Higher Education leaders from throughout the state are considering how much to change the way students go beyond high school.
More than 100 members of the governing boards of Missouri’s 23 post-secondary schools have spent a day brainstorming about ways to improve access —and success—for students.
Assistant Commissioner Rusty Monhollan with the higher education department says a major factor facing educators is the lack of a college-going culture. He says many students are first-generation college students who don’t have family examples of how to navigate the education world beyond high school.
Another factor, he says, is in preparation and expectation. He says there is a gap between the preparation given to high school graduates and the expectations higher education has for them. He says his department and the elementary and secondary education department have made progress in blurring the transition between secondary and post-secondary education although more is left to do.
Monhollan says it’s clear students need more support–more mentoring and counseling that helps them find a path that leads to graduation.
The summit meeting, if you will, produced no marching orders for Missouri’s four-year schools, community college, and technical colleges. But organizers think it set the tone for new approaches leading to fewer people dropping out before getting degrees.