It Takes A Village…or A Busload
Making the Grade
The Scranton Times-Tribune annually publishes it’s Grading Our Schools analysis, and for a few days, towns are abuzz with reactions. Then, it seems like we all move on and accept the level of education that has become status quo. For some lucky students, the status quo is excellent, and the region is fortunate to have several high performing districts. For most families, however, the results are no cause for celebration.
Not a Fair Race
As administrators in higher education, we serve the students who are the product of our K-12 system. We see firsthand the real, tangible impacts of students who have been failed by our school system. From our perspective, the majority of our students start the race toward their education and career a few steps, or yards, or miles behind others. We know they deserve better!
Test scores aside, let us share our observations about what underperforming public education actually means for students:
- Students with the potential and desire to learn doubt their ability to succeed
- Students make the decision not to enroll in higher education or begin their postsecondary journey
Academic Lack of Preparedness
- Students with a high school diploma often must re-learn high school curriculum through remedial coursework before they can even begin college-level work
- Doing this costs students both time and money
A Rockier Path to College Completion
- Due to the necessary remedial work, degrees take longer to complete
- Students are more at risk of failure
- They are often delayed from taking classes in their major
- This leads students to withdraw
- Students are left with unmanageable student loans and nothing to show for it
- These students have their starting position in the race of life pushed back – yet again
- These students and families end up paying college tuition to learn skills that should have been mastered in high school
- Can they even see their starting position in the race at this point?
More Hurdles in the Race Some of our high schools are graduating adults who lack the skills to become productive citizens without further education. We see inspired, hard-working young students every day who simply have no idea how to be students. We see students who never learned that a textbook was important, that bringing a pen to class is required, or that instructors will expect them to think critically.
Let us be clear. Our students are amazing and overcome tremendous obstacles to be successful. It is unacceptable that, for many of these students, our K-12 system counts among their obstacles.
Let’s Ride the Bus Together
Lackawanna College is committed to being part of the solution. For decades, we have helped students develop their academic skills, build the confidence to believe in their potential, and learn the behaviors needed to function in higher education and beyond. The transformative power of education is evident in the difference between our first year students and our graduates.
- We invite high schools to allow us to become part of the solution earlier, before a student is paying college tuition (anywhere).
- We welcome the chance to take the lessons we learned and apply them to high school students and programs.
- We are known for our strong partnerships, Level Up program and dual enrollment opportunities.
Full Speed Ahead
An open question to our regional districts and families: How can we help? Let’s not let another year go by with such troubling grades on our report cards. Hope Starts Here.