The Secret to Preventing Community College Dropouts


Every single year, more than a million kids leave school without even earning a degree and that is equivalent to 7,000 students every single day of the academic year. Without that diploma, they will be more likely taking down the path that leads them to low paying jobs, poor quality of life, poor health and a continuous cycle of poverty.

According to CCRC, it is important for colleges to have a visibility on who these early drop outs are, in order to develop an effective strategy for dropout prevention.

Sam Brooks, Personal Learning Coordinator for the district in Putnam County in Tennessee shared wth EdSurge News his recommendations for other schools and districts to make students more college ready - and that is to start the preparation in lower levels or middle school.

He explained that "college and career-ready" means bridging the gap between high school and college so that students will truly become ready and prepared for their college and career of choice, whether they are going to a technical school, or community college. He said that these things should be given to the students from the bottom of the ladder which he referred to as the kindergarten all the way through the 12th grade because they have to be given the options about what they really want to do.

They have learned that many of the students really did not want to go to college and realize along the way that they want to attend community college and at least get a certificate. So what their program does is that they enroll students to VITAL program (Virtual Instruction to Accentuate Learning) while they are in their middle school. And then they identify where the students stand in the class based on their data so that they can come up with an individualized learning plan for each student.

And while it may be too early for a middle school child to identify what major they really want to take, it could be a good start to build a pathway for those kids, Brooks said.

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