Ask Me a Simple Question, Get a Novel-Length Answer

A colleague of mine proferred this simple question on her facebook status:

Help me out friends and family: What’s something you’d like schools/teachers/classes/administrators to do to help make a positive change for our future.”

My response?

Work together to ease college admissions expectations for non-academic requirements. It’s ridiculous that many university music programs, for example, require students to perform concerto movements for admission–this is what is required of professionals auditioning into orchestras. Do universities want to teach or only to educate prodigies? And yes, the author of this rant does hold two music degrees.
And what does this encourage our high school juniors and seniors to focus on? Are they strengthening their learning skills in other subjects or essentially guaranteeing they’ll be academically unprepared to handle the rigor of college-level learning? The same goes for extra-curricular activities and volunteerism expectations in general, while the only academic assessment is a cursory glance at GPA and SAT scores. The typical high school senior is spread too thin trying to achieve excellence in so many areas other than learning beyond standardized tests, that things such as critical and creative thinking, and the ability to take ownership of their own knowledge acquisition is entirely undervalued.
Sorry for the novel, Melissa…must have struck a chord with me.

About Art

I've been a higher education professional for over 15 years and an Academic Advising administrator for the past eight of those. I have a background in exploratory student advising and have spent a great deal of time guiding students through contemplating their personal college-to-career pathways. I've published, presented, and consulted on the intersection of social media and academia and am a firm believer in social media's power as a tool for engagement rather than solely information delivery. I've worked at public and private institutions as well as 2-year colleges and 4-year universities. I believe in Academic Advising as a teaching and learning activity, that learner-centered education is the key to students' academic success, and that as long as we keep students' individual goals and success at the center of our decision-making process, the problem of college-level student attrition can be solved.
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