opportunities that exist and encourage them to pursue them. Raising academic standards alone is not enough to ensure that all students, especially low-income and minority students, will graduate from high school and pursue — let alone succeed in — postsecondary education. Supports must be in place to help schools ensure that all students achieve this goal. College-bound culture inspires the best in every student and helps them identify and achieve their goals. Schools that take the steps to foster this culture put the success of their students at the forefront of their...

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Schools Should Teach Entrepreneurship

»Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in U can B | Comments Off on Schools Should Teach Entrepreneurship

Schools Should Teach Entrepreneurship

While not all students will want to pursue a career in business ownership, there are still so many benefits to teaching students about entrepreneurship early on. An entrepreneurial curriculum not only teaches students to start their own businesses, but also teaches them to think creatively and ambitiously. In turn, these valuable lessons empowers students to make decisions about their future. Here are five reasons why entrepreneurial skills are critical for students’ success: Free Thinking Teaching entrepreneurship to young students helps them gain self-confidence in their ideas and abilities by allowing them to brainstorm the solutions to problems they identify. When schools work entrepreneurship into their curriculum, students learn to try out their ideas and get to see a measurable outcome of their efforts. They also learn that failure happens, and that’s okay. The Ability to Succeed in an Uncertain World The job market and economy that students will enter is hard to predict, but we know that students will need skills that will allow them to navigate uncertainty. An entrepreneurial education equips students to take risks, problem-solve, think creatively, accept and grow from failure, empathize with others, and understand the correlation between hard work and success. Overall, this is an incredible stepping stone to learning independence. Entrepreneurship Promote Social Values Students who learn about entrepreneurship learn about what it means to be a good citizen. Learning about entrepreneurship is just as much about learning to be fiscally independent as it is about learning to help others and how to take success in stride. Students with entrepreneurship education enter the world with the mentality that identifying solutions to existing problems can help make the world a better place. Entrepreneurial education holds great value for all of our students. Teaching children about entrepreneurship helps foster confidence, creativity, and independence. It gives students a chance to stand on their own merit while teaching them the type of money management and organizational skills that lead to being a productive member of society, whether or not they decide to start their own business in the long run. The future belongs to innovators, and entrepreneurship education is the incubator for the types of creative ideas our world needs. The U can B Program seeks to put entrepreneurship at the front of students’ learning. Entrepreneurs and businesspeople, along with the non-profit organization Building Bridges for Business, are giving local students the chance to see what life is like after high school and college. Learn more about the U can B program’s dedication to helping students think about life after high school...

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3 Tips for Sparking Engagement in the Classroom

»Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 in U can B | Comments Off on 3 Tips for Sparking Engagement in the Classroom

3 Tips for Sparking Engagement in the Classroom

There’s a big difference between students who sit passively in a lecture and students who are actively engaged. Active engagement helps stave off the decay of information in students and helps empower them to take control of their education. So, what can educators to do help encourage a classroom full of engaged students? Here are three tips: 1. Present Information in Multiple Formats Not all students learn in the same ways. Classrooms are full of diverse students that benefit from different teaching techniques. Learning styles are most often divided into three basic groups. There are the auditory learners, visual learners and kinesthetic or tactile learners. Teachers that work to incorporate various methods into their teaching are able to reach the majority of students. Ultimately, catering to every student’s unique learning style helps keep them engaged in the classroom. Students are more likely to feel excited about learning if the information being presented is easily digested. 2. Give Students Choices Choice empowers students and makes them feel like they have control over their own education. By allowing students to set their own pace, they’ll feel more motivated and challenged. Often this means teachers splitting up their classrooms so that more advanced students can work on new concepts. Not only does this keep students from getting bored, it also allows teachers to focus personalized attention on those who need it. Even something as small as letting learners choose their own starting point on specific assignments gives students the feeling that they have more choice and independence. 3. Connect Curriculum to the Real World One key way to involve students in their learning is to ensure that the material being taught speaks to them. A vital piece of this is making sure students understand how the material they’re learning in the classroom applies in real life. For example, one way to do this is by demonstrating how students can apply the math concepts they are learning to help them manage personal finances. Schools can also help students feel more engaged in their learning by showing them how the information they’re learning leads to specific careers. This helps students see a clear path to success later on in life, thus motivating in the present. Schools that are focused on engagement in the classroom are building a solid foundation for the success of their students. This success extends from the classroom and into students’ future careers. Programs like U can B are working to increase engagement in the classroom by providing classes that give students a chance to see what life is like after high school and college. Click here to learn more about the U can B...

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Give the Gift of Education

»Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in U can B | Comments Off on Give the Gift of Education

Give the Gift of Education

For children everywhere, education is the best hope for a bright future. Education impacts every aspect of children’s lives, as it is the means by which they develop as individuals and come to understand our world, affording them with opportunities to forge their own future. Education level is directly linked to income and job security, and also correlates with health, mental well-being, civic engagement, and more. If you want to use your time or money to help provide children with education and a bright future this year, here are a few options: School Supplies For millions of children whose families struggle financially, school supplies can be hard to come by. To help ensure these children have the tools they need to learn as well as the confidence they need to thrive, World Vision provides school essentials throughout the year to students in need. You can help give the gift of education by providing basic school supplies, such as backpacks, pencils, notebooks, crayons, and more. Art The arts don’t just develop a child’s creativity and offer career opportunities, the skills they learn can also lead to academic achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that students who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement. The International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) supports the arts by sponsoring art programs, exhibitions, and festivals for children and of children’s artwork. They also have a healing arts program that uses art to help children recover from disasters. Reading Studies show that literacy in young children must be supported by a print-rich environment. Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books, and implements literacy programs to develop the critical, early foundation and skills which young children need to be successful in life. Career Development For many children, half of the battle is figuring out what they want to do after they graduate. Do you own a business? Consider offering an internship or sponsoring an after-school program or activity. Additionally, programs like U can B support career development through curriculum components that allow students to see what life is like after high school and college. You can donate to support career development here. Giving the gift of education is one that can last a lifetime, providing a child with the tools to succeed into adulthood. Your money or time could be the difference in a child’s ability to access powerful learning...

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How Can Schools Engage Students?

»Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Career Education for High School Students, U can B | Comments Off on How Can Schools Engage Students?

For too many American students, high school is a time of disengagement that fails to put them on a path to success later on in life. In fact, a 2012 Gallup Student Poll indicated that student engagement during high school is at a critically low level. The survey, which asks students how involved and enthusiastic they feel about school, reported that while nearly 80% of elementary school students feel engaged, only 44% of high school students feel that way. So, how can we keep students engaged throughout high school? The answer is a curriculum that connects the classroom to careers.  STEM Curriculum Many high school graduates lack exposure to learning that links their work in school to college and careers—especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). When students understand that rewarding careers exist beyond the classroom, they are more likely to feel motivated to engage in their studies. Using a variety of activity-based learning models, schools can provide students with opportunities to develop their critical thinking skills and creativity. An integrated STEM curriculum provides equity among students from all backgrounds, empowering them to find their passion and look beyond high school and into the future. Career and Technical Education Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses help develop students’ noncognitive skills such as problem-solving, communication, time management, and critical thinking skills. By providing students with CTE courses, schools help prevent dropouts because the curriculum offers practical applications of knowledge through authentic tasks that allow students to see the relevancy of their instruction. Because the lessons are more practical and hands-on, students feel more engaged. Ultimately, CTE curriculum connects the knowledge that students are gaining in the classroom to the future by helping them understand how that knowledge helps them obtain a career they’ll find interesting and rewarding. Preparing students for success later on in life requires a different approach to the educational experience than it did in the past. Too many of America’s students are not meaningfully engaged or motivated in their academic experience while in high school. By providing kids with opportunities to connect what they’re learning in the classroom to the future, schools can inspire students to take control of their education and find success as adults. Programs like U can B are working to re-engage students in the classroom by providing classes that give students a chance to see what life is like after high school and college. The U can B Curriculum is tailored to meet any school’s needs, and includes classes on topics such as entrepreneurship, careers in the trades, careers in IT, careers in healthcare, career preparation, leadership, and more. Contact us at Info@BuildingBridgesforBusiness.org or click here to learn more about the U can B...

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Why Aren’t College-Ready Students Enrolling in College?

»Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Career Education for High School Students, Learning and Education, U can B | Comments Off on Why Aren’t College-Ready Students Enrolling in College?

A new report from ACT has found that 20 percent of students who are likely well-prepared for their first year of college are not actually enrolling. Additionally, results from a multi-year College and Career Readiness survey of 165,000 high school students conducted by YouthTruth, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, found that only 45 percent of students feel positive about their college and career readiness. What’s The Problem? According to the same YouthTruth survey, an overwhelming 87 percent of students want to eventually earn a college degree and land a career, but many believe that their schools aren’t helping them develop the skills they’ll need to succeed after graduation. To make matters worse, as a result of being unprepared, approximately one in four students who enter college the fall after high school graduation enroll in remedial coursework during their first year of college. The aggregate additional, direct college expenses these half million students and families had to pay out of pocket for remedial coursework in the first year in 2011-12 was an astounding $1.5 billion. The problem is deeply rooted in the curriculum at many schools across the United States. Graduation is treated as the ultimate goal, which ignores preparing students to reach their future goals. In support of this idea, many schools aren’t encouraging students to challenge themselves and are not helping students find their passion. Instead, schools opt for a random combination of career-prep courses — which ranges from computers and engineering to trade courses in fields such as construction or manufacturing — rather than a series of courses aligned with a particular career field. What Can Be Done? All of these reports support the idea that schools need to reflect on their school’s structure, culture, and instruction, and how those elements influence exposure to rigorous, engaging, and relevant coursework that prepares students for success after high school in various college and career paths. This is especially important as young people need more skills than ever before in order to succeed in today’s knowledge-based economy. Graduating more confident high-school graduates is not an unattainable goal. Research shows that students support this change. In fact, nearly nine out 10 of all recent high school graduates said they would have worked harder if their high schools had demanded more, set higher academic standards, and raised expectations of the coursework and studying necessary to earn a diploma. Programs like U can B are helping schools make this a reality. By providing students with the skills they need to succeed after high school and empowering them to pursue a career that they feel passionate about, U can B is working to close the gaps between college-readiness, college enrollment, and career success. Ultimately, schools that place their students’ futures at the top of their priority list instead of graduation rates are investing in the world’s...

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